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Judges Rule With Political Agenda

Aug 18, 2007
On July 6 there was an article on the Washington Times website about a ruling given by a federal appeals court panel in Cincinnati challenging the Bush Administrations claim to be able to conduct secret surveillance on individuals within the United States. The panel ruled in favor of the Bush side in a 2-1 ruling.

In explaining the ruling the article also pointed out who had appointed each judge to their position on the bench. There was one judge appointed by former President Clinton, one was appointed by George Bush Senior, and the third was appointed by the current President.

First of all it seems like the two Republicans should have recused themselves from the case. Especially the one appointed by the current administration. Needless to say, the two Republican appointees ruled in favor of the Bush Administration. The Democratic appointee ruled in favor of the Plaintiff.

I wonder how often this type of thing happens. People do not pay much attention to what happens in courts across the country until maybe some high profile case reaches the Supreme Court. But, we know one of the agendas of the Bush Administration has been to place what they call conservative judges on the bench where ever they can. Not much attention is given to these appointments. But, they will still be there when BushCo is long gone.

So how do you impeach a judge? My reading shows it is done the same way a President is impeached. A formal accusation and impeachment in the House of Representatives and then a trial in the Senate. So really it is up to the congress to take action which I guess is good and bad. The Congress does not just jump into things like this because I could see where this could get out of hand. Some quick glances at some reactionary/conservative blogs shows calls for impeachment of judges all over the place.

The grounds for impeachment are the usual "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" like bribery, perjury, and treason which are obvious. But really "High Crimes and
Misdemeanors" is not very specific. Abuse of power and serious misconduct are impeachable offenses but just disagreeing for political reasons is not. Once again, the blogs mentioned above seem to consider impeachable offenses to include a difference over ones world view in general.

I guess I thought at one time that when a person became a judge the politics were left behind and we got rulings based on the law. I probably was just naive to think this was the case. The judges are still people. It just seems that in recent years the polarization of our society has overrun just about everything.
About the Author
Michael Dappert is a co-founder of Winco, Inc., a provider of wireless internet access to small communities in West Central Illinois. More articles and discussion can be found at Mike's Garden Blog and discusses a wide range of topics at Flyoverfolks.com .
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