April 14, 2011

The President, who is not complaining

Easterbrook disappunts:*
A President frequently calls on citizens to do things that they prefer not to do—to which, indeed, they may be strongly opposed on political or religious grounds.
Yes, well, how often is a President directed to do so by a "National Day of Prayer" Act of Congress, which body is explicitly commanded to "make no law respecting an establishment of religion"?

Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook avoids that question entirely. Of course by ordering Judge Barbara Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin to vacate her prior holding on the grounds the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue in the first place — which he did — Easterbrook needn't even mention the question whatsoever. But by instead rehearsing the litany** of irrelevant historical references we've come to expect from these cases — which he does — Easterbrook has abdicated a small piece of judicial responsibility.

And there is no "Establishment of Politics" Clause.

'Tisn't the conservative titan-judge's finest moment, I must say.

Better not the annoyingly Rehnquistian history lesson at all.

* Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. v. Barack Obama, No. 10-1973 (7th Cir. Apr. 14, 2011). [.pdf; 19 pgs.]

** Almost typed "liturgy," which wouldn't be inaccurate either.

1 comment:

Free Lunch said...

This is the second absurd lack-of-standing decision in a month. Rather than follow the law, the conservatives in appellate courts have decided that some unconstitutional acts can stand if we don't let anyone actually question the unconstitutional behavior.

I didn't really expect Easterbrook to go down that path.