Friday, June 03, 2005

Tom DeLay Made Him Do It?

by Kyle Michaelis
A 25 year-old man went berserk in Douglas County Court Tuesday after hearing his bond set at $10,000 for a misdemeanor charge of destruction of property, attacking the presiding judge. Here's the Omaha World-Herald with the story:
A Douglas County Court judge avoided serious injuries Tuesday when he was attacked by a prisoner during arraignment proceedings at the county jail.

Judge Stephen Swartz had just set Jeremiah Connelly's bail at $10,000 when he was assaulted, Douglas County Correction Center spokeswoman Nancy Mullenax said.

Mullenax said Connelly, 25, leaped up onto the judge's bench and "threw several punches at the judge" before being restrained by guards.
This doesn't seem to be a case of violent retribution against Swartz as an "activist judge", especially since he's not in a federal court and this is a criminal matter. However, stories such as this can't help but call to mind the disturbing threats of violence by Republican House Leader Tom DeLay and Republican Sen. John Cornyn recently against judges who stand in the way of their ideological crusade.

Having created so toxic and dangerous atmosphere for judge's at the federal level with their deadly rhetoric, one can't help but fear that outbursts such as this will become more and more commonplace in the coming years at every level of the judiciary.

Whether or not Connelly even knows what DeLay said (or who he is, for that matter) is of little relevance. DeLay and his like have helped create an environment wherein violence against judges is acceptable and perhaps invited if theirs is not the "Right" decision. If violent judicial retribution can be justified and expected for political reasons, it seems only reasonable that the same hold true in cases where a defendant's own life and freedom are at stake.

This use of fear as a means to control the judiciary shows the full extent of the Republican Party's historic attempt at absolute control over the federal government. They will stop at nothing and will not take no for an answer, eliminating one-by-one every safeguard from tyranny upon which our democracy is founded.

Today punches to the face, tomorrow car bombs and piano wire. Thank you to Tom Delay & Co. for bringing Mafia-tactics to the mainstream.


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