Ashcroft warns judges against interpreting law
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Like a man who says, “And another thing” ten hours after loosing an argument, Departing Secretary of Justice John Ashcroft spoke his mind about what he believes should be the role of federal judges.
it is unclear who Ashcroft considers qualified to interpret the constitution
While speaking at the Federalist Society's national convention on Friday, Ashcroft claimed that "a profoundly disturbing trend" had started amongst federal judges to interfere or “judge” the actions of the President during a time of war. It is not known whether Ashcroft was referring to the War on Terror or the War on Drugs, neither of which have been brought to a decisive end. One thing that can be certain is that he was not speaking about the war with Iraq, in which President Bush, upon receiving confidential communications intelligence from Publishers Clearinghouse, has declared himself already a winner.
While it is unclear who Ashcroft considers qualified to interpret the constitution, one thing is clear: One of these people is John Ashcroft. Ashcroft believes that with their reckless and offhanded treatment of the constitution, judges have weakened the efforts of the War on Terror. Wearing his red robes of office, he went on to accuse federal judges of heresy by word, heresy by deed, and heresy by action.
Most judges work almost exclusively in interpreting and applying the law.
Ashcroft stated, "Courts are not equipped to execute the law.” He then added, “They are not accountable to the people.” This will come as a blow to many judges who have studied for many years so that they might specialize in legal work. Most judges work almost exclusively in interpreting and applying the law. Without the laws to interpret, many judges’ duties will be confined to choosing baked goods at state fairs, determining “best babies” and overseeing beauty competitions.
Surprising, a dissenting opinion came from the American Civil Liberties Union, a longtime ally of Ashcroft in securing the rights of Americans. In a statement, Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Director, said “Today's comments reflect a disturbing view of the role of the courts and of Congress in providing checks and balances to the president's powers”, thus earning him a permanent position on Ashcroft’s “Un-American” list.