March 13, 2007
If liberal judicial activism were ever put on trial, the foolish decisions of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (sometimes referred to as the Ninth Circus) would be Exhibit A. An editorial in yesterday's Wall Street Journal notes that the Supreme Court has reviewed eight decisions by the Ninth Circuit in its current term--and has overturned all eight. The cumulative vote of the justices against the Ninth Circuit's positions is an astronomical 67-5.
This gives hope that the Supremes will overturn another absurd Ninth Circuit ruling handed down Friday. The Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library makes meeting rooms available to the public for "educational, cultural and community related" activities--but forbids their use for "religious services." A district court judge overturned this blatantly unconstitutional policy, but a Ninth Circuit panel overruled that decision, and now the full court has refused to hear an appeal. The judges argue that "mere religious worship" is entitled to less protection under the First Amendment than is secular speech or religious speech other than worship. The dissenting judges declared that "the majority has disregarded equal-access cases stretching back nearly three decades."
It's no wonder that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Dr. James Dobson last week in a radio interview that he favors abolishing the Ninth Circuit altogether.