21 April 2007

Rule of law: alternative Democrat version.

One of the really monumental achievements of the West has been an effective implementation of the concept of the rule of law.

We may be overstating things so far as the current European legal systems are concerned. Ours is but a surface understanding of those systems after all. But a great many foreigners choose to park their wealth and do business in and with America because of their correct perception that one can get a fair shake in American courts.

One reason this is so is that judges believe themselves bound to decide within the confines of rules established in the federal and state constitutions, in the legislatures, and in the courts. The idea of any executive branch or judicial branch official's making up rules of decision based on personal preferences regarding policies and outcomes is widely recognized to be something inconsistent with the concept of the rule of law. Laws should govern -- not the personal preferences of officials wielding governmental power.

So far so good.

There is, however, something in the liberal/Democrat/progressive brain that tells its owner that personal preferences may be properly enshrined in the "law" if one but has the right kind of heart and possesses that most sacred thing of all, boundless compassion for others. Have either or, better, both of these qualities and it's a green light for whatever giraffe's head the judge feels like engrafting onto the chihuahua body of the law. Devil take the hindmost judge who splutters about what the previously established -- and quite clear -- legal rule is.

Thus we pave the way for an understanding of the utter contempt that a person like Democrat-linked judicial candidate Linda Clifford has for the rule of law:
The contest for the vacant seat [on the Wisconsin Supreme Court] was between Annette Ziegler, a county judge favored by business groups, and Linda Clifford, an immigration lawyer with close ties to Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle. Ms. Ziegler won 58% of the vote on April 3 after campaigning against a series of rulings that had rattled the state's business and medical communities with their creative interpretation of the law. She claimed her opponent would make the court even more activist . . . . Ms. Clifford herself acknowledged: "I am willing to let the [state] constitution breathe and reflect what society needs in any given context."
What "breathe" means in this context is pretty much anybody's guess but we hazard that it probably means "require the things that [wannabe Judge] Clifford holds near and dear to her heart according her personal favorite rules that were inexplicably left out of the law books by various slime mold/hillbilly citizens, legislators, and judges."

Yes. That is what we think it means to Linda Clifford, who is surely wise, insightful, and . . . well, just downright caring -- and simply would never have a political agenda of her own.

Ergo, the rule of law . . . and of Linda.

Courtesy of the Democrats, clueless to a man as to what it takes to establish and maintain a free society.

"Cheesy Judges." By John Fund, Wall Street Journal Online (subscription), 4/21/07 (emphasis added).

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