Politicians vs. judiciary: A misguided war

State House Speaker Dean Cannon says they threaten the freedom and liberty of Americans.

U.S. Rep. Sandy Adams says they disregard our "national sovereignty."

Are they talking about Al-Qaida? Osama bin Laden?

No. American judges.

And so they are waging war against one of our own branches of government.

Forget separate but equal powers. Some politicians are convinced that some branches are more equal than others.

Cannon, the Republican from Winter Park, wants to split up the state Supreme Court and make it harder for appellate judges to keep their seats.

Specifically, he wants to require them to get 60 percent of the vote to stay in office.

It's an interesting argument for a legislator who garnered only 57.9 percent of the vote himself just a few months ago.

Adams' fight is a little less inventive. It was one that a predecessor, Tom Feeney, fought unsuccessfully, as well — a bill to ban courts from citing "foreign law" in any of their decisions.

In fact, Adams, a freshman Republican from Winter Park, is so intent on making this issue her calling card that she recently penned a piece for the Washington Times.

An Adams press release was headlined: "We Cannot Let Foreign Law Supersede the Constitution."

That certainly sounded reasonable. I mean, what if we started following the lead of wimpy countries like France? Next thing you know, we'll all be wearing berets, avoiding wars and making movies no one understands.

So I made a beeline for Chief Judge Belvin Perry down at the Orange County Courthouse, ready to express my disdain.

Judge Perry, I demand to know how many times you have cited international law in the Casey Anthony case this month!

"None," he responded.

OK, well, I demand to know how many times you've cited international law in ANY of your cases over the past year!

"None."

You're not getting off that easy, judge. I demand to know how many times in your entire legal career have you cited international law.

"Never," came the response.

 

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