Thomas Sowell

 Meanwhile, nothing is easier to come up with than such examples among liberal judicial activists who have made decisions based on "evolving standards," "world opinion" or other such lofty hokum worthy of the Wizard of Oz.

 "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain," the Wizard said -- and "Don't attack our judges" the liberals say.

 Even some conservative Republicans have fallen for this line. President Bush's former Solicitor General Theodore Olson recently condemned "personal attacks" on judges by their critics, and somehow lumped those critics with criminals or crackpots who have committed violence against judges or their family members.

 Criticizing someone's official conduct is not a "personal attack." Nor does criticism equate with violence. An independent judiciary does not mean judges independent of the law. Nor is the rule of judges the same as the rule of law. Too often it is the rule of lawlessness from the bench.

 Did anyone try this guilt-by-association ploy to blame critics of the Reagan administration when President Reagan was shot during an assassination attempt? They did not.

 The other big political and media spin is to say that we should not reduce judges' power just because they make "decisions we don't like." The real objection is to decisions with no basis in the written law or even contrary to the written law.

 Ploys and spin will of course only escalate if activist judges start getting replaced by judges who follow the law. That is the political price to be paid. If people are willing to do the right thing only when there is no cost whatever, that is the very definition of cowardice.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate