More Activism from the Ninth "Circus"

12 03 2007

Filed under: Ninth Circuit, Contra Costa County, Judicial activism, Liberalism, Politics

When conservatives expose activist judges that “create” laws instead of interpreting it, liberals throw their arms up in disgust as if these unelected officials actually found grounds for their decisions in the Constitution. If activist judges could be put on trial, Exhibit A would have to be the Ninth “Circus,” out of California, no surprise.

An editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal notes that the Supreme Court has reviewed eight decisions by the Ninth Circuit in its current term–and has overturned all eight. The cumulative vote of the justices against the Ninth Circuit’s positions is an astronomical 67-5.

This gives hope that the Supremes will overturn another absurd Ninth Circuit ruling handed down Friday. The Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library makes meeting rooms available to the public for “educational, cultural and community related” activities–but forbids their use for “religious services.”

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Friday denied a rehearing of a Sept. 20 ruling that public libraries whose meeting rooms have been opened to private groups can prohibit use of the rooms for religious worship.

The denial drew a dissent from Judge Jay S. Bybee, joined by Judges Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain, Andrew Kleinfeld, Richard Tallman, Consuelo Callahan, Carlos Bea and Milan Smith Jr.

“The panel majority’s decision permits the government to single out what it calls ‘mere religious worship’ for exclusion from a forum that it has opened broadly for use by community and cultural groups,” Bybee wrote. “In so doing, the majority has disregarded equal-access cases stretching back nearly three decades, turned a blind eye to blatant viewpoint discrimination, and endorsed disparate treatment of different religious groups.”

The county makes its public library meeting rooms available to the public during library hours for “educational, cultural and community related meetings, programs and activities.” The county prohibits use of the rooms for “religious services,” although other forms of activity related to religion are permitted.

A district court judge overturned this blatantly unconstitutional policy, but a Ninth Circuit panel overruled that decision, and now the full court has refused to hear an appeal. The judges argue that “mere religious worship” is entitled to less protection under the First Amendment than is secular speech or religious speech other than worship.

Given the Ninth Circus’ obvious anti-religion stance, their record stands for itself. No liberal can support a group of judges that is consistently overturned at the rate and score as the Ninth Circuit-even if it is another group of unelected justices that does the overturning.

It’s no wonder that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Dr. James Dobson last week in a radio interview that he favors abolishing the Ninth Circuit altogether.

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