Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Scariest Halloween Trick Ever

You didn't ask me, but I think the biggest reason we must return a progressive President to the White House is that the future direction of U.S. Appeals Courts and the Supreme Court, and hence our collective freedoms, hangs in the balance.

It's still 3 days until Halloween, but the scariest thing I'll probably see all week is this blurb from today's Think Fast section on Think Progress...
"President Bush has transformed America’s federal appeals courts, “advancing a conservative legal revolution that began nearly three decades ago under President Ronald Reagan.” By Inauguration day, “Republican-appointed judges, most of them conservatives, are projected to make up about 62 percent of the bench” while controlling 10 of the 13 circuit courts."
The article referenced is in today's The New York Times. The writer, Charlie Savage, opens with these equally scary 'graphs...
"After a group of doctors challenged a South Dakota law forcing them to inform women that abortions “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique living human being” — using exactly that language — President Bush’s appointees to the federal appeals courts took control.

"A federal trial judge, stating that whether a fetus is human life is a matter of debate, had blocked the state from enforcing the 2005 law as a likely violation of doctors’ First Amendment rights. And an appeals court panel had upheld the injunction.

"But this past June, the full United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit voted 7 to 4 to overrule those decisions and allow the statute to take immediate effect. The majority argued that it is objectively true that human life begins at conception, and that the state can force doctors to say so.

"Mr. Bush had appointed six of the seven judges in the conservative majority. His administration has transformed the nation’s federal appeals courts, advancing a conservative legal revolution that began nearly three decades ago under President Ronald Reagan.

"On Oct. 6, Mr. Bush pointed with pride to his record at a conference sponsored by the Cincinnati chapter of the Federalist Society, the elite network for the conservative legal movement. He noted that he had appointed more than a third of the federal judiciary expected to be serving when he leaves office, a lifetime-tenured force that will influence society for decades and that represents one of his most enduring accomplishments. ... Mr. Bush’s judges were among the youngest ever nominated and are poised to have an unusually strong impact."
This is the direct result of electing a President who is only beholden to the ultra-conservative right-wing radical fringe of his party.

This is the very real damage inflicted when an ultra- conservative President is free to push an agenda that is out-of-step with the value system of the majority of Americans.

This is the reality when a President appoints judges who put personal ideology before precedent and principles.

The legacy of recent Presidents is seen and felt in their appointments of judges to Federal benches. And in Bush's case, this legacy, which will haunt some of us to the grave, will negatively impact decades of policy and legal decision making.

That's the scariest gift left to us by Bush, Cheney, Rove.

Nothing could be more frightening this Halloween than that reality.