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Unassisted
04-28-2005, 09:58 AM
This judge certainly delivers a blunt assessment of the situation. Seems like this nomination epitomizes the conflict in the Senate over judicial nominations.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-brown26apr26,0,137245,print.story?coll=la-home-headlines

Faith 'War' Rages in U.S., Judge Says

A Bush nominee central to the Senate's judicial controversy criticizes secular humanists.

By Peter Wallsten
Times Staff Writer

April 26, 2005

WASHINGTON — Just days after a bitterly divided Senate committee voted along party lines to approve her nomination as a federal appellate court judge, California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown told an audience Sunday that people of faith were embroiled in a "war" against secular humanists who threatened to divorce America from its religious roots, according to a newspaper account of the speech.

Brown's remarks come as a partisan battle over judges has evolved into a national debate over the proper mix of God and government and as Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) ponders changing the chamber's rules to prevent Democrats from using procedural moves to block confirmation of conservative jurists such as Brown.

Her comments to a gathering of Roman Catholic legal professionals in Darien, Conn., came on the same day as "Justice Sunday: Stop the Filibuster Against People of Faith," a program produced by evangelical leaders and simulcast on the Internet and in homes and churches around the country. It was designed to paint opponents of Bush's judicial nominees as intolerant of believers.

Though unrelated to that program, Brown's remarks sounded similar themes.

"There seems to have been no time since the Civil War that this country was so bitterly divided. It's not a shooting war, but it is a war," she said, according to a report published Monday in the Stamford Advocate.

"These are perilous times for people of faith," she said, "not in the sense that we are going to lose our lives, but in the sense that it will cost you something if you are a person of faith who stands up for what you believe in and say those things out loud."

A spokeswoman for the California Supreme Court, Lynn Holton, said no text was available because "it was a talk, not a speech." Brown's office did not dispute the newspaper's account.

The Advocate quoted Brown as lamenting that America had moved away from the religious traditions on which it was founded.

"When we move away from that, we change our whole conception of the most significant idea that America has to offer, which is this idea of human freedom and this notion of liberty," she said.

She added that atheism "handed human destiny over to the great god, autonomy, and this is quite a different idea of freedom…. Freedom then becomes willfulness."

Brown's remarks drew praise Monday from one of the nation's most prominent evangelical leaders, Gary Bauer, president of the socially conservative advocacy group American Values.

"No wonder the radical left opposes her," Bauer wrote in an e-mail to supporters. "Janice Rogers Brown understands the great culture war raging in America. That is why the abortion crowd, the homosexual rights movement and the radical secularists are all demanding that Senate liberals block her confirmation."

Brown was first nominated by President Bush in 2003 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, an appointment considered a steppingstone to the U.S. Supreme Court. She has emerged as one of the president's most controversial judicial nominees — and one of the conservative movement's favorite examples of Democratic delays.

The nominations of Brown and nine other conservatives have been central to a bitter fight that both sides view as a precursor to an ideological brawl over replacing Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who has cancer.

Democrats blocked Brown's confirmation by the full Senate, charging that she held extremist views that interfere with her ability to render objective judgments. She has a history of delivering provocative speeches.

Democrats have questioned speeches in which she called the New Deal the "triumph of our socialist revolution." She has described herself as a "true conservative" who believes that "where the government moves in, community retreats, civil society disintegrates…. The result is a debased, debauched culture which finds moral depravity entertaining and virtue contemptible."

Questioned in 2003 about her comments, Brown conceded that she was blunt when addressing conservative audiences.

"I don't have a speechwriter," she said. "I do these myself. And it speaks for itself."

As the article describing Brown's remarks was circulated Monday on websites and in e-mails, one advocacy group opposing Bush's nominees charged that her remarks were a timely reminder of why the California judge should not be promoted.

"It's so shocking that in the middle of this battle she would say such extraordinarily intemperate things," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Brown's comments came at a breakfast following the Red Mass, an annual spring gathering of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn.

In previous years, speakers at the diocese's breakfast have included former appellate Judge Robert Bork, whose nomination to the Supreme Court was defeated by the Senate in 1987, and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Two religious leaders who heard Brown speak Sunday had only praise. The Rev. Michael R. Moynihan, pastor of a church in Greenwich, Conn., and an organizer of the Red Mass, said he was impressed with Brown.

"She caused all of us to reflect more profoundly on the intersection between law and morality, and on the role of religion in shaping those virtues and values, which are crucial to our democratic way of life," said Bishop William E. Lori, the head of the Bridgeport diocese, who invited Brown to address the group.

RedFanAlways1966
04-28-2005, 10:31 AM
Nothing wrong with her comments. It is too bad that people of faith sometimes are made out to be evil. I was under the impression that most religious people are the furthest thing from evil. Of course all crowds have bad apples. However, she does not seem to be a pedophile priest or anything of the sort. So why is she so bad? Religion... such a terrible thing. Has she ever made a ruling in which religion was the sole basis for her decision? I'd love to see these "advocacy groups" show some proof of that. Or the fact that she states that she is religious and that she attends church... is that all these "advocacy groups" need? If so, that is pathetic and EXTREME.

Anyhow... I wonder how many voters in this great country are also religious or attend a church on a regular basis? Seems as though these "advocacy groups" can do more damage to the Democrats than good. Issue 1 here in Ohio (gay marriage) seemed to bring a lot of religious types to the polls. And talk like this can cause more religious people to cast their votes.

So has this lady done anything wrong by making these comments? Not as far as I can tell. But doing wrong may be more "extremist type behavior" on the other side which will drive more people to the voting stations. Like I said... issue 1 in Ohio. Like it or not, vote for it or not... it seemed to work. Religion is still a powerful thing when it comes to getting votes.

Puffy
04-28-2005, 10:35 AM
The article was written by Peter Wallsten. Thats all I need to know, this is pure crap. Wallsten is a Rush Limbaugh wannabe, and no one can take anything he writes seriously. This article is therefore clearly biased and leaves out facts, facts relevant to whatever the article is about.

:mooner:

Ravenlord
04-28-2005, 10:58 AM
am i the only person who can have faith but be able to divorce it from politics?

registerthis
04-28-2005, 11:31 AM
am i the only person who can have faith but be able to divorce it from politics?
No, that's (supposedly) the foundation of this entire country.


These are perilous times for people of faith," she said, "not in the sense that we are going to lose our lives, but in the sense that it will cost you something if you are a person of faith who stands up for what you believe in and say those things out loud.
Absolute bollocks. I'm a Christian, and have been open with my faith to many people--never once have I ever felt I was "costing something" by doing it. The paranoia from the evangelical Christian right is fueling this entire "debate."

I get sick of seeing all these "people of faith" attempting to paint themselves as victims of some sort of culture war.

Johnny Footstool
04-28-2005, 11:38 AM
It is too bad that people of faith sometimes are made out to be evil.

Sometimes they are evil. Hiding behind their faith makes them even more evil in my book.


I get sick of seeing all these "people of faith" attempting to paint themselves as victims of some sort of culture war.

In my experience, certain types of people love to feel persecuted, like they are the underdogs, like the world is against them and their faith is the only thing keeping them going. Some people need to invent that kind of drama to feel good about themselves.

Chip R
04-28-2005, 01:43 PM
In my experience, certain types of people love to feel persecuted, like they are the underdogs, like the world is against them.... Some people need to invent that kind of drama to feel good about themselves.
Like this guy? ;)

http://www.harrywalker.com/photos/Baker_Dusty.jpg

RBA
04-28-2005, 01:50 PM
Sometimes they are evil. Hiding behind their faith makes them even more evil in my book.



In my experience, certain types of people love to feel persecuted, like they are the underdogs, like the world is against them and their faith is the only thing keeping them going. Some people need to invent that kind of drama to feel good about themselves.

Beware of Wolves in Sheeps clothing.

I have learned through the years this is sound advice.

Mutaman
04-28-2005, 02:30 PM
Absolute bollocks.

iIs it ok to say "bollocks" here?

RosieRed
04-28-2005, 02:48 PM
The Advocate quoted Brown as lamenting that America had moved away from the religious traditions on which it was founded.

"When we move away from that, we change our whole conception of the most significant idea that America has to offer, which is this idea of human freedom and this notion of liberty," she said.

I really don't understand what she's trying to say here. That we need religion in order to maintain the idea of human freedom? I don't get it.

RedFanAlways1966
04-28-2005, 03:09 PM
I really don't understand what she's trying to say here. That we need religion in order to maintain the idea of human freedom? I don't get it.

Perhaps the wording is based on the audience. The audience was not a bunch of atheists or gays, but the Roman Catholic legal professionals. For those not familiar with this technique... see Pres. Bill Clinton.

However, that is coming from The Advocate. The Advocate, for those who do not know, is a Gay & Lesbian news magazine. So perhaps their "story" is a bit biased. Not sure b/c I do not read their news. But I doubt that The Advocate has much good to say about any church-related speech or anyone perceived as a conservative. Whatcha think, Puffy? Tell us about The Advocate. I am sure you are familiar with them and their writings, since you seem familiar with Wallsten. Do tell.

RosieRed
04-28-2005, 03:18 PM
Perhaps the wording is based on the audience. The audience was not a bunch of atheists or gays, but the Roman Catholic legal professionals. For those not familiar with this technique... see Pres. Bill Clinton.

I don't care who she was talking to; I still don't understand the comment.

registerthis
04-28-2005, 03:29 PM
I don't care who she was talking to; I still don't understand the comment.
Neither do I. Human freedom and liberty do not depend on a foundation in religion in order to prosper.

RedFanAlways1966
04-28-2005, 03:34 PM
I don't care who she was talking to; I still don't understand the comment.

Seems like her audience understood it. And it sounds like they like it and her other comments. I am sure that was her goal. Sounds like she accomplished her goal. She spoke to "her audience that day". Her audience is not RZ.

Probably bull anyhow. Puffy says so.

RedFanAlways1966
04-28-2005, 03:35 PM
Neither do I. Human freedom and liberty do not depend on a foundation in religion in order to prosper.

With all due respect.... you say you too do not understand the comment and then you give your definition of what the comment means.

:confused:

Rojo
04-28-2005, 03:36 PM
So perhaps their "story" is a bit biased.

Who cares. They're her quotes.

Puffy
04-28-2005, 03:39 PM
Seems like her audience understood it. And it sounds like they like it and her other comments. I am sure that was her goal. Sounds like she accomplished her goal. She spoke to "her audience that day". Her audience is not RZ.

