It is contorted decisions like the one the Colorado Supreme Court made yesterday regarding the anti-illegal immigration initiative that undermine citizens’ respect for the judiciary. As has been proven again and again, naked partisanship no longer ends at the courtroom door.
And inevitably, when the exalted robes stretch common sense and logic to play partisan politics, it settles nothing. Instead, it ratchets up the pressure of frustrated citizens and elected representatives. Thus today we read in the Denver Post that Republican House Minority Leader Mike May is calling for a special legislative session to address the issue. As the article points out, it is indeed a longshot that such a session would win the needed two-thirds approval.
Since the illegal immigration issue is not going away, we can only hope there is some way Defend Colorado Now can regroup and successfully press its case.
The larger point is not the substance of the immigration issue itself, but the blatant judicial usurpation that threatens Constitutional rights, as the editors of the Rocky Mountain News so eloquently argued today.
With even keener wit and insight, Joshua also quite ably deconstructed “Exhibit A” in the case for the “postmodern judiciary,” and the frightening tyranny that looms behind yesterday’s decision. With the single-subject rule construed so broadly, the high court can almost at whim accept or reject initiatives in the place of a popular vote, and according to its own timing.
Perhaps ironically, the state Supreme Court signed off on John Andrews’ other initiative – the one for judicial term limits. The case for judicial term limits has been made even stronger today by the hollowness of some opponents’ arguments, like Democrat Secretary of State candidate Ken Gordon:
Ken Gordon, a lawyer and majority leader of the Colorado Senate, called the idea of term-limiting judges “crazy” and said judges must be protected from political whims.
“This is anti-judicial sentiment that is stirred up by certain political elements, and I think it is unjustified,” Gordon, D-Denver, said. “A judge’s job is frequently to protect somebody’s rights. And rights are frequently unpopular.”
Gordon may want to rethink his position that the status quo keeps judges “protected from political whims.” I am not prepared to say whether the judicial term limits initiative is the answer, but the current state of affairs bodes too much harm to do nothing indefinitely.