Texas 21

Devoted to discussion about the 21st Congressional District of Texas. Currently occupied by Congressman Lamar Smith (R).

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Does Net Neutrality Make a Hypocrite of Lamar Smith?

In the recent geekroots victory in the Net Neutrality War (and you better believe there will be more battles to be fought) TX-21's own representative was not pleased with the result.
The most pointed opposition to the Judiciary bill came from Texas Republican Lamar Smith, who said he would prefer "to leave these decisions to the courts to work out on a case-by-case basis under the antitrust law." The existing bill is far too regulatory and could "put a straitjacket on this important sector of the economy," Smith warned.
Suddenly, Lamar Smith trusts the judiciary. Just three short years ago, he was so alarmed by judicial "activism" that he was one of the founding co-chairs of the Tom Delay pet project, the House Working Group on Judicial Accountability. In the announcement of its formation, Rep. Smith cited the groups goals:

First, we want to educate Members and the public about judicial abuse. Second, we will try to prevent judicial abuse and third, we will support the nomination process for judges who will not substitute their own policy views for the law,” said Rep. Smith.
“The fact remains that the judiciary is a co-equal branch of the federal government. They are subject to checks and balances. Congress is right to evaluate them when they behave like un-elected super-legislators,” added Smith.
(Emphasis added.)

Apparently, there are some policy views Rep Smith is willing to have these judicial activists build up on a "case by case basis". The ones that could choke your freedom on the internet as surely as the Supreme Court gagged whistleblowers today.

Not only is Rep Smith on the wrong side of the Net Neutrality issue, he had to perform a bit of political gymnastics to walk back his previous position on those flaky judges.

Unless, of course, he's come to the conclusion in the intervening three years the HWGJA has stamped out all that nasty judicial activism.

NAH, that couldn't be it... We would have heard about it if the Judicial War on Faith was over.
Three weeks ago, religious conservatives angry about rulings that have limited public displays of religion assembled in Washington for a conference titled, "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith."
San Antonio's Republican Rep. Lamar Smith addressed an audience there in place of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who was attending the Pope John Paul II's funeral.
"While judicial activism has existed from the founding of our nation, it seems to have reached a crisis," Smith told the audience. "Judges routinely overrule the will of the people, invent new 'rights' and ignore traditional morality."
At the conference's end, many attendees signed a declaration calling on Congress to restrain and discipline federal judges who distort the original meaning of the U.S. Constitution.
I mean, wouldn't we have heard if the judicial activism crisis was over? Right along with all the good news coming out of Iraq?