Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sun, Jan. 19

Founding fathers expected debate

President Bush and his fellow Red Heads are whining about a handful of judges that were blocked by Senate Democrats.

The percentage of President Bush’s nominees stopped by Democrats is a lowly 2 percent. Democrats have agreed with President Bush and the Red Brigade 98 percent of the time. Not good enough, cry the Republicans. “Activist Judges, Activist Judges” they chant.

President Bush cited the Dred Scott case in one of the Presidential debates as an example of “Activist Judges,” because they ruled that our Constitution did not allow for slaves to be a part of “We the People,” and, therefore, Mr. Scott was not free. Unfortunately for Mr. Bush, the interpretation of the judges at that time were in fact a strict interpretation of the Constitution, and in their decision they were anything but activist.

Perhaps, President Bush never got to reading the 13th Amendment, which does outlaw slavery and was passed in 1865, eight years after Dred Scott. A strict interpretation of our Constitution does not allow women the right to vote, child labor law protection, safe working environments, protection from predatory financial practices, minimum wages, a clean environment and many other issues. That is why we have amendments.

The founding fathers did not envision our government and the needs of the people to be stagnant. That was their genius, in structuring our government into branches with checks and balances. They wanted, believed in and promoted debate. They understood that majority rule in the strictest sense was not always the best guideline.

To hear the cry of foul because not every notion, nor every motion, nor every candidate is simply given a rubber stamp is contrary to the foundation of our birth. We have had our share of shameful moments, and our share of pride. We have overcome cultural inequalities, and they came at the hands of activists throughout our population, not just in the judiciary.

So when the President and his friends try to bring about a change that limits the debate, it is only for short-term political gain. It is not done in the name of liberty or freedom. It is done solely to promote their political ideology, and that is simply wrong. It is only the spillage of a fine Red Whine.

Jim Ridout

Albuquerque, N.M.

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