Probably bull anyhow. Puffy says so.

Do you see the :mooner: at the bottom of my post? I have no idea who this guy is, and have no idea if he is biased. I was making a joke b/c you tend to always bring up the author whenever there is an article which you disagree with.

But, apparently, you cannot take a joke, so I will just say sorry, and please leave me out of this because, frankly, I don't care about her or her comments.

RedFanAlways1966
04-28-2005, 03:40 PM
Who cares. They're her quotes.

I assume you heard it firsthand or just what you have read?

One quote can be interpreted in many ways. You know this, Rojo. Mr. Wellsten is a far-left leaner. Google him up... although I suspect that you know of him already. Wellsten IMO is part of the problem for people who vote different than myself. Very extreme in his writings. I hope people like him keep getting the limelight.

It is too bad that freedom of speech is only for certain people. I am sure (HA!) that the ACLU would be upset at you all for this. Any cases that this lady based her decision on religion when interpreting laws in the United States? Throw them out here for all to see. If not, then there is not a problem.

Jaycint
04-28-2005, 03:43 PM
Who cares. They're her quotes.

Yeah but why do I get the feeling that if this were a story coming from a conservative publication with a person's exact quotes that some on here would be attacking the type of publication and claiming a biased slant.

RedFanAlways1966
04-28-2005, 03:44 PM
Do you see the :mooner: at the bottom of my post? I have no idea who this guy is, and have no idea if he is biased. I was making a joke b/c you tend to always bring up the author whenever there is an article which you disagree with.

But, apparently, you cannot take a joke, so I will just say sorry, and please leave me out of this because, frankly, I don't care about her or her comments.

Just jokin' back atcha. I knew what you meant and where you were coming from on your comments. You are right though... always need to consider the source.

I did not bring you into this... you did that. I'll remember how sensitive you are in the future!

Peace! :mooner: :)

Ravenlord
04-28-2005, 03:46 PM
Any cases that this lady based her decision on religion when interpreting laws in the United States? Throw them out here for all to see. If not, then there is not a problem.that's the first thing in this thread that's made sense.

Puffy
04-28-2005, 03:46 PM
I assume you heard it firsthand or just what you have read?

One quote can be interpreted in many ways. You know this, Rojo. Mr. Wellsten is a far-left leaner. Google him up... although I suspect that you know of him already. Wellsten IMO is part of the problem for people who vote different than myself. Very extreme in his writings. I hope people like him keep getting the limelight.

It is too bad that freedom of speech is only for certain people. I am sure (HA!) that the ACLU would be upset at you all for this. Any cases that this lady based her decision on religion when interpreting laws in the United States? Throw them out here for all to see. If not, then there is not a problem.

I'm not sensitive at all - I just am avoiding political topics. And if you were joking back then one of the emoticons would have conveyed that, and thus I would have known.

RosieRed
04-28-2005, 03:46 PM
Seems like her audience understood it. And it sounds like they like it and her other comments. I am sure that was her goal. Sounds like she accomplished her goal. She spoke to "her audience that day". Her audience is not RZ.

Probably bull anyhow. Puffy says so.

If she's nominated to be a federal appellate court judge, I'd say "her audience" is the whole country.

I'm just asking what she means. I think there might be something wrong with that comment, so I'm trying to get clarification and not jump to conclusions. You said there was "nothing wrong with her comments." I presume that means you understand them.

So can you tell me what she means by that comment?

RedFanAlways1966
04-28-2005, 03:52 PM
I'm not sensitive at all - I just am avoiding political topics. And if you were joking back then one of the emoticons would have conveyed that, and thus I would have known.

It's all cool, Puffy. I guess some of our political talks of old made your joke hit below the belt a bit. But it was funny! And I ripped into an author yesterday, so I asked for it.

My apologies. :)

Rojo
04-28-2005, 03:53 PM
I assume you heard it firsthand or just what you have read?

Are you implying they put words in her mouth?


Yeah but why do I get the feeling that if this were a story coming from a conservative publication with a person's exact quotes that some on here would be attacking the type of publication and claiming a biased slant.

I don't know why you get that feeling.

registerthis
04-28-2005, 03:55 PM
With all due respect.... you say you too do not understand the comment and then you give your definition of what the comment means.

:confused:
Meaning I don't understand why she would think otherwise--as in, why does a federal judge think that liberty and freedom cannot exist without religion?

That is what I don't understand about her comment.

Jaycint
04-28-2005, 03:56 PM
I don't know why you get that feeling.


Oh, I know exactly why I do, the question was rhetorical.

Rojo
04-28-2005, 04:00 PM
Oh, I know exactly why I do, the question was rhetorical.

My only guess is because its an easy deflection.

BTW, Brown has the lowest American Bar Association passing rating. But then again, this is about politics.

PS: I'm sure the ABA is part of the cabal arrayed against God-and-freedom lovers everywhere.

registerthis
04-28-2005, 04:00 PM
Justice Janice Rogers Brown (http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=12550)

RedFanAlways1966
04-28-2005, 04:01 PM
If she's nominated to be a federal appellate court judge, I'd say "her audience" is the whole country.

I'm just asking what she means. I think there might be something wrong with that comment, so I'm trying to get clarification and not jump to conclusions. You said there was "nothing wrong with her comments." I presume that means you understand them.

So can you tell me what she means by that comment?

I am not sure that I agree with the whole country is her audience, Rosie. She was speaking to a certain group of people when her comments were made. Granted, future appointments could depend on words that come out of her mouth now. And this is the decision of the president (appointing) and the congressional committee (vote on it). Technically we do elect the president and the members of congressional committees, so you are right to a degree.

Honestly I do not care about the meaning of her comments. At least not as they are reported by The Advocate. There is no doubt that The Advocate has a bias (like Jerry Falwell has a bias... been in a much-much diff. way). So when I hear news from a source that is not known to be objective (politically), I take it with a grain of salt and do not read too much into it. Now if she had said something to the degree of "we must call all illegal aliens", then I might be alarmed. She seems to be a religious person and perhaps firmly believes in her religion. But unless she makes rulings (her job as a judge, not as a speaker) based on religion, then I do not care about these sort of comments. If she starts ruling on law interpretations bsed on only religion, then I will call her out as well.

Rojo
04-28-2005, 04:09 PM
So when I hear news from a source that is not known to be objective (politically), I take it with a grain of salt and do not read too much into it.

Who decides what's "objective"? And isn't that decision subjective?

RedFanAlways1966
04-28-2005, 04:09 PM
BTW, Brown has the lowest American Bar Association passing rating. But then again, this is about politics.

PS: I'm sure the ABA is part of the cabal arrayed against God-and-freedom lovers everywhere.

And what does the ABA rating have to do with this story?

But thanks for that explanation. An easy target for The Advocate and others with the same political leanings as The Advocate.

Are judges allowed to be religious? I am starting to think that anybody who attends church regularly should not be allowed to be a member of the government in this country. Wasn't Pres. James Earl Carter a pretty religious cat? Of course that was back in a time when religion did not seem to be a road to political destruction. And we didn't have extremists making the news (not reporting the news) all over the internet and elsewhere.

Are judges allowed freedom of speech? I am starting to think that they are not afforded the same rights that the rest of enjoy. I see this whole thing as an argument against freedom of speech for Ms. Brown. I am still waiting for a ruling that was blatantly based on her religious convictions and is an obvious mis-interpretation of the law. Anyone? Anybody? Got ruling?

Jaycint
04-28-2005, 04:09 PM
My only guess is because its an easy deflection.



Not a deflection at all. The source of the article as a factor in this was raised before my first post about it. I was just curious why publications that lean left are apparently above having an agenda while right leaning publications are not. I think that's fair enough to ask and given the subject we are talking about I hardly see it as a deflection.

I also often wonder why those that sit on the left side of the political fence lash out so angrily and are so filled with fiery rhetoric and hatred for anybody that disagrees with them.

Rojo
04-28-2005, 04:13 PM
Judges are allowed to believe what they want and express those beliefs. The people, however, have the right to reject them for those beliefs. My guess is that the majority of Americans don't agree with her comments.

RedFanAlways1966
04-28-2005, 04:15 PM
Who decides what's "objective"? And isn't that decision subjective?

Good question, Rojo. Do you find Jerry Falwell's group objective? Fox News?

I guess it depends on each and every individual. I cannot convince anyone that The Advocate might have political biases. But I can form my own opinion. Perhaps like your feelings about some of the afore-mentioned groups.

I know there are some here who think Molly Ivins is middle-of-the-road. Yep, it is a subjective decision. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink it. You can believe that The Advocate is fair in politics. I can believe that Jerry Falwell is fair in politics and other matters.

And the ability for us to think and speak on these matters is what makes this country great. I think the 1st Amendment is what that is called. The same right that Judge Brown has in this country.

Jaycint
04-28-2005, 04:17 PM
Good question, Rojo. Do you find Jerry Falwell's group objective? Fox News?

I guess it depends on each and every individual. I cannot convince anyone that The Advocate might have political biases. But I can form my own opinion. Perhaps like your feelings about some of the afore-mentioned groups.

I know there are some here who think Molly Ivins is middle-of-the-road. Yep, it is a subjective decision. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink it. You can believe that The Advocate is fair in politics. I can believe that Jerry Falwell is fair in politics and other matters.

And the ability for us to think and speak on these matters is what makes this country great. I think the 1st Amendment is what that is called. The same right that Judge Brown has in this country.


Great post RFA. :thumbup:

RosieRed
04-28-2005, 04:18 PM
I am not sure that I agree with the whole country is her audience, Rosie. She was speaking to a certain group of people when her comments were made. Granted, future appointments could depend on words that come out of her mouth now. And this is the decision of the president (appointing) and the congressional committee (vote on it). Technically we do elect the president and the members of congressional committees, so you are right to a degree.

Honestly I do not care about the meaning of her comments. At least not as they are reported by The Advocate. There is no doubt that The Advocate has a bias (like Jerry Falwell has a bias... been in a much-much diff. way). So when I hear news from a source that is not known to be objective (politically), I take it with a grain of salt and do not read too much into it. Now if she had said something to the degree of "we must call all illegal aliens", then I might be alarmed. She seems to be a religious person and perhaps firmly believes in her religion. But unless she makes rulings (her job as a judge, not as a speaker) based on religion, then I do not care about these sort of comments. If she starts ruling on law interpretations bsed on only religion, then I will call her out as well.

Fair enough.

