Having a conversation with a friend of mine today we got to discussing one of the wingnuts favorite topics, "Judicial Activism," and how best to respond when the cry goes up from the edges of Freeperland that those darned judges are at it again. We are now contemplating building a website, similar to Media Matters or Snopes, as a place to get real information regarding supposed acts of judicial activism. The hope and intent is that it will equally expose or debunk judicial activism, regardless of the decision, party, or political affiliation (I don't envision this as being a partisan effort, however, I can't see it taking much other form at the moment).
Read on for more info after the crease ...
Just as in the last election cycle, one could simly point to FactCheck.org (except Dick "Dick" Cheney) to verify or vet information being tossed about. A site dedicated to judicial activism could document and/or debunk (or just explain) how the judiciary works and what's really going on. In the future, when the wingnuts scream "judicial activism!" one can simply point to a single resource to debunk or validate
Perhaps one of the biggest errors I've seen in discussions surrounding the topic is a complete lack of understanding of the role of the judiciary. More than a few here on Daily Kos have had some extremely intelligent discussions ranging from the intents of the Framers to the modern day understandings, and I believe that in order to help salvage democracy, it is important for us begin consolidating some of that collective knowledge and expertise.
What it is:
Essentially, as we are envisioning this now, the site would be a clearinghouse for information regarding supposed acts of judicial activism. It is conceived to be a site that is a cross between Snopes and Media Matters. It would include heirarchical organization of legal issues with various subtopics, case index, and explanations. It would also include a definition of what "judicial activism" really is, thereby providing a benchmark against which to measure supposed acts of judicial activism.
Most of all, it's participatory, not a static archive of stale information.
What we'd want:
No money (not yet). For now, the most invaluable asset would be initial participation from the legal-minded members of Kos; the attorneys, the law students, the paralegals, and professors.
Topics to Address:
Categories to Cover (all appropriately cross-referenced):
- Judicial Activism
- Independent Judiciary
- Tort Reform
- Prayer in School
- Same-Sex Marriage
- Ten Commandments
- Family Law
... and a running blog on current stories in the news.
Where this stands:
We've currently investigated a bit and parked a couple domains for this effort. If there is interest, then we could begin fleshing out the ideas and content shortly. Mostly I just want to understand if there is any interest or reason to go forward with this.
Also, I likely would not want to be a spokesperson. Someone with far better credentials than I have would be better suited to such a role. Right now I just want to get it off the ground, and I think that this is a worthwhile endeavour for so many reasons.
Who am I? I am a 36 y/o female, and I live in the red state of Arizona. I currently work as an Information Security consultant for a global IT Consultancy. I am also a law student (still an undergrad) and have worked as a paralegal for a solo practice civil rights attorney for the last 3 years. All of my work has been in the federal court system at the district and circuit (appellate) court level (6th and 9th circuits).