A slogan bandied around by many Republicans, often with an epithet, is “judicial activism.” President Bush sneers at the notion of activist judges. Bush’s attitude of course is highly ironic as he would not have won the 2000 election without the unprecedented activism of our Supreme Court. Had it not intervened, he would have lost Florida and the election. This was an historic action by the Court, widely criticized and in one book famously called an “act of treason” by the Court because it was so unprecedented.
The Republican Party is using the courts in 2008 to try again to influence the election, this time in a more subtle manner. The Republican Party is asking the Alaskan courts to become extremely a “activist” by intruding on a purely legislative process: the statutory investigation of the governor. This is exactly what Republican dogma says is shameful: the courts ursurping the role of the legislature.
The lawsuit appears to be nothing more than a tool to stall the investigation. It claims that Palin cannot get a “fair and just” hearing in the Republican legislature. The trial judge promptly dismissed the suit and the appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court proved fruitless immediately.
I commend the Alaska courts for declining the invitation to influence the election.