Mr. Minority's "Grumpy OId Fart"  

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mr. Minority is one fine blogger. We sometimes disagree, but we most often agree wholeheartedly. Few are as passionate about the conservative cause as he.

So when he put up this post today about judges who refused to answer a few simple questions, largely about their own State's Constitution, especially since they were all seeking appointments, I took a closer look. Go read it. It's spot on.

Now MrM does entertain his share of trolls, one of which is a normally harmless idiot who calls himself "Grumpy Old Fart". This guy is one of the biggest "shoot the messenger" types around. If it came from Fox or WND, it MUST be bullshit. Or so you'd think. Go read MrM's post again if you think there was anything wrong with this article. Click the link. The point MrM was making is simple: Jurists seeking appointment are going to have to answer some questions. Why not have them be about the law they are supposed to uphold? Nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with the questionnaire. Nothing wrong with WND's publishing it.

Still, the troll felt he had to speak.

Oh great, another WND prevarication.

(Heavy Sigh). Now here's the rest.....of the story:

First of all, here's the full questionaire.

Second, judicial ethics prevents justices from responding to these obviously loaded and political questions. You can read about these ethical rules here. In a nutshell it says that justices should not give any statements that would give the impression that they would pre-judge any case or issue that might come before the court. They are not to get into the muck and mire of Red/Blue food fights.

For instance: Question 22. Rate your judicial philosophy on a scale of 1-10 when approaching the constitution, with "living document" being a 1 and "strict constructionist" being a 10.

Finally, only a bozo who answers those "do you believe in supporting the president in a time of war" questionaires that come in fund raising envelopes could fail to see what this "questionaire" was. There is not a judge or justice in the country that respond to this IVA "questionaire", and only WND would print this as news.

grumpy old fart | 05.17.07 - 2:15 pm |
For starters, I think the question GOF cited (#22) is HIGHLY RELEVANT when making decisions as to who will sit on the bench in a courtroom. Second, he provided a link, and therefore all the ammo I needed to blow his idiocy away. So, just for fun, I researched the Idaho Constitution and REALLY let him have it ...

There's absolutely NOTHING wrong with a SINGLE QUESTION on that questionnaire. Not a single one of these questions was in any way "political" or "loaded". Most of them basically amount to a quiz about what is or isn't constitutionally legal in Idaho.

In fact, here are my answers, as I'm quite willing to answer them all:

1. Agree ("Preamble - We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare do establish this Constitution.")

2. Agree ("ARTICLE I SECTION 1. INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF MAN. All men are by nature free and equal, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property; pursuing happiness and securing safety.")

3. Agree (see #2)

4. Agree ("ARTICLE I SECTION 2. POLITICAL POWER INHERENT IN THE PEOPLE. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for their equal protection and benefit, and they have the right to alter, reform or abolish the same whenever they may deem it necessary; and no special privileges or immunities shall ever be granted that may not be altered, revoked, or repealed by the legislature.")

5. Agree ("ARTICLE I SECTION 4. GUARANTY OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY. The exercise and enjoyment of religious faith and worship shall forever be guaranteed ...")

6. Agree ("ARTICLE I SECTION 4. GUARANTY OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY...but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be construed to dispense with oaths or affirmations, or excuse acts of licentiousness")

7. Agree ("ARTICLE I SECTION 4. GUARANTY OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY... "Bigamy and polygamy are forever prohibited in the state")

8. Agree ("ARTICLE I SECTION 9. FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Every person may freely speak, write and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.")

9. Agree ("ARTICLE I SECTION 13. GUARANTIES IN CRIMINAL ACTIONS AND DUE PROCESS OF LAW... No person shall be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense; nor be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.")

10. Agree ("ARTICLE I SECTION 11. RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. The people have the right to keep and bear arms, which right shall not be abridged...")

11. Agree ("ARTICLE I SECTION 11. RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS... No law shall impose licensure, registration or special taxation on the ownership or possession of firearms or ammunition.")

12. Agree ("ARTICLE I SECTION 11. RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS... Nor shall any law permit the confiscation of firearms, except those actually used in the commission of a felony.")

13. Agree ("ARTICLE I SECTION 14. RIGHT OF EMINENT DOMAIN. The necessary use of lands for ... or any other use necessary to the complete development of the material resources of the state ... s hereby declared to be a public use, and subject to the regulation and control of the state.")

14. Agree ("ARTICLE I SECTION 20. NO PROPERTY QUALIFICATION REQUIRED OF ELECTORS - EXCEPTIONS. No property qualifications shall ever be required for any person to vote or hold office except in school elections, or elections creating indebtedness, or in irrigation district elections, as to which last-named elections the legislature may restrict the voters to land owners.")

15. Agree ("Article II SECTION 1. DEPARTMENTS OF GOVERNMENT. The powers of the government of this state are divided into three distinct departments, the legislative, executive and judicial; and no person or collection of persons charged with the exercise of powers properly belonging to one of these departments shall exercise any powers properly belonging to either of the others, except as in this constitution expressly directed or permitted.")

16. I personally disagree ... haven't been able to find a reference with regard to the philosophy of the Idaho Constitution ... this is my answer for now ...

17. Agree (at least with regard to the Idaho Constitution as I would be expected to enforce as a judge in Idaho - "Article III SECTION 24. PROMOTION OF TEMPERANCE AND MORALITY. The first concern of all good government is the virtue and sobriety of the people, and the purity of the home. The legislature should further all wise and well directed efforts for the promotion of temperance and morality.") even though I personally disagree and am more in agreement with the philosophy expressed by the Founders ...(Declaration if Independence - "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,.. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed") .. still, this is about being a judge in Idaho, not a patriot in general.

18. Agree (see references for #17 - again, I'm not personally in agreement, but I would be bound by the Idaho Constitution as a jurist in that state).

19. Agree ("Article III SECTION 28. MARRIAGE. A marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.")

20. Agree ("Article IV SECTION 11. DISAPPROVAL OF APPROPRIATION BILLS. The governor shall have power to disapprove of any item or items of any bill making appropriations of money embracing distinct items ...")

21. Scalia. This is a personal reference question designed to bring forth an understanding of the philosophical beliefs of the person answering.

22. 10. Again, another question designed to bring forth a clear understanding of the philosophical beliefs of the person answering the question.

23. Reagan. Yet again. A question brought forth to give a clear understanding of the person's guiding philosophy.

The last three questions are the most important, as they give a better understanding of exactly what to expect from the judge in question.

#16 is interesting. I imagine casino gambling may be covered in an amendment somewhere, but I just wasn't able to dig up the reference. I personally have no problem with it myself, but then again, I make a lot of money performing in casinos. If the Idaho Constitution forbids it, though, it requires an amendment for there to be casino gambling there.

ALL of the rest of the questions were taken directly from the Idaho Constitution, which is exactly what these judges are supposed to be using to make their decisions when they're on the bench.

3 or 4 questions involving personal philosophy. and 19 or 20 taken directly from the state's governing document. And those 3 or 4 personal questions were HIGHLY RELEVANT in any decision as to who should be appointed to enforce the provisions implied in the other 19 or 20.

I hope you weren't trying to call this questionnaire one of those "do you believe in supporting the president in a time of war" questionnaires in your remark. That would betray you as a fool.

Grumpy Old Fart, indeed.


And he was the one who provided the link the the "full questionnaire". Make your bed; sleep in it.