There is some ridiculous handwringing in this Washington Post article about voters daring — DARING I say — to throw judges off the bench for finding gay marriage in a state constitution.How dare the people exercise their right.
The effort in Iowa worries not only gay rights advocates but some legal experts who say it is wrong to punish judges for an unpopular decision. For critics of judicial elections, Iowa is offering a compelling example of the peril of subjecting judges to voters’ whims.Backers of the campaign say they are simply exercising their democratic right to rein in a judiciary that has overstepped its authority on same-sex marriage and other issues. . . .He and others worry it will politicize Iowa’s court system and have a chilling effect on judges nationwide.
A chilling effect on judges is exactly what this country needs. I’m a big fan of the idea of impeaching that federal judge in San Francisco. When judges deviate from societal norms so dramatically hiding being rights they themselves have divined from constitutions that no one else sees, they should be driven from their offices, their pensions revoked, and barred from ever holding office again.Yes, it is punitive. But it must be. Frankly, judges should live in fear of the people removing them from office as much as your standard politician does. The pendulum has swung too far in favor of a judicial oligarchy and while it would be equally bad to swing the whole way back to mob rule, we could stand a correction.Sandra Day O’Connor says judicial elections create “politicians in robes.” Right now we have a group of kings and queens in robes at the federal level. They have become our masters and tyrants. Until we punish them through defunding their offices, revoking their jurisdiction, and impeaching them we can complain all we want, but nothing will change.And yes, we can defund their offices. Though we cannot take away their salaries, I have zero problem cutting their budgets otherwise. If they are going to force their values onto society as a whole, they can do so out of their own pocket.