But I don't really get why her quote being reported by The Advocate is different from it being reported elsewhere. Granted the story around the quote could be different, but unless The Advocate made up the quote (which I highly doubt), I don't see why the quote itself is any less worthy of consideration.

For what it's worth, I'm not that interested in what she means by that quote just because she's a judge. Anyone could have made that comment, and I'd still want to know what it means.

Rojo
04-28-2005, 04:19 PM
I was just curious why publications that lean left are apparently above having an agenda while right leaning publications are not.

Nobody said that lefty publications don't have agenda. The Advocate's inclusion of the Brown story was indicative of their agenda, just like Rush Limbaugh's harping on Andrea Dworkin or Cathernine McKinnon is indicative of his agenda. But attacking the agenda of the publication is a red herring. Its her words that are being discussed. Either she said them or she didn't.


I also often wonder why those that sit on the left side of the political fence lash out so angrily and are so filled with fiery rhetoric and hatred for anybody that disagrees with them.

There's enough vitriol to go around these days. Its much more heated these days because liberals are starting to scream just as loudly.

Jaycint
04-28-2005, 04:25 PM
There's enough vitriol to go around these days. Its much more heated these days because liberals are starting to scream just as loudly.

I totally agree which is why I sometimes hesitate to even get involved in these discussions. It sometimes seems like mud slinging and slashing and burning are the preferred methods on both sides as opposed to healthy conversation.

registerthis
04-28-2005, 04:40 PM
Judges are allowed to believe what they want and express those beliefs. The people, however, have the right to reject them for those beliefs. My guess is that the majority of Americans don't agree with her comments.
The problem arises when those religious beliefs interfere with one's ability to interpret the law. As we saw in the Schiavo case, the judge on the panel, though (apparentally) a devoutly religious man, nonetheless ruled in favor of the prior judicial opinions that the proper course of law had been followed throughout the ordeal. However, had people such as Frist and DeLay had their way, then the ruling would have been reversed, not for a reason based in law, but out of religious conviction. That's where we have the problem.

registerthis
04-28-2005, 04:49 PM
Are judges allowed freedom of speech? I am starting to think that they are not afforded the same rights that the rest of enjoy. I see this whole thing as an argument against freedom of speech for Ms. Brown.
No, judges do NOT enjoy the same freedom of speech entitled to members of the general populace, precisely because of the role they play in society. Lest we forget, a judge's role is to interpret laws, and make decisions based on the law ALONE. Personal convictions and opinions are not--theoretically--to be included in a judge's decision process. It's the reason why a judge cannot declare a party affiliation, or assert a position on a particular issue, as it would be viewed as an obstruction to their supposed impartiality. How, for instance, could a doctor who performs abortions expect to gain a fair trial in front of a judge who has been very outspoken that they believe abortions are wrong and illegal? They couldn't, so it is indeed true that judges are held to a higher standard as far as what they may and may not say--and they should.


I am still waiting for a ruling that was blatantly based on her religious convictions and is an obvious mis-interpretation of the law. Anyone? Anybody? Got ruling?
I provided a link several posts above, which apparentally you did not visit. Of course, in her rulings she is not going to assert that she arrived at her decision based on a thorough reading of the Bible, or because her religious convictions told her to do it. Such a blatant violation of ethical standards would certainly get her removed from the bench. However, an examination of her opinions while on the California Supreme Court finds her consistently flaunting state law and misinterpreting constitutional law to fit within her overtly conservative viewpoint. Her opinions on issues involving civil rights, in particular, are the most alarming. Thus, it's not so much that her religious convictions hamper her ability to make an impartial, informed judicial opinion, but rather that her unwavering conservatism does.

RedFanAlways1966
04-28-2005, 04:59 PM
I am sure the same "opinons" that you have towards Judge Brown, registerthis, are the same as some conservatives in regard to left-leaning judges.

However, she has not abused her job and its requirements. If she had, there is no doubt that someone with the power in CA would have had her up for impeachment. She may have in your opinion. We all have our opinions... even the judge. And she IS allowed to express her opinion when speaking outside of the court. You may not believe this. But if you visit the Nat'l Archives and read those documents, you might find your opinion to be a mis-interpretation of that document called the U.S. Constitution.

Her words, as I stated before, could have an effect on future promotions. Fair or not, that goes w/ the territory. Perhaps that is what you mean.

registerthis
04-28-2005, 05:13 PM
I am sure the same "opinons" that you have towards Judge Brown, registerthis, are the same as some conservatives in regard to left-leaning judges.
I am opposed to anyone who bases their judicial opinions on personal convictions rather than the law.


However, she has not abused her job and its requirements. If she had, there is no doubt that someone with the power in CA would have had her up for impeachment. She may have in your opinion. We all have our opinions... even the judge. And she IS allowed to express her opinion when speaking outside of the court. You may not believe this. But if you visit the Nat'l Archives and read those documents, you might find your opinion to be a mis-interpretation of that document called the U.S. Constitution.
Judges are duty-bound to follow the law, regardless of their personal views or political affiliation. Thus, a judge who makes public comments that can be held as prejudiced or partial towards or against a certain issue will be closely scrutinized. Judges who issue decisions based upon personal convictions or prejudices, in teh face of law or established precedent, may be cited for judicial misconduct and/or disbarred. It's not a clear-cut first amendment issue, for "freedom of speech" does not protect all forms of speech.


Her words, as I stated before, could have an effect on future promotions. Fair or not, that goes w/ the territory. Perhaps that is what you mean.Indeed they are, which is what is happening.

registerthis
04-28-2005, 05:15 PM
...
March 31, 2005

The Bizarre Legal Philosophy of Justice Janice Rogers Brown
First Amendment Protection for On-the-Job Racism?
By MITCHELL ZIMMERMAN

You've just started your new job and you're eager to fit into the workplace and make a good impression on everyone. You make a friendly comment to the person who works next to you, but she responds: "Don't bother, yid, I don't make friends with Jew Christ-killers." You're shocked, but you don't say anything to anyone. But that's only the beginning. When you return from lunch, the worker on the other side of you says, "Good afternoon, kike, did you have a nice ham sandwich?" They laugh at how uncomfortable you are - actually, your hands are shaking - and whenever they need to talk to you in connection with the job, they call you "kike," "yid" or "Jew girl."

Soon they are making jokes about the Holocaust: When one of them comes back from the restroom, she asks the other, "Can we ask the company to order some of that soap they made out of Jews in Auschwitz?" "Nah," the other responds, "they stopped making Jew soap because they ran out of Jews."

You complain to your boss but she says, "Nothing I can do about it. They have the right to free speech under the First Amendment."

"But," you reply, "it's impossible for me to work here if people attack me this way because I'm Jewish."

"Well, if you can't stand it, you can quit."

You're a nervous wreck when you get home. But after a week you decide you're not going to quit. You don't think this is what free speech is about, and you're going to sue for employment discrimination. You are going to ask a court to order these employees not to attack you at work with racial or religious epithets that make it impossible for you to do your job.

Will the First Amendment bar your lawsuit?

Definitely not. Virtually every court that has considered the matter has concluded that racist speech can create a hostile, abusive and discriminatory work environment, and that when it does so, a court can stop it. No court in recent decades has held that the First Amendment gives people the right to use speech to harass fellow workers on racial or religious grounds at work.

Just as a court can order a company to take down a "Whites Only" sign outside its employment office, even though this is "speech," so judges have consistently held that other words can constitute unlawful racial discrimination, and that when they do, the courts must step in and call a halt to such discrimination.

That is the established view under American law, supported by years of precedent. But it is not the view of Janice Rogers Brown, President Bush's nominee to the D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Brown, a member of the California Supreme Court, is one of 12 judicial nominees previously rejected due to their extremist positions, whose nominations were recently exhumed by Bush. The Senate Judiciary Committee has now begun its reconsideration of these individuals.

As a California Supreme Court justice, Brown dissented from a decision barring just the kind of speech discussed above. The plaintiffs in Aguilar v. Avis Rent A Car, 21 Cal.4th 121, were Hispanic workers who sought protection from racist epithets and abuse in the workplace. It was undisputed that the Avis manager had employed racial slurs and engaged in racist harassment so continual and severe as to create a hostile and discriminatory environment for the Hispanic workers. The only issue before the California Supreme Court was whether they were entitled to a court order that the manager could not subject them to racist invective at work in the future.

Contrary to the majority of the California Supreme Court - and to virtually every federal court that has considered such issues since the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions upholding injunctions against harassing speech that creates a hostile work environment - Justice Brown voted to leave the workers unprotected. Issuing an injunction, in her unusual view, would amount to censoring and suppressing "disfavored ideas from the popular discourse." Never mind that nothing stopped the supervisor from making racist speeches anywhere outside the workplace. And never mind that racist diatribes are the kind of "discourse" calculated to drive ethnic or racial minorities from the workplace.

The views of President Bush's nominee are not only contrary to common sense; they contradict a long line of U.S. Supreme Court and lower court rulings that have never supported a right to abuse workers with racist language on free speech grounds.

Revealingly, free speech concerns received different treatment by Justice Brown in Intel v. Hamdi, 30 Cal.4th 1342, where Brown's dissent asserted that the corporation had a First Amendment "right not to listen." Hamdi was a 2003 case involving the intersection of property rights, free speech and the hoary tort of "trespass to chattel." Used in bygone eras to address such wrongs as having your cow chased by mischievous persons, trespass to chattel has been reborn in the Internet era as a possible source of relief against persons who access a Web site for unauthorized purposes.

Hamdi was a former Intel employee; on six occasions he dispatched e-mails to thousands of Intel workers criticizing the company's employment practices. Intel objected to the contents of the messages and demanded that Hamdi cease sending e-mail to its employees at their Intel addresses. When he refused, Intel sued for trespass to chattel, arguing that it was harmed because its employees were distracted by the messages.

The California Supreme Court denied Intel's claim. The majority held that Hamdi's use of the open Intel e-mail system for its intended use, e-mail communication, resulted in no harm to Intel's system and did not cause the kind of "damage" required for trespass to chattel. Since, moreover, Intel's real concern was the e-mails' content, the lead opinion in Hamdi warned that enjoining Hamdi's communications might impair First Amendment interests.

Not so, however, according to Justice Brown's dissenting view. Intel's property rights in its unaffected computer system were paramount, and indeed reinforced, in Brown's view, by a First Amendment "right not to listen" - notwithstanding that the corporation was not itself the audience for Hamdi's speech, and that Hamdi removed from his e-mail list anyone who objected to his e-mails.

