Ground zero in this battle turns out to be Kansas, where the state supreme court has ordered the legislature to put $143 million more into public schools, even though Kansas already spends nearly $10,000 per pupil, pays teachers more than most Kansas workers, and graduates students who score well in national tests. Judges seized on a single word in the state constitution and ruled that the definition of "suitable" means a specific amount of money knowable only through the presumed wisdom of judges.
After the Kansas Supreme Court's threat to close all the schools plus heavy pressure from the Democratic governor, Democratic legislators combined with the RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) to say, yes, sirree, to the legislating judges. The court retained jurisdiction of the case and is expected to order the legislature to increase funding again next year, probably by another $568 million.
The Kansas experience shows that it's not just federal judges, but state judges, too, who need replacing and should have their power limited. Legislators should withdraw jurisdiction from judges so they cannot legislate or act as an imperial judiciary, and legislators who fail to do their duty should be replaced as well as the judges.
All of a sudden, Sandra Day O'Connor has become the favorite justice of Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and the Democrats, and they are demanding that her replacement be her clone. No wonder they like her: she voted repeatedly for abortion, repeatedly for the homosexual lobby, and repeatedly against the Ten Commandments.
We can't afford to have another O'Connor mistake. We are counting on President Bush to keep his promise to give us justices like Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
In the second presidential debate in 2004, George W. Bush said: "I wouldn't pick a judge who said that the Pledge of Allegiance couldn't be said in a school because it had the words 'under God' in it. I think that's an example of a judge allowing personal opinion to enter into the decision-making process as opposed to a strict interpretation of the Constitution."
A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll released July 14 reported that 63 percent of Americans believe it is a step in the right direction for Bush to appoint a judge "who favors continuing to allow references to God in our public life such as allowing displays of the Ten Commandments on government property."
Only 14 percent said that would be a step in the wrong direction.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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