Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Judge Jones on his Critics

A new article in the York Daily Record about Judge Jones and how he’s handled the aftermath of the Dover decision (okay, it’s a few days old, but I just found out about it from Burt Humburg, and yes I’ve informed him that he really should be more on the ball and get me this information sooner). I particularly liked two quotes. The first:

On Thursday night’s “Smart Talk,” however, Jones characterized his judicial decisions as circumscribed by narrow parameters based on precedent and the law. And if that brings criticism from the “punditry,” Jones said, it just goes with the job.

“They would have you believe that we take a look at our benefactors politically, or we take a look at our party affiliation,” he said. “That’s simply not the way judges work.”

But in fact, they not only believed that judges do that, they were openly rooting for this particular judge to do that. When Jones was announced as the judge, the ID side practically threw a party. How could it be better? They got a conservative Christian judge, appointed by Bush and beholden for his judicial career to Tom Ridge and Rick Santorum. They not only expected him to vote based on their benefactors and party affiliation, they rooted for him to do so. Let’s roll the tape and stop on…..DaveScot:

Judge John E. Jones on the other hand is a good old boy brought up through the conservative ranks. He was state attorney for D.A.R.E, an Assistant Scout Master with extensively involved with local and national Boy Scouts of America, political buddy of Governor Tom Ridge (who in turn is deep in George W. Bush’s circle of power), and finally was appointed by GW hisself. Senator Rick Santorum is a Pennsylvanian in the same circles (author of the “Santorum Language” that encourages schools to teach the controversy) and last but far from least, George W. Bush hisself drove a stake in the ground saying teach the controversy. Unless Judge Jones wants to cut his career off at the knees he isn’t going to rule against the wishes of his political allies.

Davey boy wanted Jones to ignore the legal and factual issues and vote solely on his allegiance to Santorum and Bush, and when he didn’t get that kind of corrupt decision, he promptly accused him of making a corrupt decision! What makes this even funnier is that we’re always hearing from conservatives about how “outcomes based” anything is bad – outcomes based education, outcomes based judging, and so forth. But it’s patently obvious that they rest their entire judgement on outcomes.

If they don’t like the outcome of a case, then the plaintiffs shouldn’t have their legal fees paid by the government; if they do like the outcome, then of course their legal fees should be paid by the government. If they don’t like the outcome of a case where the courts overturn a legislative statute, then by god it was those damned “activist judges” out to “undermine the will of the people”; when they do like the outcome of such a case – hey, who said anything about the will of the people? It’s all quite amusing to watch.

One of Jones’ most ridiculous critics, of course, is Ann Coulter. Here’s what Judge Jones had to say about her:

“We have to suffer these arrows because people will disagree with our opinions … She foments a kind of civic stupidity in my opinion.”

Does she ever.

Comments

  1. #1 richCares
    June 30, 2006

    Judge Jones reaction to his benefactors criticisms create a possibility of an ideological change by Judge Jones. Ann Coulter calling for poisoning a judge(“just a joke” she says) then Judge Jones receiving death threats. I’ve said this before, the religious right is evil, very EVIL.

  2. #2 PaulC
    June 30, 2006

    I think Jones would have had a really tough time finding for the defendants even if his allegiances inclined him toward such a decision and he was not a fair judge.

    As far as I can tell (OK, this is biased) the plaintiffs just came off as better prepared, more professional, and more respectful of the court. The defendants came in with a clown show. I don’t know if they just thought a Republican-appointed judge would have to find in their favor or what, but their testimony–Behe’s for instance–was laughable, and the plaintiffs just did a bang up job predicting precisely the kind of spurious arguments the defendants would trot out and demonstrating beyond and reasonable doubt that ID is repackaged creationism.

    Even a corrupt, activist job (and Jones is neither) might still have a modicum of self-respect. The defendants did not leave Jones any opportunity to decide in their favor and maintain a shred of professional credibility.

  3. #3 Ed Brayton
    June 30, 2006

    Paul-

    There is no question that the TMLC was vastly overmatched in terms of legal talent in this case. This wasn’t Ali-Frazier, it was Ali-Quarry, an old-fashioned beatdown. Marcia Clark and Chris Darden probably feel a lot better now knowing that they didn’t endure the worst butt-kicking in judicial history.