Curiously, though Justice Brown was vociferous in asserting the unqualified right of the corporation not to listen to Hamdi's speech, she somehow neglected to notice this important constitutional right in the case of the Avis employees who had been subjected to racist epithets in the workplace. Intel had a far-reaching constitutional right not to listen. But Hispanic employees assailed with personal, racist invective in the workplace, invective that actually created a hostile work environment, apparently had no right not to listen. Indeed, any effort to protect those workers represented "censorship" in Justice Brown's view, and the availability of injunctive relief against such workplace harassment meant "the Legislature is now free to prohibit the expression of ideas it dislikes."

In another dissent consistent with Brown's hostility to anti-bias plaintiffs, in 2000, Brown reached back to a Civil War era federal banking law in order to assert that California was barred from granting relief to a bank branch manager for employment discrimination - on the theory that the 1864 federal act pre-empted California's Fair Employment and Housing Act. (Peatros v. Bank of America, 22 Cal.4th 147.) The federal enactment originally gave bank directors complete discretion to fire officers, based on the ever-present risk (at that time) that banks could be destroyed by a "run on the bank," if depositors lost confidence in their bankers' integrity and raced to withdraw their savings before it was too late.

In asserting that the 136-year-old federal banking law pre-empted the state antidiscrimination law, the anachronistic Justice Brown ignored the fact that subsequent federal antidiscrimination enactments had (as many courts had recognized) already amended the old law in a way that precluded any inconsistency with anti-discrimination law. In her final departure from reality, Justice Brown asserted that the original rationale for unfettered corporate power to fire bank employees was just as compelling in the 21st century as it had been in the 19th, notwithstanding the fact that the New Deal's deposit insurance program had essentially ended the phenomenon of the run on the bank.

Justice Brown's refusal to notice that New Deal legislation (among other developments since the middle of the 19th century) had undermined the basis of her argument was not entirely surprising because Brown believes that the New Deal was part of what she terms "the reign of socialism" and that Americans have been living under "collectivism" since the New Deal. Indeed, in an April 2000 speech to the Federalist Society, Justice Brown paired "the Revolutions of 1917 and 1937." 1917, of course, is the date of the Russian Revolution. "The latter date," Justice Brown explained "marks the triumph of our own socialist revolution."

What happened in 1937 that, to Justice Brown, was comparable to that the Bolshevik Revolution? After decades in which the Supreme Court invalidated social welfare measures, regulatory laws and New Deal enactments, two Supreme Court justices switched sides. Thereafter, a new majority of the high court permitted legislative majorities to address pressing social and economic problems notwithstanding possible effects on the supposed rights of property owners. It's all been downhill since then. In the degraded, collectivist society we now inhabit as a result, according to Brown, "senior citizens blithely cannibalize their grandchildren" by seeking more government benefits, "most of us no longer find slavery abhorrent" but "embrace it," and our democracy has been "transformed into a Kleptocracy - a license to steal, a warrant for oppression."

Just what were the New Deal enactments that Justice Brown reviles as "collectivism," giving rise to these horrors? - Social Security, unemployment insurance, wage and hour and child labor laws, pure food and drug regulation, bank deposit insurance, the right to form unions, welfare benefits for the handicapped, regulation of financial institutions and stock markets, and, of course, taxation. These measures formed the foundation for a social contract that endured for generations in America, but is now under attack by the right, in which corporate supremacy was essentially unchallenged, in exchange for limited consideration of the needs of society as a whole, reasonable living standards for most Americans and minimal protections for the most desperate and needy.

Justice Brown's bizarre view that this social contract constitutes "collectivism" is much more than a curiosity because her appointment to the important D.C. Circuit (and possibly thereafter to the U.S. Supreme Court) would give her the power to try to reverse these "socialist" triumphs.

Brown certainly means to try. She has advised that conservative judges need not be concerned with the "activist" label and urges judges to be "audacious enough to invoke higher law," by which she means a judge-imposed vision of so-called natural law that protects property from the will of the majority.

Brown's openly expressed nostalgia for the Lochner era, in which judges imposed their laissez-faire economic philosophy and thwarted democratic decision making, is more than idle theorizing. The largely Republican judiciary has already deployed what amounts to a new Lochnerism, imposing an aggressive and baseless theory of federalism and the takings clause to strike down national and state regulatory efforts, at the same time that they curtail individual liberties in service of the national security state.

The Republican judges' war on democracy has only begun, but one is reminded of Iran, in which the powers of freely elected leaders and an emerging democracy have been nullified by unelected religious leaders. If the federal judiciary comes to be dominated by the likes of Janice Rogers Brown, it may turn out to matter little who wins control of the legislative and executive branches in future elections. President Bush's ultra-conservative judicial ayatollahs will be in a position to guide and chastise the unruly majorities who fail to understand the need to elevate the interests of property in the name of the higher law.

Mitchell Zimmerman, a former SNCC organizer and co-author of Dr. Spock on Vietnam, is a partner at a high-tech firm in Mountain View, California and focuses on intellectual property. He can be reached at m@mitchellzimmerman.com.

This article first appeared in March 18, 2005 issue of The Recorder.

RBA
04-29-2005, 08:12 AM
I guess she was off by 1/2 a world.
Our best friends in Southwest Asia.


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Saudis arrest 40 Christians in raid on secret church





April 29, 2005








RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Forty foreign Christians, children included, were arrested for proselytizing when police raided a clandestine church in suburban Riyadh. Convictions could result in harsh prison sentences, followed by deportation.

Lt. Col. Saad al-Rashud, who heads a wide-ranging security campaign in the capital, said the believers' meeting place, which displayed crosses, was run by a Pakistani who led prayers, heard confessions, distributed Communion and claimed to heal the sick.

Although the Prophet Muhammad tolerated Christian churches in his realm, modern Saudi Arabia has made it illegal to promote any religion other than Islam and outlaws churches.

Members of other religions generally are allowed to practice their beliefs within private homes but may not seek converts or hold organized religious gatherings. AP

RedFanAlways1966
04-29-2005, 09:34 AM
Article by Mitchell Zimmerman

You understand that Mitchell Zimmerman is thought to be as much of an extremist as some make Judge Brown out to be? Very diff. sides of the fence of course.

Read Zimmerman's opening about the poor Jewish person in the workplace. Extreme? Did this really happen? Is he talking from a real case or is he fabricating a story to try to convince the reader to believe everything that follows? Why does the man have to makeup a story to try to sell his story? Sounds more like a used-car salesman than a writer to me.


The Republican judges' war on democracy has only begun, but one is reminded of Iran, in which the powers of freely elected leaders and an emerging democracy have been nullified by unelected religious leaders.

And then we get this towards the end? Uh... pretty extreme there, Mr. Zimmerman. Those darn Repubs are turning this country into another Iran. PLEASE! And what kind of country are we fast becoming when judges decide that they want to MAKE the law by approving gay marriages? See... for every Zimmerman comment, there are plenty to throw back at him.

We hear from some that Judge Brown is extreme and is not allowed freedom of speech. Then the same people keep giving articles to back it up that are written by very extreme people who seem to enjoy their right to freedom of speech. It does not seem fair. Some might say it is a bit hypocritical.

registerthis
04-29-2005, 10:27 AM
You understand that Mitchell Zimmerman is thought to be as much of an extremist as some make Judge Brown out to be? Very diff. sides of the fence of course.

Read Zimmerman's opening about the poor Jewish person in the workplace. Extreme? Did this really happen? Is he talking from a real case or is he fabricating a story to try to convince the reader to believe everything that follows? Why does the man have to makeup a story to try to sell his story? Sounds more like a used-car salesman than a writer to me.



And then we get this towards the end? Uh... pretty extreme there, Mr. Zimmerman. Those darn Repubs are turning this country into another Iran. PLEASE! And what kind of country are we fast becoming when judges decide that they want to MAKE the law by approving gay marriages? See... for every Zimmerman comment, there are plenty to throw back at him.

We hear from some that Judge Brown is extreme and is not allowed freedom of speech. Then the same people keep giving articles to back it up that are written by very extreme people who seem to enjoy their right to freedom of speech. It does not seem fair. Some might say it is a bit hypocritical.
It's interesting that you attacked the author of that article, rather than it's subject. I have posted two things now--one, a link providing detailed information on the voting record of Judge Brown, and the other concerning her stance on a particular case on civil rights. Thus far you have ignored both and responded only to the crticism of the author of the article.

registerthis
04-29-2005, 10:28 AM
We hear from some that Judge Brown is extreme and is not allowed freedom of speech. Then the same people keep giving articles to back it up that are written by very extreme people who seem to enjoy their right to freedom of speech. It does not seem fair. Some might say it is a bit hypocritical.
Do you not understand the difference between a judge and a pundit, or why one may be afforded more leeway in the entitlement of free speech than the other?

Jaycint
04-29-2005, 10:59 AM
Do you not understand the difference between a judge and a pundit, or why one may be afforded more leeway in the entitlement of free speech than the other?

Please, as long as she doesn't make a judgement based on her religious beliefs in a court of law then she is entitled to her opinions and is afforded all of the rights that any other citizen would have. If it costs her in the long run then it is her own fault but to say that she should somehow censor her thoughts and her views is ludicrous in my opinion.

RedFanAlways1966
04-29-2005, 11:13 AM
Please, as long as she doesn't make a judgement based on her religious beliefs in a court of law then she is entitled to her opinions and is afforded all of the rights that any other citizen would have. If it costs her in the long run then it is her own fault but to say that she should somehow censor her thoughts and her views is ludicrous in my opinion.

Absolutely. Still no cases where her religion obviously was the basis for her decison. Just some articles from other extremists. Not good enough here or in a court of law.

Freedom of speech is for all citizens of this country. And articles that state a certain party is trying to turn this country into another Iran... ah, forget it. Who is the extremist? Makes Judge Brown seem like an altar-girl... oops, am I allowed say that (it references religion)?

RedsBaron
04-29-2005, 11:13 AM
I am opposed to anyone who bases their judicial opinions on personal convictions rather than the law.



Do you believe that the holding in Roe v. Wade was correctly decided as a matter of Constitutional law, rather than being based upon the personal convictions of the majority? Do you agree with the Supreme Court's decision earlier this year holding that capital punishment of juvenile offenders is prohibited by the Constitution, or was that decision based upon the personal convictions of the majority? Have recent decisions in certain state courts striking down restrictions against same-sex marriages been based upon those states' constitutions, or were those decisions based upon the personal convictions of the judges deciding the cases?

