When people start messing with the courts and the judicial system, I get upset, very upset. Why? Because courts and judges are supposed to be above the politics and partisanship that we have become accustomed to. In some respects, it is very difficult to avoid political tampering in Supreme Court (US) appointments because those judges are appointed by a politician, the president, and approved by politicians, the Senate. But, I consider state court judges to be sacrosanct. Leave them alone, let them campaign and get elected on the basis of their legal qualifications, not their political viewpoints.
Enter, Georgia Right to Life and its “judicial questionaire”.
I don’t doubt the sincerity of organizations on both sides of this issue, the abortion issue. However, when they make the fight about courts and judges, they are misguided. No court in Georgia will ever, ever decide the abortion issue. It does not matter what any judge or candidate for judge believes about the issue or about any of the other issues on their judicial questionaire.
So, why have such a thing? Why ask a candidate to fill out something that is irrelevant to being a judge? Why?
There is only one reason that I can think of. There are questions you can’t ask candidates. You can’t ask judicial candidates if they favor business over the individual. You can’t ask them if they will give any legislation passed by the representatives of the people the benefit of the doubt, and declare it okay (constitutional), even if it really isn’t. You can’t ask them if their basic philosophy is conservative or liberal. Well, actually, you can ask all the questions, just not in public or at least you can’t expect them to answer them in public.
But, you can certainly ask them if they prefer life over choice, or life over death. You can certainly ask them anything you want about abortion, and if they answer that one, you know their answer to the rest of the questions which aren’t on the questionaire. This one answer will tell you all you really want to know about their political orientation, their leanings, liberal or conservative. For example, if you ask someone if they watch Fox News, you can take their answer and reasonably decide whether they are Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative. Sad, but true.
And I should point out that it might not even be Georgia Right to Life asking the questions in their judicial questionaire. My first interview regarding judicial questionaires was with Sadie Fields, the head of the Christian Coalition of Georgia. If you listen to the interview (circa 2006), you will find that Sadie did not have a clue about her organizations questionaire. It was prepared by a lawyer in another state. Sadie and her CC was nothing more than a pawn, a willing pawn, unfortunately. By the way, Sadie hung up on me!
What really got me in this interview with Dan Becker is his response when I asked him which of the candidates for the Georgia Court of Appeals had filled out the judicial questionaire. He wouldn’t tell me! He said it was a secret! A secret? Well, that seals it for me. Dan, you and your organization, ought to ashamed of yourselves. You cloak yourselves with the mantel of religion, of godliness, and at the same time deal in secret. When Dan told me that, I just lost all respect.
I have other problems with Georgia Right to Life when it proclaims the sanctity of life from “conception to the grave,” and yet, apparently has no position on the death penalty. I can’t think of any reason that the life of an innocent man facing the death penalty is not a concern of an organization that has “Right to Life” in its name. You would think they would at least have some concern for innocent lives lost in places other than an abortion clinic. The fact they apparently don’t says a lot, none of it good.
You should take a look at the questionaire and see the questions concerning whether or not someone should be able to sue for the wrongfull birth of a child. These suits have been raised in Georgia and have never been allowed and will never be allowed unless the constitution of Georgia is amended, which is unlikely. So, why is Georgia Right to Life asking a judicial candidate an opinion about an issue that has already been decided in Georgia, years ago, if my memory is correct? I suspect it is because this questionaire was not prepared for Georgia, but other states by outsiders.
And then, what really gets my goat is while Georgia Right to Life doesn’t want any fetus or embryo aborted, it doesn’t mind if the doctor just happens to kill it, negligently. If you don’t know it, you should, but the law in Georgia prohibits parents from suinig doctors for negligently killing a fetus before it is viable, capable of living outside the womb, usually around 23-24 weeks.
In the very least, I expect Georgia Right to Life to put some effort into changing the law so that physicians are held responsible for negligently killing fetuses after conception. Dan, let me know when you have the rally on the steps of the state capital. I will be there and I will bring thousands of parents (and their lawyers) with me.