Commentary on Alabama Law and Society

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Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Friday, March 03, 2006

Judicial Tyranny

Is another term favored by Justice Parker (see the article in post below). So, which of the following two people is the tyrant?

Person A, who will send you to jail if you: educate your children in any place other than a state-sponsored school, or; live in a home with your grandchildren, or; marry someone of a different race, or; wear a shirt criticizing the military draft, or; use a contraceptive. Though you and your spouse may not use contraceptives, this same person will sterilize you if you are below a certain intelligence level. This person does not want any more imbeciles than are necessary. Finally, if you are a certain race, this person prohibits you on that basis alone from entering certain businesses and even from voting.

Or, person B who tells person A to shove it, allowing you to fully participate in society, to express your beliefs, and to make your own decisions about what is best for you and your family?

Surely no-one will dispute that A is is better described as a tyrant.

While I can say that A is the various legislatures who passed these actual laws. I can't say B is the Supreme Court that struck them down, because they let the sterilization law stand.

This is not to say that the Supreme Court does not occasionally overstep its bounds, or, conversely, that it always steps in where its actions are necessary. It is just to say 'tyrant' is probably not a good adjective for a group whose work frequently increases people's freedom.