Thursday :: Jan 1, 2004

Sauce For The Gander

by pessimist

Rehnquist scolds Congress over reducing judges' discretion in sentencing

Congress should have sought the judiciary's advice before limiting the ability of judges to impose lighter sentences than specified in federal guidelines, the nation's top judge says.

"During the last year, it seems that the traditional interchange between the Congress and the Judiciary broke down when Congress enacted what is known as the Protect Act, making some rather dramatic changes to the laws governing the federal sentencing process," Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist wrote Thursday in his annual report on the state of the judiciary.

I have just one thing to say to you about this, Mr. Chief Justice:


It was OK for the Supreme Court to interfere in the role of elections in the determination of the Executive branch but it's not OK for the Legislative branch to determine the role of the courts?

For somene who chairs the only Court in US History to decree an electoral loser President, in violation of the Constitution, to complain about interference in the role of the courts is an outrage. True to the current makeup of too many Republicans, there is a double standard at work. You can't have it both ways, Mr. Rehnquist.

Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla. sponsored this rider to an anti-crime bill passed by Congress and signed by pResident Bush last April. It was supported by Attorney General John Ashcroft, who never lets an opportunity to rule by arbitrary decree pass unnoticed.

This Feeney Amendment reduced federal judges' discretion in sentencing criminals, and required reports to Congress on any judge who departs from sentencing guidelines. I have not yet determined just who is to gather this information for the reports.

Are you beginning to feel the chill of fascism descending upon the country you presume to pass judgement upon? Are you beginning to notice that it's going to be applied to you as well?

Collecting this information on judges, Rehnquist said, is "troubling." He said cataloguing such data "could appear to be an unwarranted and ill-considered effort to intimidate individual judges in the performance of their judicial duties."

Welcome to The New World Order you helped to launch, Mr. Rehnquist. Are we now having second thoughts? It's too late now!

Your disregard of the Constitutional provisions for disputed elections set the tone for what has happened since. You abrogated your duty in pusuiit of the partisan advantage you have pursued since you were a GOP hack in Arizona attempting to block the passage and enforcement of Civil Rights legislation.

He complained that the measure changing judges' sentencing authority was enacted "without any consideration of the views of the judiciary."

You didn't care about the views of the American voters in 2000, William.

In the report, the chief judge lectured Congress on the importance of a strong working relationship between the judicial and legislative branches, and he cited historical examples in which the two arms of government consulted on drafting laws. He added, "It surely improves the legislative process at least to ask the judiciary its views on such a significant piece of legislation."

What's a mattah, Willie? Why should you be treated any differently than most of the rest of us? You already exceeded your usefulness to the fascists taking over your country. Now that you are of no use to them, you have been discarded to the trash heap where the rest of us were relegated by the Ultra-Right-Wing Conspiracy you thought you were a part of. Did you really think they were going to cut you in on the action?

You certainly are a naive one, Billy-Boy!

Mary Cheh, a law professor at George Washington University Law School, said Rehnquist has a legitimate complaint. Congress adopted "rules and procedures that really are quite unacceptable as far as the judges go because it so restricts their discretion and so straightjackets the process that it really has caused a lot of consternation," she said. The new law means "the sentencing process is even more removed from the judge ... and placed more heavily in the hands of prosecutors."

I think it's clear why Ashcroft favors this act. It's so much easier to merely accuse and sentence those deemed criminal rather than go through the trouble of making an effort to hold a fair trial and determine guilt or innocence. Look at how much time would have been saved in the cases of the Washington Snipers - their corpses might already be decorating one of the Potomac bridges as a warning to the Enemies of the State.

The Judicial Conference of the United States -- a 27-judge body that sets policy for federal trial judges, appeals judges and others -- voted in September to support overturning the law.

And we are just now hearing about this?

Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and other Democrats have introduced legislation that would nullify the Feeney amendment.

These guys were asleep at the switch as well. Unless these guys can reach the American public, a questionable result at best, anyone who can count the congressional votes the GOP controls will easily determine that this effort is doomed.

The election process corrupted, the judiciary nullified, the legislative branch a mere rubber stamp for an Imperial Presidency well on its way to ruling by fiat.

I hope you're very proud of yourself MISTER Chief Justice. See you in the Gulag.

pessimist :: 1:43 PM :: Comments (4) :: Digg It!