(R) of Kansas auditions for our new GOP nutball watch (from the Times
At a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the court's spending request, Representative Todd Tiahrt, Republican of Kansas, veered from the budget issues to press Justice Kennedy.
"Lately we've had rulings that seem to go beyond the rule of law" and that reflect "outside influence," the congressman told the justice. He pointed to a Supreme Court decision last month barring the execution of those who were juveniles when they committed their crimes. That decision, which was written by Justice Kennedy and which cited international treaties and practices abroad, appeared to reflect "pressure put on by the United Nations and other agencies," Mr. Tiahrt said.
Mr. Tiarht said the court was "not interpreting the Constitution and laws that govern America anymore," and added that his views were shared by people "across the United States."
Justice Kennedy, appearing unruffled, replied mildly that disagreements over the meaning of the Constitution were "a very important part of democratic dialogue." He added, "This give and take is very healthy."
I guess we're into the black helicopters phase of the anti-judiciary crusade.
A question, though. Are we allowed yet to point out that a party whose members routinely make threats against members of the federal judiciary and suggestively dangle hints of violence has no claim to being a constitutionalist party?
There's a legitimate and healthy debate over whether contentious issues like abortion are best hashed out in the courts or in legislatures. But to say that the trend is moving toward greater judicial assertions over and against legislatures is foolishness. That's not what this is about. These people are uncomfortable with the rule of law itself.
Across the board, Tammany rule in the House, <$NoAd$> keystone kops loyalty tests at presidential events, tolerance and emulation of crankish attacks on sitting judges. This Republican party just isn't a constitutionalist party. It's just not.