GAC
04-29-2005, 11:15 AM
I find it humorous, hypocritical, and yes very sad, that this very same Supreme Court, whose justices begin court sessions with a marshal shouting, "God save the United States and this honorable court", are making rulings on various public display of religious symbols when those very same symbols are entrenched in and on the Supreme Court Building they reside, and on alot of federal buildings in D.C.

And if people are somewhat upset, or unsettled, over what this curent justice has stated, then they would be simply appalled, and the public outcry horrendous, at many of the blatant public endorsements of the Christian faith by many of our past Supreme Court justices. What this current justice said is tame considering previous statements throughout the history of our Supreme Court. ;)

The below pictures are from the Supreme Court building and our National archives (just to list a couple). All of Moses and those dreaded 10 Commandments.

registerthis
04-29-2005, 11:26 AM
Please, as long as she doesn't make a judgement based on her religious beliefs in a court of law then she is entitled to her opinions and is afforded all of the rights that any other citizen would have. If it costs her in the long run then it is her own fault but to say that she should somehow censor her thoughts and her views is ludicrous in my opinion.
But that's just it...Justice Brown has been VERY outspoken about her conservative religious beliefs, someone in her courtroom holding an opposing view would likely (and reasonably) feel that they would not receive a fair trial. Like I said earlier, she isn't going to write in her decisions "After a long consultation with God, I have arrived at this conclusion..." Or, "According to Leviticus Chapter 8, a person should do this..." those are blatantly unethical. But, being as outspoken as she is on a number of issues, many of which are controversial under the law, it stands to reason that her impartiality would be called into question. I don't expect judges to become robots when deciding issues of law, but neither should they reduce themselves to the level of the forum page pundit. The concept of an impartial trial is one that is sacrosanct in the American Court System, and there are serious doubts about Judge Brown's ability to do that in light of her continued outspokeness on a number of issues.

registerthis
04-29-2005, 11:35 AM
Do you believe that the holding in Roe v. Wade was correctly decided as a matter of Constitutional law, rather than being based upon the personal convictions of the majority? Do you agree with the Supreme Court's decision earlier this year holding that capital punishment of juvenile offenders is prohibited by the Constitution, or was that decision based upon the personal convictions of the majority? Have recent decisions in certain state courts striking down restrictions against same-sex marriages been based upon those states' constitutions, or were those decisions based upon the personal convictions of the judges deciding the cases?
I don't deny that personal opinions are invariably going to weigh on a judge's decision process. It's when those convictions, rather than the law, become the context for the decision that is made that the problem occurs. In each of the cases you mentioned above (aside from Roe v. Wade, which was a horrible judicial opinion, and it surprises me it hasn't been overturned) I'm certain that a certain amount of personal opinions went into the formulation of the opinions. I'm also certain that each opinion was made within the context of the law. When the Courts decided to grant voting rights to women, or equal protection to minorities, I've no doubt that the judges in the case had personal opinions about the matter which factored into their decision process. However, the decisions were also based on the interpretation of the law. Irrespective of the personal views of the judges themselves, the laws can withstand scrutiny because they are grounded in law. Many of Judge Brown's opinions made while on the California Bench would be questionnable, at best, following this test. A link to her opinions is located further up on this thread.

registerthis
04-29-2005, 11:37 AM
I find it humorous, hypocritical, and yes very sad, that this very same Supreme Court, whose justices begin court sessions with a marshal shouting, "God save the United States and this honorable court", are making rulings on various public display of religious symbols when those very same symbols are entrenched in and on the Supreme Court Building they reside, and on alot of federal buildings in D.C.

And if people are somewhat upset, or unsettled, over what this curent justice has stated, then they would be simply appalled, and the public outcry horrendous, at many of the blatant public endorsements of the Christian faith by many of our past Supreme Court justices. What this current justice said is tame considering previous statements throughout the history of our Supreme Court. ;)

The below pictures are from the Supreme Court building and our National archives (just to list a couple). All of Moses and those dreaded 10 Commandments.
Do you deny, then, that a clear separation of church and state is a critical foundation for this country, or do you use examples of where that line was crossed in the past do defend its continued crossing in the future?

Rojo
04-29-2005, 12:26 PM
I find it humorous, hypocritical, and yes very sad, that this very same Supreme Court, whose justices begin court sessions with a marshal shouting, "God save the United States and this honorable court"

So let's get rid of it.

You know what I'd really like to see -- the appointment of an unapologetic atheist who'd give a speech decrying the superstition and hypocrisy of organized religion.

Jaycint
04-29-2005, 12:45 PM
You know what I'd really like to see -- the appointment of an unapologetic atheist who'd give a speech decrying the superstition and hypocrisy of organized religion.

I'd be fine with that, free speech is for everyone. Even Brown and the atheist.

Rojo
04-29-2005, 01:04 PM
I'd be fine with that, free speech is for everyone. Even Brown and the atheist.

I agree. But isn't it interesting that, while Brown's speech has raised a ruckus, the hypethetical atheist speech I mentioned is almost unimaginable.

Yet, somehow, its the "people of faith" who are persecuted.

Jaycint
04-29-2005, 02:24 PM
I agree. But isn't it interesting that, while Brown's speech has raised a ruckus, the hypethetical atheist speech I mentioned is almost unimaginable.



Rojo, do you mean the uproar would be worse for the atheist's speech itself or that the atheist would never be appointed to the position to begin with? I just want to make sure I am understanding your point correctly. On a side note my libertarian frame of mind would like to see us just do away with this government stuff as much as possible. ;)

RedFanAlways1966
04-29-2005, 02:28 PM
I agree. But isn't it interesting that, while Brown's speech has raised a ruckus, the hypethetical atheist speech I mentioned is almost unimaginable.

Yet, somehow, its the "people of faith" who are persecuted.

Judge Brown's speech raised a ruckus by who? The Advocate, Wellston, Zimmerman? Do these people ever say anything positive or nice about people they consider conservative or religious?

Any Judge Brown speech, regardless of place/time/content, would raise a ruckus by these types. I do not think these types are representative of all people. Not even the majority of voters in this country (Nov. '04 showed that).

People of faith are only persecuted IMO by the afore-mentioned leftists. But I do not find this too bad of persecution. These people write articles. They obviously have not been able to sway voters with their rhetoric for at least 5-6 years. Let freedom of speech ring true for them. And let it ring true for Judge Brown when she is a guest speaker to whatever group she chooses. Even hate groups... if she so desires. She is given that right as are all citizens of this great country. It could effect her future, but it is still her right to SPEAK FREELY.

RBA
04-29-2005, 02:50 PM
Nov '04 showed what? The Godless Democrats lost to the God backed Republicans? I don't understand?

registerthis
04-29-2005, 03:07 PM
Nov '04 showed what? The Godless Democrats lost to the God backed Republicans? I don't understand?
Nov. '04 showed that people trusted Bush (for whatever reason) slightly more on terrorism than they trusted Kerry.

Mutaman
04-29-2005, 03:10 PM
This speech seems totally inappropriate to me. I don't know what law applies to this situation but in New York, a sitting judge is prohibited from engaging in any political activity or even attending political gatherings. Code of Jud.Con., Canon 5 McK.Consol.Laws, Book 29 App.

Yes, a judge does (and should) give up certain freedoms. Judges are not only prohibited from being biased, they are prohibited from even showing any indication or appearance of bias. In other words if you want to be a judge, you have to refrain from giving political speeches. If you don't want to give up this right, don't be a judge. ( Totally unrelated, but how bright is it for someone in Brown's situation to give a speech like this?)

RedFanAlways1966
04-29-2005, 03:24 PM
I don't know what law applies to this situation but in New York, a sitting judge is prohibited from engaging in any political activity or even attending political gatherings. Code of Jud.Con., Canon 5 McK.Consol.Laws, Book 29 App.

A gathering of Roman Catholic legal professionals. Not political. As a matter of fact, it seems as though a NY judge can speak at the same event w/out violating the above code.

The U.S. Constitution applies to all U.S. citizens. There are some areas that are not covered: yelling fire in a public place, shark at the beach. And if you know a certain guideline, like the above NY code, then it is not covered either. Pete Rose talking to gamblers while still in MLB may not be covered.

Judge Brown did nothing wrong. You might not like what she said, but she did nothing wrong.

RedFanAlways1966
04-29-2005, 03:28 PM
Nov '04 showed what? The Godless Democrats lost to the God backed Republicans? I don't understand?

A funny thing... I personally know 3 Dems who attend church regularly. I also know lots of Repubs who go to church for weddings only. So your stereotyping does not work with me. The elitist-leftist rhetoric did not work in Nov. 2004.

Just ask Michael Moore. CAUTION: Do not believe everything (anything?) that he may tell you! :laugh:

registerthis
04-29-2005, 03:38 PM
A gathering of Roman Catholic legal professionals. Not political. As a matter of fact, it seems as though a NY judge can speak at the same event w/out violating the above code.

The U.S. Constitution applies to all U.S. citizens. There are some areas that are not covered: yelling fire in a public place, shark at the beach. And if you know a certain guideline, like the above NY code, then it is not covered either. Pete Rose talking to gamblers while still in MLB may not be covered.

Judge Brown did nothing wrong. You might not like what she said, but she did nothing wrong.
You seem to have no problem with Judges making impassioned speeches regarding their personal views on sensitive topics, so let's look at it another way:

Suppose you were an evangelical Christian who was arrested for disturbing the peace by loudly preaching from a streetcorner. You end up fighting the case all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court. One of the Ohio Supreme Court Justices is Judge Johnson. Judge Johnson is a notorious atheist--just the week before your court date he made an impassioned speech before the National Atheists Conference about how Christians and other religious folk are destroying the foundation of America, and how much he has a disdain for them. In addition to the public speeches Judge Johnson has made, he has also issued opinion after opinion--frequently as the lone dissenter on the Court--against religion and its followers, and his decisions are often cited as pushing the reasonable boundaries of interpretation of the law.

Knowing these things, as a Christian, would you feel comfortable presenting your case before Judge Johnson? Would you feel that Judge Johnson can be unbiased and impartial in matters concerning religion? Would his public speeches repeatedly denouncing religion and its followers instill confidence in you that he will listen to you case with an open mind?

registerthis
04-29-2005, 03:44 PM
A funny thing... I personally know 3 Dems who attend church regularly. I also know lots of Repubs who go to church for weddings only. So your stereotyping does not work with me. The elitist-leftist rhetoric did not work in Nov. 2004.
I think that was his point...

