Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Rule of Law is a Partisan Issue

That's the message that Texas courts sent today when they removed Judge Bob Perkins from Tom Delay's conspiracy trial...because of his donations to Democratic candidates and causes.

Note, in contrast, that Republicans were not concerned that the partisan fundraising and campaign contributions of card-carrying Republican Ken Starr made him an inappropriate prosecutor against President Bill Clinton.

Republicans want you to believe that all judges are created equal, but some (Democratic) judges are *less* equal than others.

In a sense, this is a revisit to Ontario's recent consideration of Sharia Law--only Ontario made the right decision, and rejected the notion of "special justice for special people."

The American justice system, in theory, is not a partisan system. There is one set of rules for everyone. There is one judiciary for everyone. There is one set of consequences for everyone.

Now of course, anyone who pays attention knows that the playing field of the justice system is not level. Factors of race and class play a huge role in the injustice of how law enforcement is practiced and justice is meted out. However, adding partisan discrimination smacks of McCarthyism.

If law-breaking Republicans don't want to be tried by a judge with Democratic sympathies, they have two options. Number 1: don't break the law. Number 2: pursue a legislative constraint, similar to the Hatch Act, to forbid all judges from any kind of political activity.

Today's small victory by the Delay conspiracy-trial legal team is a loss for Americans, an assault on the legal system, and a jackbooted step forward in the political polarization of the country.

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