Putting judges on trial -- literally

We hear a lot of noise from the radical right wing about "activist" judges "legislating from the bench."

But these cleverly phrased buzzwords are just a smokescreen to cover the fact that it's the extreme right, the Republicans and Scalitos of the world that are working very, very hard to undo the rule of law. Unless, of course, it's using the Bible as the foundation for American jurisprudence, but that's a different story entirely.

The attack on the judiciary takes many different faces. First the Republicans demonize judges for using their constitutionally mandated powers. Then we they appoint deeply reactionary judges who will seek to erase decades of judicial precedence. And the latest twist is to hold individual judges hostage to their verdicts.

Part of the ongoing plan to implement the hyper-conservative agenda one state at a time, a group called South Dakota Judicial Accountability has launched a drive to put a constitutional amendment on that state's ballot next year that would make judges the targets of lawsuits if litigants felt their rights were violated by a judge's ruling.

The Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (J.A.I.L.!) "would overturn more than a century of settled law in the United States by stripping judges of their absolute immunity from lawsuits over their judicial acts."

The AP report states pretty succinctly what would happen should this ruling pass:

Legal experts warned that such a provision could dangerously undermine the independence of South Dakota's judiciary, plunge the court system into anarchy, and run afoul of the U.S. Constitution.
The national J.A.I.L. organization, on the Web at the subtly named Jail4Judges.org, has similar amendments written up for all 50 states and the federal government. Consider South Dakota a testing ground or launch pad for the latest wave of anti-law scheming from our nation's extreme right wing.

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