Jon Rowe has caught another great example of why the phrase “judicial activism”, thrown about incessantly by conservatives, means nothing more than “judges doing things we don’t like”. The example comes, predictably, from the Worldnutdaily. Illinois has just passed a law to become the 15th state to add sexual orientation to their anti-discrimination laws. The law was passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor. Peter LaBarbera, director of the Illinois Family Institute, is up in arms and wants it overturned by the courts because it does not exempt churches and religious organizations from the legislation.
Let me first say that I agree with LaBarbera that if the law does not exempt churches and religious groups, it should be overturned by the courts. Forcing churches not to discriminate in their hiring on the basis of their religious views violates the free exercise clause and is unconstitutional. But where is the screaming about “unelected judges” overturning duly elected laws that represent the “will of the people”? Oh, that’s right. It’s only “judicial activism” when the “will of the people as expressed through their elected representatives” is something conservatives agree with. If they disagree with the law, then by God we need to find an unelected judge to “run roughshod over the Democratic process”.