Judicial Activism Ripped At Rally

U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, acknowledges applauses as he speaks during the 'Justice Sunday II' broadcast in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, Aug. 14, 2005. The program was designed by the Family Research Council to educate voters on how the courts affect the every day lives of Americans. (AP Photo/John Russell)
AP
The No. 2 GOP leader in the House took the opportunity to remind his audience that law-making is the job of lawmakers, not judges — no matter how high up or distinguished.

Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, had the attention of thousands of evangelical Christians, shoehorned into a Nashville church Sunday to learn more about the Supreme Court.

DeLay's remarks at "Justice Sunday II," televised for broadcast to churches nationwide, came only three weeks before the Senate begins considering the nomination of John Roberts to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Those hearings are scheduled to start Sept. 6.

"All wisdom does not reside in nine persons in black robes," DeLay told the crowd. "The Constitution is clear on the point that the power to make laws is vested on Congress."

Roberts' views on judicial activism are under scrutiny by Democrats and Republicans alike.

Republicans are heartened by Roberts, who sits on the federal appeals bench, remarking that judges should interpret the law, not make law. Democrats, fearful of a high-court reversal on abortion, like that Roberts sees precedent playing an "important role in promoting the stability of the legal system."

James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, cautioned that America's most powerful judges are "unelected, unaccountable and arrogant."

The president of The Catholic League, Bill Donohue, suggested a constitutional amendment to say that "unless a judicial vote is unanimous, you cannot overturn a law created by Congress."

The court is trying to "take the hearts and souls of our culture," he said.

Dobson evoked the framers of the Constitution, saying: "These activist, unelected judges believe they know better than the American people about the direction the country should go. The framers of our great nation did not intend for the courts to have absolute and final power over us."