Letters to the editor
Highlands TodayMaybe next time
Published: November 10, 2012
Published: November 10, 2012
Another election is over and President Barack Obama won a second term. I think President Obama owes some thanks to the Republican governors of Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin for his win.
Governors Kasich in Ohio, Scott in Florida and Thompson in Wisconsin all are well known as lackeys to large corporate special interests and all slavishly follow the billionaire Koch brothers' agenda.
The voters in these states had seen enough of these governors to realize that Mitt Romney was cut from the same mold. Obama won all these states.
These governors and Mitt Romney pay lip service to the issues that conservatives care about, but many voters didn't buy it and stayed home or voted for Obama.
The GOP had a nominee and swing state governors that were living, breathing examples of the country club set and corporate cronyism.
If the Republicans thought these clowns were appealing to working class conservatives, they have been way too deep into their own Kool-Aid.
As a lifelong Republican, I could see this train wreck coming. No doubt the GOP will draw the wrong conclusion from this loss and think they weren't acting enough like Democrats. The real reason for their failure is the fact that they are picking candidates that only have appeal on Wall Street and in the Hamptons.
Maybe next time.
Dana B. Orr
A judge's role
The purpose of government is to solve problems for its citizenry, not to enshrine a particular ideology or to advance the interests of a particular group. The preamble to the Constitution set it out most clearly: Establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare. To bring the nation to near chaos to protect the financial position of a particular class is in conflict with the purposes for which the nation was created.
The purpose of the courts is to establish justice. Courts function to resolve disputes, to solve problems, to provide answers when there is conflict and to create remedies.
Our laws have followed the English common law from our beginnings. The earliest of our court decisions have cited the rulings of English courts as the basis for their decisions. In Florida, the common law of England as it existed on July 4, 1776, has been adopted by statute, Florida Statute 2.01, in November 1829.
The common law of England was a judge made law. For almost a thousand years, English judges would fashion a remedy for each wrong that was brought to their attention. Over the years these remedies became known as the common law writs and covered the law like a tapestry of solutions for social problems — everything from land owners rights to resolving responsibility for battery and brawls.
These decisions, unless contradicted by statute, remain the law of Florida as well as the bedrock of our federal system. The English judges for a thousand years have been activist judges and that tradition has continued in America following English precedent and modifying it as necessary to meet modern problems to shape the law to deal with contemporary problems. If you find this surprising, read Marberry vs. Madison where the court asserted a power not found in statute to solve a problem, or MacPherson vs. Buick Motor Company, where the court modified the law of negligence to reach an appropriate solution. No law books? You can Google these decisions.
Judicial activism is what judges do, it is why they sit on the court and it is their original primary function. To view them otherwise, to see them merely as rubber stamps of the current legislature, is to misunderstand the meaning of the word "justice."