RedFanAlways1966
04-29-2005, 04:00 PM
You seem to have no problem with Judges making impassioned speeches regarding their personal views on sensitive topics, so let's look at it another way

How do I know it was impassioned? I guess it depends on your definition of impassioned (where have we this kind of talk before?). You are free to believe as you like (another freedom in this great country... like freedom of speech). I was not there for her speech and doubt that any of us here at RZ were. However, Judge Brown can speak freely outside of the courtroom. Could this whole thing be a moral issue with Dems? Funny how the world turns sometimes.

I do not live in hypothetical worlds, so I cannot answer your question. I have never been arrested and never plan on being arrested. But in your hypothetical scenerio, I would hope the judge would dismiss himself from the case. That is what fair judges are expected to do.

We must remember that judges are humans too. They are not machines. I sometimes wonder if some citizens think judges should not be allowed to vote or attend religious ceremonies. Judges can hurt their future for speaking a certain way... they have to be careful. I never imagined a world where people might think judges should not have religious beliefs, believe in God or be able to talk about their religious beliefs. Sounds like that is where some of the writers of these articles want it. Our country, IIRC, was originally founded by the 1st Euro-types b/c they wanted the ability to have religious freedom. Now it seems, nearly 400 years later, that people in this country want certain U.S. citizens to be restricted when it comes to religion. My, oh my...

RedFanAlways1966
04-29-2005, 04:03 PM
I think that was his point...

Perhaps, but a mind-reader I am not. His point may have also been to shove words in my mouth. But, like I said, I cannot read minds. Nowhere has it been said that all Dems are atheists. For all I know some atheists may be Repubs. :)

Rojo
04-29-2005, 04:12 PM
I would hope the judge would dismiss himself from the case. That is what fair judges are expected to do.

Would you expect Judge Brown to recuse herself from Establishment Clause cases?

BTW, Government employees do face certain political restrictions. The most famous is the Hatch Act.

Hatch Act (http://www.osc.gov/ha_fed.htm)

Roy Tucker
04-29-2005, 04:23 PM
Also, there is the Judical Code of Conduct.

http://www.uscourts.gov/guide/vol2/ch1.html

I realize I'm quoting out of context, but Canon 2A says:

Canon 2A. Public confidence in the judiciary is eroded by irresponsible or improper conduct by judges. A judge must avoid all impropriety and appearance of impropriety. A judge must expect to be the subject of constant public scrutiny. A judge must therefore accept restrictions that might be viewed as burdensome by the ordinary citizen and should do so freely and willingly.

Mutaman
04-29-2005, 04:31 PM
A gathering of Roman Catholic legal professionals. Not political. As a matter of fact, it seems as though a NY judge can speak at the same event w/out violating the above code.

The U.S. Constitution applies to all U.S. citizens. There are some areas that are not covered: yelling fire in a public place, shark at the beach. And if you know a certain guideline, like the above NY code, then it is not covered either. Pete Rose talking to gamblers while still in MLB may not be covered.

Judge Brown did nothing wrong. You might not like what she said, but she did nothing wrong.

This is exactly the kind of gathering that a sitting judge should not appear at. And if you define this speech as not being political, your definition of politics is different than most peoples. The bottom line is that even if reasonable people would disagree as to whether these remarks are "political" , proper judicial conduct requires that a sitting judge should err on the side of discretion when there might be even an appearance of inpropiety. And its irrelevant whether I agree with her comments or not, she shouldn't have made them.

Saying "the U.S. Constitution applies to all U.S. citizens" is meaningless. We all give up certan rights in certain contexts. I love to use vulger language and make personal attacks on certain people, but I choose to give up those rights if I appear on Redzone. Likewise, at least the New York legisgature (and I suspect it is the same in most states) has decided that if you want to be a jugde you have to give up your normal rights to make political speeches and attend political gatherings, a decision which was made for obvious reasons. This is pretty basic.And while a judge who is a candidate for popular election should be allowed to speak on on the issues, but that is not the case here.

What Brown did was wrong, probably violated an applicable judicial cannon, and , under the circumstances, it was stupid.

RedFanAlways1966
04-29-2005, 04:36 PM
I appreciate the acts and codes. But the interpretation is wide-open for discussion. Judge Brown's latest comments... not bad IMO. Not in violation IMO. Of course I do not subscribe to The Advocate and my name is not Wellstone or Zimmerman.

We shall see if the higher-ups find her in violation. It will be interesting to see how they interpret Judge Brown's comments. I guess we shall wait and see.

Thanks to all for the good and friendly debate. :)

Mutaman
04-29-2005, 04:36 PM
Would you expect Judge Brown to recuse herself from Establishment Clause cases?

BTW, Government employees do face certain political restrictions. The most famous is the Hatch Act.

Hatch Act (http://www.osc.gov/ha_fed.htm)


Great point. Many many years ago I was a VISTA. (For you younger folks it was like the domestic peace corps. I was prohibited by the Hatch Act from various types of political activity.

registerthis
04-29-2005, 04:38 PM
I do not live in hypothetical worlds, so I cannot answer your question. I have never been arrested and never plan on being arrested. But in your hypothetical scenerio, I would hope the judge would dismiss himself from the case. That is what fair judges are expected to do.
But why would it not be fair if he stayed on the case? Is there something in the information I provided which would make you think that he would be biased against people of faith?

RBA
04-29-2005, 06:02 PM
A. The elitist-leftist rhetoric did not work in Nov. 2004.



So if I take that statement and reverse it, you seem to be implying the elitist-right neo-con rhetoric did work in Nov 2004?

gm
04-29-2005, 06:30 PM
Human freedom and liberty do not depend on a foundation in religion in order to prosper.

Nor do they necessarily flourish in a vacuum of same. (Just ask the folks in 18th-century France who had a date with Madame Guillotine, not to mention 20th-century "enemies" of Stalin)

Back in the good ol' USA...here's an article I found amusing (no offense intended to any of the minorities mentioned)


Due to the popularity of the Survivor reality-tv shows, Wisconsin is planning to do its own, entitled "Survivor - Wisconsin Style."

The contestants will start in Milwaukee, travel up to Sheboygan and on to Manitowoc and Green Bay. Then they will head over to Wausau and up to Rhinelander and Minocqua. From there they will proceed up to Ashland and Superior. Then back down through Rice Lake, Eau Claire, and Madison, and finally back to Milwaukee.

Each contestant will be driving a pink Volvo with Illinois license plates and adorned with the following bumper stickers:

I'm gay!
I'm a vegetarian!
The Green Bay Packers suck! Go Bears!
Cheese is high in cholesterol. Bratwurst clogs your arteries!
Hillary in 2008!
Deer hunting is murder! Confiscate guns!

The first one that makes it back to Milwaukee alive wins.

Good luck to all contestants!

http://www.maineiac.com/state/survivor_wisconsin.htm

Mutaman
04-29-2005, 09:23 PM
When you're in Wausau, I suggest you hit "The Chatterbox" for a few beers, and then on to "The New Yorker" where for a few dollars you can discuss the Packers and the Bears with naked women.

GAC
04-29-2005, 11:40 PM
Do you deny, then, that a clear separation of church and state is a critical foundation for this country, or do you use examples of where that line was crossed in the past do defend its continued crossing in the future?

I don't believe in the separation of church and state as put forward and defined by today's progressives if that is what you are asking. It's not as simple as some would like to define it. And I am also very wary of that agenda when I see it being forwarded by many who are avowed atheists or irreligious. So why shouldn't I then, as a religious person, be skeptical? And it's very evident by the examples I have shown, and the many, many historical statements made by our Founding Fathers and former Supreme Court justices, that they wouldn't agree either.

You can't so easily discard them and say they made mistakes.

The Establishment clause places the restriction/prohibition on the government from establishing and forcing a state-run religion on it's citizenry. Can you show me where that has occurred or has been evident since this country's inception? Anyone forcing you to be a member of church or practice any religion at all? Then I think the system works. Where's that threat of theocracy (another scare tactic) ;)

No. We got people running around this country (and yes, IMO, it's a form of paranoia) getting upset or saying they are offended when they see a Ten Commandments display, or a child being allowed to say the word "God" in the pledge in public school, or voluntarily pray/read a Bible in school. You've got the ACLU trying to suppress religious expression by the private citizens of this country, and doing so by using the intimidation tool of costly lawsuits to enforce their own personal agenda. They are not about equal protection at all; but their own persona agenda. Have you ever listened to former ACLU head Ira Glasser? The guy has nothing but disdain for religion.

It's silly and ridiculous. If you, or anyone else, does not want to practice religion, then that is your right, and I have always respected that. But to try and suppress it within the public forum because one doesn't want to hear it, or is offended by it, is wrong. There are alot of things I am offended by within our society (pornography and it's treatment of women for example); but I have no right to enforce my views on others. I just refuse to participate, and don't allow it to affect me.

It's funny how so many preach tolerance; but all of a sudden can't practice it when it comes to the freedom to express one's religious views. And yes, that includes any elected official or office holder.

As long as they are not trying to enact it as law and force you to abide by it, then their views are permissible according to the Constitution.

And that is all this current justice did. She was at a gathering of Catholics and expressed her views. Show me where she violated the Constitution in accordance with the establishment clause (making law).

Some are worried that her views may influence some of her decisions. Until they can show where she has done so, then you're being paranoid over nothing IMO. But heaven forbid if any judge would allow their personal views to weigh on or influence their decisions. That has never happened in this country. Unless of course the decision is something you agree with. ;)

I have no problem at all with a politician/elected official speaking about or endorsing his personal convictions. Even an atheist. Because endorsing is not making it law. It's well within the boundaries as protected by the Constitution - freedom of speech.

If one is offended by what someone says, then they don't have to agree with it, or even like it; but you don't have a right to suppress/prohibit it.

There are too many people walking on eggshells in this country, and not just over religious expression.

GAC
04-30-2005, 12:04 AM
I wonder how some today would react, since they are in such a flutter over what this current justice stated, over what other past leaders have stated. You would probably want them drawn and quartered for simply exercising their Constitutional rights. How dare they, as duly elected representatives of the people, make such statements. You see, I'm not necessarily in total agreement with all of the below statements. But they have the right to be able to express them as part of a free society...

"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.

It is to be regretted, but so I believe the fact to be, that except the Bible there is not a true history in the world. Whatever may be the virtue, discernment, and industry of the writers, I am persuaded that truth and error (though in different degrees) will imperceptibly become and remain mixed and blended until they shall be separated forever by the great and last refining fire."

- John Jay (1st Supreme Court Justice)

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."

