The Blog

Runaway Judiciary

Congress is allowed to "intervene and guide or control the exercise of the courts' discretion"--except when it comes to Terri Schiavo.

9:00 PM, Mar 23, 2005 • By HUGH HEWITT
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Lest you think I'm some sort of ignorant red-neck, I have a Ph.D. in History from the University of California. I am deeply troubled by the rise of the rogue courts. Unless there is radical change--revolutionary change--we are doomed.

I don't share my correspondent's pessimism, but I think his anger is very widespread and fuels not only the strong support for Senator Frist's decision to break the Democratic filibusters of judicial nominees, but also a backlash against any Republican who sides with the Democrats on the coming rules change vote.

Tricked-up public opinion polls on the Schiavo case have allowed some commentators to pretend that Congress stumbled politically when it passed the law benefiting Terri's parents. Absurd. It was the right thing to do, and the focus on the facts of the case daily adds to the number of people who know that to be true.

At the same time, the anti-religion bias and rhetoric of the hard left specifically have leapt into public view again, as ordinary people supporting the parents find themselves denounced as fanatics and zealots. Liberal blogger and University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole went so far as to declare that "President George W. Bush and Republican congressional leaders like Tom Delay have taken us one step closer to theocracy on the Muslim Brotherhood model."

This statement earned Cole a place on the Ward Churchill All-Stars and elicited from Professor James Q. Wilson the response that Cole's conclusion "of course is pure nonsense. It is hard to believe that a professor at a major university can utter such silliness, but if you want to hear silliness, sometimes you have to go to a university to hear it."

Whenever the collective attention of the country turns to one drama, all sorts of unexpected revelations occur. In this case, we see confirmed two longstanding assumptions of the center-right: Courts will often wrongly defy Congress and the president; and a large section of the left has nothing but contempt for people of faith.

Hugh Hewitt is the host of a nationally syndicated radio show, and author most recently of Blog: Understanding the Information Reformation That is Changing Your World. His daily blog can be found at