Taking action, Part 2, the judicial arena
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Tue Feb 21, 2006 at 02:14:09 PM EST
Promised at the end of this post were specific actions you can take to counter the Religious Right. Recently, I made suggestions of actions you can take in two arenas: electoral politics and training the next generation.

Now I'll take up the arena of America's courts.
The Religious Right seeks political and cultural dominance (that is, worldly power:  a less-than-Christ-like pearl that Jesus eschewed, but that the Religious Right seems hungrily drawn to).

One favored arena in which the Religious Right craves power and plays for keeps is THE COURTS.

I'll now discuss two mechanisms the Religious Right uses in this arena. One mechanism the Religious Right uses is packing courts with conservative activist judges.

>Something you can do in this arena: Familiarize yourself with the process of how judges get appointed or elected in your state (you can find out at the Justice At Stake website) and get involved.

Understand that if judges are elected in your state, there are probably strict limits on how they can campaign for their judgeship; nonetheless, there will be campaigns of sorts, and there are going to be ways for you to find out where those judicial candidates stand on issues. (One way might be through asking your local political club to send a questionnaire to judicial candidates.)

>Something else you can do in this arena, regardless of whether or not judges in your state are elected: Do a Google search on the name of someone up for election or appointment to be a judge. That person is likely to be a judge already, and their appointment is to a higher post. In that case, his or her prior rulings might be online. Find out. If the person's rulings are opposed to the Separation of Church and States, then you should encourage others to vote against him or her, or if the judicial process is by-appointment, write your governor and express your displeasure, and--if applicable--write your state legislators to ask them to oppose confirming the appointment.

A second mechanism the Religious Right uses in the arena of our courts is promoting conservative judicial philosophy. Consider again the case of Patrick Henry College, a school that pipelines young talent to the ACLJ, which is the Religious Right's answer to the ACLU.

There are so few think tanks specifically dedicated to progressive legal philosophy or training young attorneys that--frighteningly--there are limited options for how you can directly promote progressive legal philosophy. (A quick Google search on phrases like "liberal legal philosophy" and "judicial progressivism" found almost entirely attacks against the same by various authors, organizations, editorials, and blogs.)

However, there are organizations that battle in the courts for progressive causes, and

>Something you can do is join them, donate money, and get their action alerts. Such worthies include:

Americans United for the Separation of Church & State
Lambda Legal Defense, and of course
the ACLU.

I invite you to get involved with the battle for America's courts. The Religious Right once thought that changing America's judicial landscape was their most unlikely victory. To their pleasant surprise, they've enjoyed tremendous success; but, only after decades of work--hard work.

We have catching up to do.




Display:
but elected judges lead to the very poorest rulings - all outcome (worse than results-oriented) based.  

I think you are right: we have to start countering these partisan training institutions on the right with ones of our own on the left.  

by montpellier on Wed Feb 22, 2006 at 02:54:24 PM EST



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