April 04, 2005

Rule of Law! Rule of Law!

Oh sure, sure Republicans all say they're dead-set against using international models for our courts, but after one of their standing Senators all but endorsed killing judges earlier today, coupled with Tom DeLay's own little threats against the judiciary, it really does seem like we'll have to start looking abroad to see what's in store for the American legal system. Let's see, so many fine examples to choose from...

There's Zimbabwe:
Several of Zimbabwe's most senior judges have been forced to step down because their decisions have not pleased the authorities.
Not bad! Though for a more holistic approach, Pakistan has a pretty sweet set-up:
All judges who refused to take the new oath, including Chief Justice Saiduzzaman Siddiqui and 13 Supreme Court judges, have been dismissed. The oath appears to require judges to obey the edicts of the military government at the expense of Pakistan’s constitution. General Musharraf seized power on October 12, 1999, citing widespread corruption in government.
Or there's always the elegant Algerian method:
The judiciary in Algeria is not independent. Since judges are appointed to ten-year terms by the Ministry of Justice and can be removed at will, in practice the judiciary is squarely dependent on the executive branch.
Hm. Which model does John Cornyn think best? Personally I think Pakistan's is just swell—they have to take an "allegiance oath" and everything! Never trust a judge who doesn't take an oath of allegiance to the ruling party, that's what I always say...
-- Brad Plumer 8:41 PM || ||