Cultural Revolutions

Recall Election

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals surprised most conservatives and even a few liberals when it ruled that California’s recall election could not go forward on October 7 as scheduled, overruling a district judge and effectively overruling the California courts, which had rebuffed all legal challenges to the recall, and California voters who had followed the provisions of their state’s constitution to put the recall on the ballot.  The panel agreed with a bevy of leftist and minority groups, which had argued that the use of punch-card ballots in California counties with large minority populations made any election held before those voting machines were replaced a violation of both the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and the Voting Rights Act.

The decision was, of course, absurd.  It should not have come as a surprise, however, because it faithfully represents trends in American law and politics that have been apparent for decades.  For at least 40 years, the federal judiciary has been the indispensable ally of an increasingly ascendant leftism.  The federal courts have both imposed leftist ideals on an initially recalcitrant public—as in Roe v. Wade and this summer’s decision discovering a hitherto unknown constitutional right to homosexual sodomy—and protected leftist gains from political or legal counterattack (as in the decision...

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