April 20, 2010

Impeach Barbara Crabb

Rages Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council,
for violating her "sacred oath of administering justice ... under the Constitution and laws of the United States."
There isn't any requirement under the Constitution for federal judges to swear any oaths at all, sacred or otherwise.* They're subject to "good Behavior," that's about it. Following the law likely counts as good behavior, although maybe not in Tony Perkins's phantasies.
Judge Barbara Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin also said her ruling was not about prayer itself, but instead about the statute establishing the National Day of Prayer.
I think of all the reports I've seen about this decision, this is the first one to mention this rather important fact, albeit in the 11th paragraph. Even the distinguished professor of law Rick Esenberg said that it was the day of prayer which violated the Constitution.

[T]he case raises the question whether the statute creating the "National Day of Prayer," 36 U.S.C. § 119, violates the establishment clause of the United States Constitution. . . . Although the [U.S. Supreme Court case] law does not always point in the same direction on matters related to the establishment clause, my review of that law requires a conclusion that 36 U.S.C. § 119 is unconstitutional.
How could Judge Crabb have been any clearer? You need to be extravagantly delusional to consider this an impeachable offense.

I've read a lot of these Establishment Clause decisions, and I can't think of one other that involves such a literally, facially direct violation of the First Amendment. Good luck getting it reversed.

Now if all the individual States banded together and proclaimed a National Day of Prayer, they'd probably be able to get away with it.

* A simple affirmation suffices. Demanding a "sacred oath" of any federal officer would itself be a plain violation of the Constitution.

1 comment:

Free Lunch said...

The Fourteenth Amendment probably forbids states from banding together to violate the First Amendment.

My condolences to Tony Perkins for not being able to kill his mother, er, never mind, wrong one, violate the First Amendment with impunity. Funny how theistic zealots ignore the First Amendment when they want the government to implement their religious wishes.