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Ethically-challenged Tom DeLay takes on the Judiciary

Reported by Chrish - March 31, 2005

Tom DeLay appeared on Special Report with Brit Hume today 3/31/05 and I wondered if loyal viewers knew anything about him other than what they've seen in the last week. Unaware of his mounting ethics scandals one would think he was a model of right-wing virtue and indignation.

The Foxnews.com website bills the segment: "...host Brit Hume talks with Tom DeLay about his decision to get involved in the Schiavo case, particularly at a time when he was involved in his own controversy amid accusations of fund-raising irregularities that have brought close associates under indictment in Texas."

There was NO such mention of DeLay's ethics scandals, nothing. Twice, when DeLay made improper assertions, Brit Hume rephrased for him rather than challenging him.

Brit introduced Tom and asked "You said today 'the time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, not today.' What did you mean by that?"

TD: "...we need to look at this case, we need to look at the failure of the judiciary in Florida, we need to look at the failure of the judiciary on the federal level, the US Congress, with the president signing, sent a bill, made a law that gave federal courts jurisdiction to look at this case all anew, and they didn't even follow procedures. The normal procedures would be to reconnect the feeding tube so they could hear this case all anew. (Comment: Normal? Congress and the POTUS intervening in a private family matter is not normal.) The Congress, the people's representatives, told the judiciary to do that."

BH: Mr. DeLay, you pompous ignorant ass, are you aware of the Constitutional principle of separation of powers and the meaning of the phrase 'checks and balances'?" (Comment: April Fool! I only wish he said that.)

BH: (First gentle correction) "To be specific about it, basically what you did is to authorize the judiciary to look at it afresh, which means presumably with an evidentiary hearing if the court chose to do that. The court did not choose to do that. Is it absolutely clear to you Congressman, that this was a violation of the law you passed or simply the court taking jurisdiction in the matter and deciding to uphold the lower courts?"

TD: Well the House of Representatives has taken on judicial activism for two years. We passed six bills limiting their jurisdiction, we've looked at their make-up of their courts, we've taken on the reponsibility for being the checks and balances on an over-active out-of-control judiciary.(1) And in this particular case the judiciary was given an opportunity, the same opportunity given to death-row inmates, to have one more court look at this and rather than look at process look at all the evidence anew. They chose not to do that, they thumbed their nose at Congress and the Executive branch, and we need to take a hard look at that."

BH: "You said 'we will be looking at arrogant out-of-control unaccountable judiciary (2) who thumb their nose,' as you indicated today. What do you imagine can be done, assuming for the sake of discussion that you're right about the judiciary, that it was acting in a way that was arrogant and out-of-control and unaccountable (3) (Comment: nice repetition of key words, Brit). What is it you would propose to do?"

TD: "What I would propose to do is ask the Judiciary committee of the House of Representatives to take a good hard objective look at this, at what occurred, and then make a recommendation to the House as to how to proceed."

BH: "Now talk to me about your view on this case in particular. May I take it that your view is that Terri Schiavo should have been allowed to continue to live because she was not dying, or what?"

TD: "Terri Schiavo was a living human being. An innocent living human being. Brain-damaged, yes. Incapacitated, yes. Disabled, yes.... She was not being sustained on any artificial means, by any artificial means, all she was being done, all that was being done is she was being fed through a tube instead of her throat. (Comment: that is artificial , Tom.) This system is failed as it is. This system allowed her to be starved to death. I just feel that is very barbaric in our society."

BH: "Would you have felt differently about it, as a matter of law do you think it would have been different had her wishes in this regard been explicitly known and unmistakeable?"

TD: "Oh it would have been totally different."

BH: "In other words if she had left in writing a statement to the effect that 'if I ever reach the point that I am in a vegetative state, unable to think and act on my own, I don't wish to continue to live' pulling the feeding tube in that instance for you would have been acceptable."

TD: "then you have to define what is a vegetative state. That's one of the problems in this case. With the judge listening to different sides, listening to the activists in the euthanasia movement, doctors that are activists in the euthanasia movement, decided on his own, one person, decided she was in a vegatative state when others refuted that. So that is a question that needs to be answered."

BH: (overtalks to gently correct Tom) "They refuted or disputed it?"

TD: "They disputed it."

BH: "Right, good."

TD: "and that's why Congress stepped in and said 'OK let's have another person
look at it as a federal judge and take a look at all the evidence anew, and take a lot of questions and new evidences has been presented (sic). Even if you have a living will you have to make those kind of determination when the family is fighting amongst itself over wanting to take care of this living human being."

Comment: As is common on Special Report, there was not a balancing 5-minute segment featuring a person who admired our judiciary sticking to the law and NOT behaving like "activist judges" in this heart-wrenching saga, as DeLay and others evidently wish.

The agenda is clear - those "out-of-control" judges have to be brought under control and made to be rubber-stamping Repuppets like their colleagues in Congress. Let's hope the Judiciary has more spine than congressional Democrats.

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