"The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity, and humanity."

- John Adams

"Amongst other strange things said of me, I hear it is said by the deists that I am one of the number; and indeed, that some good people think I am no Christian. This thought gives me much more pain than the appellation of Tory; because I think religion of infinitely higher importance than politics; and I find much cause to reproach myself that I have lived so long, and have given no decided and public proofs of my being a Christian. But, indeed, my dear child, this is a character which I prize far above all this world has, or can boast."

- Patrick Henry

"Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, of inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity and universal philanthropy, and, in subordination to these great principles, the love of their country; of instructing them in the art of self-government without which they never can act a wise part in the government of societies, great or small; in short, of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system."

- Samual Adams


Yet some would interpret the above as meaning they wanted to establish a theocracy or build a Christian nation (whatever that is?).

No. But what influenced many of these men in their personal lives (religion) was instrumental when it came to defining freedom, democracy, and the foundations of this nation. Yes, there were other historical figures (lawmakers) and systems of government, that also had influences on them, and the establishing of this country. And they were and should be acknowledged and embraced. But you don't try to suppress one simply becuase to some it has that nasty word "religion" attached to it. Because the influences were there.

RANDY IN INDY
04-30-2005, 10:00 AM
Those were two great posts, GAC, and right on the money. I particularly found this quote interesting:


"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."

John Adams

ws1990reds
04-30-2005, 10:13 AM
The article was written by Peter Wallsten. Thats all I need to know, this is pure crap. Wallsten is a Rush Limbaugh wannabe, and no one can take anything he writes seriously. This article is therefore clearly biased and leaves out facts, facts relevant to whatever the article is about.

:mooner:

Come again? Basically, you're saying the article is clearly biased and leaves out facts, because YOU think that no one can take anything he writes seriously. It is fine to have an opinion, but not to try and force it onto others.

ws1990reds
04-30-2005, 10:19 AM
I assume you heard it firsthand or just what you have read?

One quote can be interpreted in many ways. You know this, Rojo. Mr. Wellsten is a far-left leaner. Google him up... although I suspect that you know of him already. Wellsten IMO is part of the problem for people who vote different than myself. Very extreme in his writings. I hope people like him keep getting the limelight.

It is too bad that freedom of speech is only for certain people. I am sure (HA!) that the ACLU would be upset at you all for this. Any cases that this lady based her decision on religion when interpreting laws in the United States? Throw them out here for all to see. If not, then there is not a problem.

You guys complicate things way too often. Forget politics. Who gives a <edited> if someone is a "far-left leaner"? People are people are people, and our political title really doesn't make our opinions, feelings and actions any more or less valid or invalid than any other party. I think sometimes people try and cover up their own insecurities about what little they know about people, by throwing labels on them and attempting to make the labels the point of reference to peoples' character.

Mutaman
04-30-2005, 12:28 PM
We cite chapter and verse proving what Brown did was in violation of standard laws regulating the judiciary and then GAC writes " Show me where she violated the Constitution in accordance with the establishment clause (making law)."

Mutaman
04-30-2005, 12:39 PM
Read your bible, go to your church, say your prayers, burn your insence, flagilate yourselves. I don't care. But stop shoving it in my face. What is this obsession with building religious monuments in front of courthouses, telling me what I can watch on TV or listen to on the radio, or do in the privacy of my home? Why must you control whether I remove the feeding tube from my parent or whether my girlfriend decides to get an abortion? And then when I complain about the fact that your trying to impose your values on my life, you start whining that I'm messing with your religion. Do your thing, just let me do mine.

GAC
05-02-2005, 08:49 AM
We cite chapter and verse proving what Brown did was in violation of standard laws regulating the judiciary and then GAC writes " Show me where she violated the Constitution in accordance with the establishment clause (making law)."

Huh? What chapter and verse? I've re-read this thread twice now and the only thing people are questioning (and which they have a right to do so) is her voting record. Fine. Some don't like her voting record, or some of the positions she has taken. It's not like many haven't seen some liberal judges try to trounce all over the Constitution where they allowed their personal views/ideology to influence their rulings/interpretations. But her voting record does not indicate anywhere that she violated the Constitution. Especially in the article at the head of this thread, which is what my reference was to, where she is speaking to a gathering of Catholics.

You may not like her views, and I'm not saying I necessarily agree with all of her rulings, but you haven't shown me yet where her offering her opinion /views in that speech violated the Constitution - Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.

GAC
05-02-2005, 08:55 AM
Read your bible, go to your church, say your prayers, burn your insence, flagilate yourselves. I don't care. But stop shoving it in my face. What is this obsession with building religious monuments in front of courthouses, telling me what I can watch on TV or listen to on the radio, or do in the privacy of my home? Why must you control whether I remove the feeding tube from my parent or whether my girlfriend decides to get an abortion? And then when I complain about the fact that your trying to impose your values on my life, you start whining that I'm messing with your religion. Do your thing, just let me do mine.

Where have I heard this before? There is no obsession with building religious monuments. It's about this "obsession" by atheists/secularists, who all of a sudden feel "offended", trying to run around this country threatening lawsuits and using intimidation to tear down/remove those religious icons/monuments that have been in place for over the last 200+ years or more.

Now, all of a sudden, after being there for decades, they are a problem because some feel "offended". I walk/drive by stuff everyday that offends me. But I realize that in a free society one must learn to endure and show tolerance.

No one is trying to tell you how to live your life. Live it anyway you choose. You have been haven't you? Had any relgious zealots trying to beat down your door yet with pitchforks and Bible in hand? ;)

If you define a religious icon in public view as "shoving it down your throat" (which I find to be ridiculous and overboard), then many can say the same about alot of what the irreligious/secularist try shove down everyone elses throat.

Tolerance runs down both sides of the street.

registerthis
05-02-2005, 10:04 AM
I don't believe in the separation of church and state as put forward and defined by today's progressives if that is what you are asking. It's not as simple as some would like to define it. And I am also very wary of that agenda when I see it being forwarded by many who are avowed atheists or irreligious. So why shouldn't I then, as a religious person, be skeptical? And it's very evident by the examples I have shown, and the many, many historical statements made by our Founding Fathers and former Supreme Court justices, that they wouldn't agree either.
I wasn't aware that the definition of a separation between church and state had been redefined--unless you're talking about the right wing evangelical conservative's definition of "separation of church and state", to mean that all religions are free to exist in the U.S., so long as they are subservient to Christianity.


You can't so easily discard them and say they made mistakes.

The Establishment clause places the restriction/prohibition on the government from establishing and forcing a state-run religion on it's citizenry. Can you show me where that has occurred or has been evident since this country's inception? Anyone forcing you to be a member of church or practice any religion at all? Then I think the system works. Where's that threat of theocracy (another scare tactic) ;)
It's not enforcing a state-run religion on its citizenry, it's enforcing any religion on its citizenry. The government has no more right to enforce budhhism or hinduism as it does Christianity or Judaism. As far as examples of where it has crossed the line...Mandatory prayer in schools? Courtrooms with the ten commandments and other religious inscriptions? The foundation of the anti-gay rights movement?


No. We got people running around this country (and yes, IMO, it's a form of paranoia) getting upset or saying they are offended when they see a Ten Commandments display, or a child being allowed to say the word "God" in the pledge in public school, or voluntarily pray/read a Bible in school. You've got the ACLU trying to suppress religious expression by the private citizens of this country, and doing so by using the intimidation tool of costly lawsuits to enforce their own personal agenda. They are not about equal protection at all; but their own persona agenda. Have you ever listened to former ACLU head Ira Glasser? The guy has nothing but disdain for religion.
Forgive me for saying so, but I get sick of this type of view put forth by people of faith--that they are somehow discriminated against and that life is such a daily struggle for their opinions to be expressed. There is NO law which prohibits voluntary prayer in school. There is NO law which prohibits a student from reading their Bible or praying. Laws only prevent teachers and school administrators from leading religious invocations, but students are free to do what they wish. The ACLU would be just as likely to defend a student's right to voluntarily pray as they would another students right not to be involuntarily led in prayer.

As far as the Ten Commandments, do you believe that a non-Judeo-Christian believer would feel the least bit intimidated walking into a Courtroom that had the phrase "Thall shall have no other gods before me" inscribed on the wall? It has no business being there.


It's silly and ridiculous. If you, or anyone else, does not want to practice religion, then that is your right, and I have always respected that. But to try and suppress it within the public forum because one doesn't want to hear it, or is offended by it, is wrong. There are alot of things I am offended by within our society (pornography and it's treatment of women for example); but I have no right to enforce my views on others. I just refuse to participate, and don't allow it to affect me.
I agree it IS silly and ridiculous--if that was what they were doing. Sure, you can find extreme examples where certain Christmas carols were forbidden to be played due to religious connotations (which I have a difficult time supporting), but those are far from the norm. But no one's freedom of religius expression is being supressed. Whenever I hear this argument, by gut reaction is: fine, remove Christianity (I'm assuming you are a Christian) and replace it with another religion--say, Hinduism. Now, consider each instance where you have been angered or frustrated by a perceived supressions of someone's right to "express" their Christianity, and replace it with Hinduism. Can you honestly tell me you wouldn't be upset if your child was forced to stand up and say a prayer to Vishnu every morning? Or if your child in the choir was forced to sing a song to a god or gods that they don't believe in? Or if your public officials constantly made speeches in government buildings behind signs supporting traditional Hindu beliefs and teachings? Would you not be intimidated?


It's funny how so many preach tolerance; but all of a sudden can't practice it when it comes to the freedom to express one's religious views. And yes, that includes any elected official or office holder.

As long as they are not trying to enact it as law and force you to abide by it, then their views are permissible according to the Constitution.
But, see, the definition is not nearly as black and white as you seem to think it is. What is 'forcing"? I have no problems with the National Christmas tree, or the National Menorah, for example. (And the people who do, I generally find, are those simply looking for something to complain about.) But a school-led invocation of prayer every morning? That qualifies as "forced" to me.

Again, you keep hammering on a point that isn't there--no one is being stopped from expressing their religious views, but "forcing" or intimidating others with those views IS illegal.


And that is all this current justice did. She was at a gathering of Catholics and expressed her views. Show me where she violated the Constitution in accordance with the establishment clause (making law).
Again, judge's are held to a different standard than ordinary citizens--in spite of the "Constitution is for everyone" argument continually put up by people here, the fact remains that judges give up some of their rights of expression when they accept positions as judges. Judges are expected to appear as impartial and unbiased as possible in everything that they do, and making a speech filled with conservative religious rhetoric before a Catholic Convention fails the sniff test.


