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Alabama Judge Declares War on U.S. Supreme Court
|Last Edited||RP Mar 03, 2006 07:22pm|
|News Date||Saturday, March 4, 2006 01:15:00 AM UTC0:0|
|Description||Last month, Parker wrote an op-ed in The Birmingham News, attacking the high court's "blatant judicial tyranny." The case that had gotten him roaring was the outcome in 2005's Roper v. Simmons, which tossed out the death penalty for inmates who were under 18 at the time of their crimes. |
It was a blistering opening salvo in what Parker hopes will be a wide re-examination of the role of the Supreme Court ahead of the fight over the next vacancy. And despite a certain level of nomination fatigue in Washington, in Parker's view that vacancy can't come soon enough.
In the column, Parker called for what could be considered an act of judicial sedition. Because Roper was based, he wrote, on the application of foreign law (a notion its author, Justice Anthony Kennedy, would dispute), it was an "unconstitutional opinion" that his Alabama colleagues should "actively resist."
"State supreme court judges should not follow obviously wrong decisions simply because they are precedents," he wrote.
"It does no good to possess conservative credentials," he wrote, "if you surrender them before joining the battle."
There is fear that he will not follow Supreme Court precedents," says Stevenson. "Judges express dissent or disapproval all the time, but they apply decisions they do not agree with. The idea that a judge can refuse to follow a decision he does not like seems to be the very definition of the kind of judicial activism he criticizes."
During the campaign, as documented by the Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center, Parker handed out Confederate flags, made appearances with pro-Confederate groups, and attended a birthday party for the late Nathan Bedford Forrest, founder of the original Ku Klux Klan.
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