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John Kasich Implies Judge Greer Sold Out Terri Schiavo for Campaign Contribution

Reported by Marie Therese - March 28, 2005

Last Friday on The O'Reilly Factor (3/25/05), substitute host John Kasich impugned the reputation of Florida Judge George Greer, the man who has rendered most of the important decisions in the Terri Schiavo case. He interviewed a long-time friend of the judge's, Dennis Devlaming, who had nothing but good things to say about his friend. (You can read the entire interview here.) After bantering for a few minutes about Judge Greer's judicial style, Kasich changed the tone and threw an accusatory question at Mr. Devlaming.

KASICH: "Listen, one question I would like to ask you. You know, Michael Schiavo's attorney made a campaign contribution to the judge. When I heard this today I was sort of surprised. Why you do think he'd take that?"

DEVLAMING (not comprehending the question): "I'm sorry? Why would he..."

KASICH: "Why would he take a campaign contribution from a lawyer for Michael Schiavo, in light of all this controversy? Do you think this was a bad decision? And I'm not trying to defame him here. I'm just — it's bizarre to me."

DEVLAMING: "It's not bizarre. I mean, I think you'll find out that lawyers give contributions to judges and they appear before those judges. I think the judges with integrity may be grateful for it. But — and I've made contributions to judges, and I've lost an awful lot of hearings in front of those judges."

KASICH: "You know, when I was in politics, whenever I had something going on that involved somebody, I was always very careful not to take anything from them. But look, that's a matter to question his integrity. You're a stand-up guy for coming on. Judge Greer obviously feels strongly. He's put a lot on the line. And we're just going to have to see how this all works out. Sir, thank you for coming on."

COMMENT

With this nasty piece of character assassination, FOX News has fired the first round in what will become another jihad against another member of the judiciary who doesn't agree with the right-wing political puppet-masters at the GOP.

The GOP needs a scapegoat for the President's precipitous drop in the polls this past week. Who better than Judge Greer? He now joins Florida Judge Harry Rapkin. Atlanta D.A. Paul Howard and every justice on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as a target of the religious right's smear merchants, using talk radio and conservative broadcast media to deliver the anti-judicial message over and over and over again.

Unfortunately, this assault against the Judicial Branch has been underway for a long time.

Prior to the election I watched Pat Robertson's 700 Club for a couple of weeks and realized three things immediately:

1. Republicans who appeared with him spoke in a far different manner than they did on the secular channels. They were more willing to express themselves in religious terms and agreed with Robertson's over-the-top statements, delivered in his typical saccharine style.

2. Democrats were missing in action.

3. Robertson had clearly targeted Judges. Christian Broadcasting Network heavily advertised Robertson's book "Courting Disaster: How the Supreme Court Is Usurping the Power of Congress and the People." The ads created the impression that "activist" judges (i.e., any judge who wouldn't tailor his/her rulings to the conservative Christian agenda) were engaged in a Star Chamber-like conspiracy against the good people of America. It truly frightened me with its sinister portrayal of faceless black-robed judges seemingly making decisions behind closed doors in collusion with the forces of darkness.

For the past week Americans have been subjected to the religious right's idea of how the legal system should work. And FOX News has been behind them 150%, setting the stage for what might be described as the "new rules of jurisprudence." Here are a few of them. Feel free to add some of your own!

1. Discredited and/or uncorroborated testimony made 15 years ago should be treated as new evidence and accorded the full benefit of judicial review.

2. Allegations of spousal abuse made 10 years after the fact in a highly-publicized trial is a substantive reason to overturn the decision of the court, in spite of the fact that it is hearsay and the accusers cannot produce one shred of evidence in the form of photographs or doctors' reports to corroborate it.

3. Any judge who doesn't agree with the religious right had better watch his/her back. These judges will definitely need bodyguards or, at the very least, must stand by helplessly as the likes of Bill O'Reilly make their lives such a living hell that they'll be forced into early retirement.

4. When the Bible doesn't fit the case, ditch it. For instance, in Genesis God clearly states: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh." I think God made it pretty clear that the parents lose their rights to the higher institution of marriage. Yet, when it suits their purposes, the religious right as with one voice chants the mantra of "parent's rights" over the rights of married adult children!!

5. In the event Christian litigants lose their case 20-plus times in state court, all they need to do is curry favor with a very powerful, rich advocacy group that has donated millions to the ruling political party. In return for the litigants' loyalty, the advocacy group will arrange for wall-to-wall propaganda in support of their position by a vast array of media. Then, Congress will forego part of its recess to pass special legislation, carefully tailored to their needs and no one else's. As icing on the cake, the President of the United States will fly to Washington in the middle of the night to sign the bill.

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