Another Reason Not To Vote For Democrats

red states rule

Senior Member
May 30, 2006
With the election just around the corner, here is another reason not to vote for Democrats.

Detroit Judges: Will Voters Connect the Dots?
By Thomas Bray

If anybody needed a reason to think twice about delivering the Senate - and the White House - to the Democrats, they need only take a close look at two of the more liberal judges on the federal district court in Detroit.

First up, of course, is Anna Diggs Taylor, the Jimmy Carter appointee who issued a hyperventilating decision last week declaring the Bush wiretaps of foreign telephone calls unconstitutional. The legal reasoning in the decision - or rather the lack of it -- has embarrassed even some of the liberal commentariat. The decision is on hold pending an appeal by the government.

Next up may be Arthur Tarnow, appointed to the federal bench in 1998 by Bill Clinton, who appears to be taking seriously an effort by a band of radical black activists seeking to block a referendum that would bar preferential state hiring and admissions. Public polls suggest the referendum might be defeated if the vote were held today, but the activists don't want to take any chances. They claim that up to 136,000 black voters were duped by petition gatherers into believing that the measure wouldn't affect current practices - though each petition they signed carried the exact wording of the measure at the top of the page.

Perhaps Judge Tarnow, despite his own prior record as a foot soldier for the civil rights movement, will resist the temptation to enjoin the referendum. Surely even he can see the absurdity of citing the Voting Rights Act as a reason to prevent people, including blacks, from voting, much less intruding the federal government even deeper into state elections. The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, as it's known, has already been given the go-ahead by the state supreme court and the elected secretary of state.

And as the state's long-serving elections director, Chris Thomas, widely respected for his nonpartisan approach to things, testified before Tarnow's court, even if all the signatures obtained in mostly black areas of Michigan were disallowed, the referendum still gained more than enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in November. And the last-ditch argument of the radicals, that a "long-dormant referendum practice" is being substitute for "normal methods of representative democracy," is simply laughable. From Michigan to California, that most of the debate now is precisely about how to make the practice more "dormant."

But Tarnow's refusal to toss the case out of court already may be telling. And the Michigan preference debate has been tainted by liberal activism from the start - some of which involved the aforementioned Judge Anna Diggs Taylor, author of the wiretap decision.

When Taylor served as chief judge of the Detroit federal court several years ago, she was caught trying to take one of the University of Michigan racial preference cases out of the hands of the sitting judge, Bernard Friedman (himself now the chief judge of the Detroit district court). Friedman blasted her action as "highly irregular" - among other things, Taylor was married to a University of Michigan regent - and she beat a hasty retreat.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals voted 5-to-4 to uphold the University of Michigan (which ultimately got a split decision from the Supreme Court). But again there were charges of monkey business: a conservative appeals court judge charged that the chief judge of that body, a Democratic appointee, had taken actions to speed up consideration of the matter before the U.S. Senate could confirm another Bush appointee to its ranks. If the appointee had been given a chance to vote, the result might have been quite different.

If conservative judges had tried to do such things, of course, the outcry would have been deafening. At both the district and appeals court levels they were one-day stories - too complex, you see, to be of much interest to readers.

Let's hope voters are paying attention. If the polls are right, we may be getting a lot more judges who place their activist bona fides above the rule of law. In the long run that won't be good for the civil liberties about which the left is now crying such crocodile tears. Alas, it may be difficult for voters to connect the dots, thanks to a press corps too much in thrall to political correctness to even acknowledge the dots.

Tom Bray writes columns for The Detroit News and Email: [email protected]

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