U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is upset about President Obama's comments that a Supreme Court decision to overturn the health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, would represent “unprecedented, extraordinary” judicial activism. Senator McConnell said today that the president is trying to "intimidate" the Supreme Court: “With his words, he was no longer trying to embarrass the Court after a decision; rather, he tried to intimidate it before a decision has been made. And that should be intolerable to all of us.” Oh, cry me a river. Senator McConnell is ignoring the right's decades-long assault on an independent judiciary. Last year, for example, Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested that judges who make decisions he think represent judicial activism should be arrested. Gingrich has also said that judges who engage in what he calls "judicial supremacy" should be impeached. Texas Gov. Rick Perry also attacks what he considers judicial activism and argues that judges can be held "accountable" by ending lifetime tenure. He even calls the Supreme Court "nine oligarchs in robes." Read More

Critics of so-called "judicial activism" -- examples of which are often court decisions they simply don't like -- loudly argue for a strict interpretation of the Constitution when judges interpret laws. So we find it hypocritical, to say the least, when those same critics later decide that the Constitution isn't a sufficient basis for interpreting laws after all. Pastor Rick Scarborough, head of the Texas-based, far-right group Vision America, provided a good example of this kind of hypocrisy in an e-mail to supporters last week blasting U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Read More

It didn't take long for the far right to launch a coordinated attack on President Obama's new Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan -- and one of the right's primary weapons is the suggestion that Kagan is a lesbian. Currently the U.S. solicitor general, Kagan is a highly respected legal scholar, served as the first female dean of Harvard Law School and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Conservative critics note that she has not served as a judge, but neither did many past Supreme Court justices. In any case, some far-right groups have decided that the most relevant question for her nomination debate revolves around rumors that she's gay. Read More

Texas Freedom Network

So when we do this again in two years, how about we: - create an online voter registration system - allow college students to use their student IDs to vote. And when we do this one, let's also ... - require polling locations on university campuses #txlege