  4. #4 mark
    June 30, 2006

    Maybe DaveScot would have preferred a judge like Donald Thompson of Oklahoma, who could have made a bigger case out of it.

  5. #5 Ed Darrell
    July 1, 2006

    A bit of inside baseball, perhaps: DaveScot said describing Judge Jones

    . . . an Assistant Scout Master with extensively involved with local and national Boy Scouts of America. . .

    First, the Scouts use the single word “scoutmaster,” so we know that DaveScot himself is no Scout. I have a hypothesis that the ID ranks are not filled with farmers, or animal breeders/livestock raisers, nor even gardeners and bakers, because they demonstrate such a complete lack of practical knowledge of the real world of biology. Boy Scouts who have been through the entire conservation series of merit badges tend to know too much to be creationist (this isn’t a perfect correlation, but chart it when you can and see). But I also hypothesize that the ranks of IDists are NOT filled with Boy Scouts. Oh, there may be a few, but not a lot. Kids who were Scouts tend to grow up to be men who, when confronted with massive dishonesty such as one sees in creationist tracts and schoolboard testimony of DI folk, revolt and pull away. Scouts and Scout leaders swear, repeatedly, to a high ethical code that calls for the person to do one’s best for one’s country, to be trustworthy, helpful, brave, clean and reverent, among other things.

    Thus, when the chips are down, these people tend to do the right thing by the law, by the nation, and they consider it a duty to their fellow humans and to God to do the right thing, not the purely political loyalty thing.

    Now, second, DaveScot may have assumed, in his lack of knowledge of the Scouts, that the national council having been tilted to the right in the last decade or so, Scouts would follow a political agenda. This is another case of just not paying attention to the facts. Scouts and Scout leaders at the local level — and Judge Jones is involved at the local level, despite DaveScot’s claim — get the values of the program left over from its founding in America. Those values include the stuff that made Eagle Scout Bill Bradley refuse to set up tax shelters to keep his income from the federal government when he first signed with the Knicks (the story is he asked why anybody would want to refuse to pay their fair share of taxes to the greatest nation ever), the stuff that got Apollo 13 through its travails with Eagle Scout Jim Lovell in command, and the stuff that made Eagle Scout Richard Lugar tell Ronald Reagan that Reagan’s old friend Ferdinand Marcos was a corrupt despot and did not deserve the defense of the military of the United States, contrary to the stories of everyone else in power at the time, prompting the establishment of democracy in the Philippines.

    In short, DS hadn’t done his homework (where have we seen that syndrome before?) and he didn’t expect that someone with Scouting influence would do the right thing, as all Scouts pledge to do. DS seriously “misunderestimated” the power and effect of high ethics.

    For all the lawyer jokes, justice administration in this nation is done by people who are supposed to be held to higher ethical standards than the public at large, and who often demonstrate such higher ethics. We can be grateful for such people, and we should encourage institutions that create and nurture them, such as good public schools, and good Girl Scout and Boy Scout units.

  6. #6 keiths
    July 1, 2006

    This was Dave’s immediate reaction when the Dover decision was announced:

    Judge Jone’s [sic] career just ended. He was appointed by President Bush and just now ruled against the president’s wishes. It’s a good thing he’s got a lifetime appointment because that’s the last appointment he’ll ever get.

    Comment by DaveScot — December 20, 2005 @ 11:28 am

    “Checks and balances” is obviously a foreign concept to Dave. I guess it’s no surprise that he learned no more in civics class than he did in biology.

  7. #7 raj
    July 2, 2006

    Judge Jone’s [sic] career just ended. He was appointed by President Bush and just now ruled against the president’s wishes. It’s a good thing he’s got a lifetime appointment because that’s the last appointment he’ll ever get.

    Comment by DaveScot — December 20, 2005 @ 11:28 am

    Um, since Judge Jones has a lifetime appointment, how can his career have “just ended”? Apparently the nutters like DaveScot don’t read what they wrote.

    And it is precisely so that judges would not be beholden to their benefactors from the political branches that they were given lifetime tenure.

    I guess it was beyond DaveScot’s knowledge to realize that the Dover school board could have appealed. They would not have succeeded on appeal, of course, but they could have.