David Limbaugh

It's a pretty sad day in America when one cannot criticize the judiciary and even individual judges without being accused of advocating violence against judges. This strained connection is but another example of liberals trying to chill conservative speech.

As if all the charges against House Majority Leader Tom DeLay were not enough, the Left has also implied that DeLay was inciting violence against judges by a remark he made during the Terri Schiavo turmoil.

DeLay said, in reference to judges who ruled in the Schiavo case, "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior."

I'm sorry DeLay apologized for the "inartfulness" of the statement (though he did not apologize for its substance). Personally, I don't think he should have apologized at all, because nothing in it in could be construed as advocating violence against judges.

DeLay had every right to speculate that the public would eventually hold judges accountable for exceeding the bounds of their constitutional authority, regardless of whether you agree with him that judges acted imperially in the Schiavo case.

It's regrettable that some have hinted at a nexus between recent episodes of courthouse violence -- the murder of a state judge in Atlanta and the massacre of a federal judge's immediate family in Chicago -- and the public's angst against unaccountable judges. Both crimes were committed by people with case-specific motives.

No one seriously believes the murders were motivated by indiscriminate anger against the judiciary or judicial activism. It's laughable to think the killers were crusaders on a mission to restore the constitutional separation of powers.

This spurious alleged relationship between anti-judiciary rhetoric and violence against judges is actually part of a larger anti-conservative slander the Left has been pedaling for years. The theme is simply: "Conservatives are angry, hateful individuals within a hair trigger of lurching into violence. We must discourage, even sometimes outlaw certain speech that might incite these lunatics to violence."

Hate crime statutes and the speech codes we see on university campuses throughout the land are grounded in the notion that certain speech begets violence. Staving off such violence has long been the Orwellian justification for suppressing certain speech.

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh, brother of radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, is an expert on law and politics. He recently authored the New York Times best-selling book: "Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel."

©Creators Syndicate