Some are worried that her views may influence some of her decisions. Until they can show where she has done so, then you're being paranoid over nothing IMO. But heaven forbid if any judge would allow their personal views to weigh on or influence their decisions. That has never happened in this country. Unless of course the decision is something you agree with. ;)
OK, I'll post the link again, since no one appears to be reading it:

Judge Janice Rigers Brown (http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=12550)

There is a significant difference between letting personal views influence your decisions (which every judge does--both religious and not) and granting an appearance of strong bias, which judges are encouraged (and sometimes mandated) to avoid, but which Judge brown does on a regular basis.


I have no problem at all with a politician/elected official speaking about or endorsing his personal convictions. Even an atheist.
Nor do I.


Because endorsing is not making it law. It's well within the boundaries as protected by the Constitution - freedom of speech.

If one is offended by what someone says, then they don't have to agree with it, or even like it; but you don't have a right to suppress/prohibit it.

There are too many people walking on eggshells in this country, and not just over religious expression.
This constant argument that the "world is against us" and "we must fight back" simply doesn't ring true in a nation dominated by religious conservatives in practically every level of government, from state legislatures on up to the President himself. If I want to go stand on a streetcorner and preach the gospel, no one will stop me. If I want to pray in my office, or a child wants to pray at their desk in school, no one will stop them. If an elected official wishes to invoke God during a speech, no one will stop them. If a judge chooses to be a Christian, no one will stop them. There is a fallacy of "religious persecution" in this country by religious conservatives who view any condemnation of religion in a public forum as a threat to their freedom to practice it. It's simply not true.

Johnny Footstool
05-02-2005, 10:58 AM
No one is trying to tell you how to live your life. Live it anyway you choose. You have been haven't you

Yes I have, but then again, I'm not a homosexual trying to get married. ;)

Or a science teacher trying to discuss the theory of evolution. ;)

Or a geology teacher trying to teach students how old Earth is. ;)

Johnny Footstool
05-02-2005, 11:12 AM
And since we're pulling up quotes from the Founding Fathers:


Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.

-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787


"I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies."

-Benjamin Franklin, in "Toward The Mystery"


The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.

-- John Adams, "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" (1787-88)

Mutaman
05-02-2005, 04:39 PM
Huh? What chapter and verse? I've re-read this thread twice now and the only thing people are questioning (and which they have a right to do so) is her voting record. Fine. Some don't like her voting record, or some of the positions she has taken. It's not like many haven't seen some liberal judges try to trounce all over the Constitution where they allowed their personal views/ideology to influence their rulings/interpretations. But her voting record does not indicate anywhere that she violated the Constitution. Especially in the article at the head of this thread, which is what my reference was to, where she is speaking to a gathering of Catholics.

You may not like her views, and I'm not saying I necessarily agree with all of her rulings, but you haven't shown me yet where her offering her opinion /views in that speech violated the Constitution - Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.

With all due respect, you are being disingenuous. There is nothing in the constitution that prohibits me from driving over the speed limit, but try telling that to a police officer next time you're stopped for speeding. The constitution is not the only code of law in our country. Congress , state legislatures, and state regulatory bodies have the power to pass laws to address particular conduct that cannot be addressed in the constitution. This is pretty basic political science.

The constitution doesn't address the conduct of judges, any more than it sets forth what constitutes traffic violations, or different degrees of homicide, or what consttutes rape. But the various governmental bodies have addressed that question, and in New York, as I cited above CHAPTER AND VERSE, its Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 5 McK.Consol.Laws, Book 29 App., which prohibits sitting judges from engaging in any political activity or even attending political gatherings. See my above post #63. I assume Connecticut has a similiar rule. This is basic stuff.

Moreover, in post #71, Roy Tucker set forth, CHAPTER AND VERSE, the applicable federal cannon from the US Code of Conduct for United States Judges. We can't do any better than that. I suggest you read this a third time.

Neither Roy nor I questioned Brown's voting record or the decisions she has written. Her conduct was in violation of the above cited cannons and that would have been the case if the political opinions she expressed were to the right or left of center. Its not her record thats at issue here, and it's not whether shes a communist or a faschist. Its whether, as a sitting judge, she should be able to publicly express her views at a political gathering , and she shouldn't.

Finally, heres some free advice- if you're ever arrested for anything, don't argue that your conduct doesn't violate the constitution. Say nothing, and call somebody who took a course in political science, or better yet, attended law school.

RedsBaron
05-02-2005, 04:54 PM
GAC: If you are ever arrested, I don't recommend calling somebody who took a course in political science or even someone who stayed in a Holiday Inn Express the previous night. ;) A good criminal defense attorney would be appropriate to call.

Mutaman
05-02-2005, 05:09 PM
GAC: If you are ever arrested, I don't recommend calling somebody who took a course in political science or even someone who stayed in a Holiday Inn Express the previous night. ;) A good criminal defense attorney would be appropriate to call.

I figured we'd start slow. Good criminal defense attorneys are pretty expensive. As long as he understands that you can get arrested for stuff thats not mentioned in the constitution, and the fact that its not mentioned isn't necesserily a defense.

RedsBaron
05-02-2005, 05:37 PM
I figured we'd start slow. Good criminal defense attorneys are pretty expensive. As long as he understands that you can get arrested for stuff thats not mentioned in the constitution, and the fact that its not mentioned isn't necesserily a defense.
Oh GAC is a bright guy even if he doesn't have a law degree. :)

Puffy
05-02-2005, 05:52 PM
Oh GAC is a bright guy even if he doesn't have a law degree. :)

Just because GAC writes a book each time he responds to a post does not make him a bright guy.

Burn!!!!! :mooner: :mooner: :mooner:







PS - he is a bright guy, but there was no way I was missing my opportunity to burn him :devil:

Roy Tucker
05-02-2005, 06:25 PM
Holy cow, my name got brought up in here.

Yeah, I agree with the view that judges shoud not be voicing political opinions on areas that they may be rendering decisions on. Which is pretty much everything.

Note, it hasn't nothing to do with the validity of their opinion or whether or not I agree with it.

They are held to a higher standard by judicial ethics and canons and need to avoid with great effort any appearance of not being impartial. And they higher up they go, the stronger this needs to be applied.

It's like the Supreme Court justices at the State of the Union address. They don't clap, they don't stand, they don't huzzah, they don't say or do *anything*.

And if they can't withhold ther opinions from public forums, then they need to find a different job.

Jaycint
05-03-2005, 12:32 AM
Edit: nevermind, not worth the mental anguish when I wake up in the morning and see the responses. ;)

GAC
05-03-2005, 08:43 AM
But does what she attended constitute a political gathering? If she was attending her local church, would she also be prohibited from stating her views because she is a justice?


Her comments to a gathering of Roman Catholic legal professionals in Darien, Conn., came on the same day as "Justice Sunday: Stop the Filibuster Against People of Faith," a program produced by evangelical leaders and simulcast on the Internet and in homes and churches around the country.

I just find it very interesting that justices speak their personal opinions all the time, and yes, probably allow their personal convictions to influence their decisions/rulings. And some seem to get really up in arms when this involves a conservative/evangelical, while looking the other way when a liberal judge does the same. Why is that?

And as far as throwing out the Constitution as an argument/defense for every little thing (be it a speeding ticket or whatever - which I found to be a ridiculous analogy anyway) ... of course it wouldn't be applicable.

But I am referring to the Establishment clause that some like to throw out as a defense, and it does refer to making law, not expressing one's views/opinion.

But I'm definitely not qualified to argue with a group of lawyers/law students on this matter of a written "code of conduct" regulating public speaking of those within the legal profession. And I'm not gonna trying. But if she has violated this code of conduct set forth on justices then why haven't actions been taken to discipline her, or any judge, who seem to do this all the time?

And historically speaking, then some of you are saying/claiming that past justices who have made similar public religious statements/proclamations that were just as bold were in the wrong to do so, and violated these codes (or they didn't exist then?)

GAC
05-03-2005, 08:44 AM
Just because GAC writes a book each time he responds to a post does not make him a bright guy.

Burn!!!!! :mooner: :mooner: :mooner:







PS - he is a bright guy, but there was no way I was missing my opportunity to burn him :devil:

I'm saving up my response for you on that softball field. Just finishing reading Ty Cobb and sharpening my spikes! :mooner:

Mutaman
05-03-2005, 01:58 PM
And as far as throwing out the Constitution as an argument/defense for every little thing (be it a speeding ticket or whatever - which I found to be a ridiculous analogy anyway) ... of course it wouldn't be applicable.



And here I thought it was really clever. Oh well.

registerthis
05-03-2005, 02:06 PM
And here I thought it was really clever. Oh well.
It's only applicable to right-wing judges bending judicial standards to speak at politically-themed events...I guess.

Jaycint
05-03-2005, 02:18 PM
If in the next few weeks a secular or left leaning judge does something similar to what Brown did the tap-dancing in here will be on a scale never seen before. :)

registerthis
05-03-2005, 02:30 PM
If in the next few weeks a secular or left leaning judge does something similar to what Brown did the tap-dancing in here will be on a scale never seen before. :)
I don't think you need to worry about a secular judge speaking at a Catholic conference. ;)

Jaycint
05-03-2005, 02:45 PM
I don't think you need to worry about a secular judge speaking at a Catholic conference. ;)

Hehe, you know what I meant Reg. ;) Point taken though, probably not to many secular judges at Catholic conferences. :)

Mutaman
05-03-2005, 07:09 PM
If in the next few weeks a secular or left leaning judge does something similar to what Brown did the tap-dancing in here will be on a scale never seen before. :)

Well then you'll be able to throw my written statements back in my face and show that I'm full of it. Don't bet it'll happen.

Jaycint
05-03-2005, 08:02 PM
Well then you'll be able to throw my written statements back in my face and show that I'm full of it. Don't bet it'll happen.

Lighten up Muta, I was half kidding anyways, thus the smiley face in my quote. We all know your side of the partisan politics fence is infallible.

Mutaman
05-03-2005, 09:49 PM
Lighten up Muta, I was half kidding anyways, thus the smiley face in my quote. We all know your side of the partisan politics fence is infallible.

We're cool. I thought the smiley face meant you liked MacDonalds.

Jaycint
05-03-2005, 10:39 PM
We're cool. I thought the smiley face meant you liked MacDonalds.

Haha, unfortunately I like it a bit too much for my stomach's own good. :)