Governor needs a history lesson

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Well, Governor Palin, it took you all of two weeks to betray your constituency, to demonstrate you will not stand up to the tyrants who sit on the judicial benches of this state. You did what everyone knew Tony Knowles would do. However, Knowles would have done it in two days, maybe two hours.

You used your executive authority to enforce a directive from the fake lords and gods on the state supreme court to grant same sex benefits for state employees. Your excuse would be about the same as Frank Murkowski’s — “The judges made me do it!” But I thought you were sworn to uphold the constitution of the state. Can you find the clauses that say “The governor shall obey all opinions of the supreme court”? or “The governor must convene the legislature whenever the courts order it done”? How about “The state legislature shall obey all directives from the supreme court”?

Don’t bother looking, they’re not there.

However, I can find clauses that say “The jurisdiction of the courts shall be prescribed by law.” (Art. IV, Sec. 1), and “All civil officers of the state are subject to impeachment by the legislature.” (Art. II, Sec. 20), and “Impeachment of any justice or judge for malfeasance or misfeasance in the performance of official duties shall be according to procedure prescribed for civil officers” (Art. IV, Sec. 12). This puts the courts squarely under the control of the Legislature, not the other way around.

In my government classes, students learn how to read a constitution properly. Unelected judges have no power to mandate or force-feed legislation, to bully the governor to call special sessions or to unilaterally enforce their warped and bizarre decrees. This is not the way that “laws” are to be enacted.

You’ll notice I have the word “laws” in quotes. This is because these dictums have none of the characteristics of real laws. A real law in enacted by the Legislature or by the people through the initiative process. Art. II, Sec. 1 reads “The legislative power of the state is vested in a legislature consisting of a senate ... and house of representatives.”

You’ll notice it did not say anything about a judiciary having this power.

Suppose the judges said, “Jews are not to receive state benefits.” There are recent precedents in other countries where courts have actually said such things, did you know? If not, you’d better take my history classes, too. And, had the judges said such an outlandish thing, you and the Legislature would have moved with all speed to either defy or ignore the justices or, better yet, get them off the bench.

Some of us will be picketing your local inaugural ball. I hope you take the time to chat with us. Sometimes it is the sidewalk citizens who give the best advice, not the lawyers in the Governor’s Mansion. We’ll take 15 minutes or so and read the relevant parts of the state and federal constitutions together. I owe the governor of our state the same opportunity I offer my students.

Until then, you’re just another in a long line of fake conservatives.

Robert M. Bird

Kenai



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