- Victor C. Bolles
Here in Austin Texas, an off-duty Army Sergeant, Daniel Perry, was recently convicted of murder for shooting a Black Lives Matter protestor during a riot back in the long hot summer of 2020 after the murder of George Floyd. I am not here to relitigate that case but the fact that the protestor, Garrett Foster, was carrying an AK-47 which he may or may not have pointed at Perry does not seem to have made much of an impact on the jury. And I am not going to make a big fuss about the fact the George Soros-backed Travis County District Attorney, Jose Garza, has indicted 19 police officers for using excessive force during the BLM riots, but has not indicted any of the protestors after days of riots where protestors burned vehicles, vandalized property and threw projectiles including Molotov cocktails at police.
No, I want to comment on Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s announcement that he was seeking to pardon Mr. Perry even before he is sentenced and before any appeal that may be available through the courts. Many accuse Governor Abbott of promoting base political theater over justice. And it is true. Governor Abbott, famous for sending illegal immigrants to New York City and Washington, DC, is guilty of politicizing the system of justice in Texas. Of course, some people might think that a DA indicting 19 police officers but zero protestors might be politicizing the system of justice in Texas, as well.
And this comes right after another Soros-backed DA in Manhattan indicted the former president of the United States for paying hush money to silence a porn star about an affair way back in 2006. Many people also think that indictment is politically motivated seeing as how the Manhattan DA, Alvin Bragg, based his election campaign on prosecuting former President Trump.
It should not be much of a surprise. Progressives have long believed that the judiciary is just another political branch of government that should assist in promoting their ideological agenda, especially when they cannot get their agenda approved by the legislature. The first thing that socialists do once they gain power is to revamp the justice system to support their plans as was the case when Hugo Chavez gained power, when Daniel Ortega gained power and when Evo Morales was elected. Even Franklin Delano Roosevelt also tried to capture the Supreme Court when the Court blocked parts of his “New Deal” agenda. George Soros is helping progressives to capture justice at the local level, spending $40 million to elect progressive district attorneys like Travis County DA Jose Garza and Manhattan DA Bragg, with often tragic results for ordinary citizens.
But now Republicans are trying to utilize the justice system to advance their ideological agenda. When President Trump complained to Chief Justice Roberts about Obama judges, Roberts responded, "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them." But apparently, we do have Obama judges and Trump judges. On April 7th, two federal judges issued contradictory rulings on banning or not banning the morning after pill, confusing everybody. This is what happens when people try to use the justice system to achieve political ends.
Statues of Lady Justice or Justitia usually portray her as being blindfolded while holding scales and a double-edged sword. Wikipedia says the blindfold was originally intended as a satirical comment that she was blind to all the injustice of the world. Eventually, however, the blindfold came to represent the impartiality of justice. But many people still think that Lady Justice should address those injustices. But who determines what is just and what is unjust? That is a political decision.
Progressives in the Democratic Party want an activist court to help implement their political agenda. Their agenda not only includes abortion rights, but also transgender rights, racial preferences, wealth taxes, among others. They believe that a court system delinked from its constitutional constraints would be a force for good in America. But a politicized system of justice will only be as good as the people who wield political power.
The statue of Lady Justice in Hong Kong, erected in 1893 by the British, remains on display even though the administration of justice, in the hands of the Communist Party of China, has jailed numerous dissidents. Russian President Putin has used the justice system to imprison opposition leader Aleksei Navalny after his assassination attempts failed to kill him. And Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega has used the captive justice system in his country to jail seven opposition presidential candidates on trumped up charges along with hundreds of other political prisoners.
The system of justice created by the Framers in the Constitution of the United States is intended to be a check on political power, not an instrument of political power. There is much debate among legal scholars between originalists who believe that the constitution should be interpreted based on the original intent of the Framers and those who believe that the Constitution is a living document that should be adapted to the conditions of our current society, not a society that existed over two hundred years ago.
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has been portrayed as an example of far right wing control over the court and that the decision was political in nature. And while I am not a legal expert (or scholar) it is clear to me that Roe v. Wade made law which is an exercise of political power. The creation of law is a power of the Congress, not the court’s. So it was appropriate for the Court to vacate that decision. It is now up to the legislators to devise how abortion should be treated under the law. Unfortunately, both Republicans and Democrats are proposing legislation to settle this issue that is so radical that ordinary citizens are horrified at the draconian solutions to a tragic problem.
Likewise, Governor Abbott should not be short-circuiting the justice system to achieve his preferred political outcome. He should allow the legal process to work its way through the system and hope that his preferred outcome occurs on appeal. A pardon should only be a last resort to remedy a perceived injustice – a political decision. In addition, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should disavow her call for the FDA to ignore a ruling by a federal judge. Officials doing so could be held in contempt by the judge. Such actions in defiance of a legal ruling would only further break down the rule of law in the United States at a time when the entire fabric of the country seems to be unraveling.
It is essential that the judicial system and especially the Supreme Court continue to act as a check on political power as the Framers of the Constitution intended and not become a tool of political power as the political parties desire.