Man Without Qualities

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Davis Descending XLIII: The Los Angeles Times Sees Judicial Terrorists

For those who have a desire to evaluate just how awful the Ninth Circuit decision putatively postponing the October recall really is, and how short-lived it will be, this Los Angeles Times editorial is worth reading:

The California recall election gained another helping of cinematic absurdity Monday, as a three-judge federal court panel delayed the Oct. 7 vote. By worrying disproportionately about the possibility of punch-card ballot problems, the court came up with a decision that, if it holds, ensures that California's politics and economy will remain in an intolerable limbo for six more months.

Less drastic remedies — for example, ordering added precautions and poll workers — could have mitigated the potential ballot-counting problems that plagued Florida's punch-card machines in the 2000 presidential election. This editorial page agrees with the earlier ruling by U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson, who said Aug. 20 in Los Angeles that the short recall campaign was required under the California Constitution, and that "delaying the election for half a year undoubtedly works against the public interest implicit in a recall election."

We have strongly opposed, and continue to oppose, this recall. ...

The U.S. Supreme Court should ... overturn the federal appeals court's ruling. Let the state take proper and fair voting precautions and get on with it. This endless political one-upmanship really amounts to political murder-suicide. In the end, no one wins, except for the ideologues keeping score in their increasingly isolated corners.

The editorial is worth reading not so much because it is well reasoned or well written. It is worth reading to get an understanding that the Ninth Circuit has become an embarrassment not just to the law, not just to the federal courts - but politically, too, even to those people such as the editorial writers at the Times who are just as liberal as the Ninth Circuit judges but nevertheless regard this decision as amounting to political murder-suicide.

The Times' image is of deranged judicial terrorists, stoked to the point of mindlessness on bad religion, walking into a pizza parlor with explosives concealed beneath their judicial robes.

UPDATE: It looks like an 11-judge "in banc" panel of the Ninth Circuit will probably review the decision of the 3 judge Ninth Circuit panel.

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