Last May, when California judges overturned a state law banning gay marriage, countless right wingers blamed the move on judges “ruling from the bench.” But what the anti-gay marriage crowd failed to point was that the judge who wrote the ruling, along with many who agreed, were Republican appointees.
Josh Richman at the Political Blotter writes that the term “activist judge” is “what a lawsuit’s losers call judges who ruled against them.”
For the record, the California Supreme Court’s opinion was written by Chief Justice Ronald George, an appointee of Republican Gov. Pete Wilson; he was joined by justices Joyce Kennard (appointed by Republican Gov. George Deukmejian), Kathryn Werdegar (Wilson, again) and Carlos Moreno (Democratic Gov. Gray Davis). And in the Massachusetts case, the trial judge was a Reagan appointee while one of the appellate judges was a George H.W. Bush appointee, one a Clinton appointee and one a George W. Bush appointee; their ruling was unanimous, and the U.S. Supreme Court this month refused to review it.
Activists one and all? Hardly. They’re jurists interpreting and state and federal laws and constitutions, as their job descriptions entail.
photo credit: Getty/Justin Sullivan