Dan Popkey is mistaken when he claims that Justice Linda Copple Trout's imperious revision of the Idaho Constitution is somehow an improvement — or, more insultingly, "a favor" to voters.
In the June 13 column, Popkey seeks to defend the decision by two sitting justices to resign early in order to manipulate the selection of their successors. This is not a legitimate exercise of their public trust. In fact, I believe their bold challenge is a violation of their oath of office to defend our state constitution.
Popkey echoes the elitism of Trout when he writes that we would all be better off to leave the hard and complicated work of justice selection to some unelected committee. These special folks will somehow provide us all with a better crop of justices.
I submit Popkey is simply wrong on both a philosophical and practical level.
Idaho voters have done very well without the help of liberal elites. There can be no serious indictment of the quality of Justices Wayne Kidwell, Jim Jones and Daniel Eismann. These people were selected by the people and have served with great distinction. Not even Popkey has leveled a charge that these populists have lacked integrity or proper judicial temperament.
So the problem Popkey seeks to fix must be something else. It seems likely that Popkey is simply frustrated that Idaho voters are considerably more conservative than he. Like many elites, he wants a more liberal judiciary, unaccountable to the people, because that is about the only way his agenda could ever be accomplished.
But the Founding Fathers crafted the Constitution to protect our freedom from just such plots.
Popkey seeks to legitimize his arguments with the claim that he would allow a limited role for the people. Well, I appreciate this consideration — but his bread crumbs don't amount to much. Under his plan, Idaho voters will have a chance to vote for justices in just the same way that the old Soviet Politburo allowed Russians a chance to ratify their decisions. It is, after all, highly unlikely that any qualified lawyer would risk a challenge of a newly appointed justice — particularly when their judicial record would be so slim by the time of candidate filing next spring.
It is only through the rigors of a contested election or a long judicial record that Idahoans will get a solid understanding of the justice's philosophy and values. But by the time we find out that a social engineer has captured a post of such power — it may well be too late.
The dangers of a runaway judiciary are all about us. The list of damages created by the 9th Circuit alone is enough to serve as a clarion call that we must rise to defend our rights under the Idaho Constitution.
David Ripley is executive director of Idaho Chooses Life , a pro-life political action committee.
Friday, June 22, 2007
David Ripley: Idaho's justices have denied us our constitutional rights
Big Rattler obtained an orginal copy of this complete article.
Be advised that pro-homosexual PrideDepot.com reports that Idaho Statesman political hachet man, Dan Popkey, sits in Washington D.C. gay bars flashing a photo asking if they know of anyone who "did it" with this guy. Why would anyone take Popkey's opinions seriously?
This is a copy of the guest editorial that ran in the Idaho Statesman 6-22-07:
Posted by Liberty Spuds at Friday, June 22, 2007