By Tom Parker
In 1997, a vicious thug
entered the home of a pregnant
As an Assistant Attorney
General under then Attorney General (now U.S. Senator) Jeff Sessions, I helped
Although I am now a justice
of the Alabama Supreme Court, I had to recuse from
any involvement in
You see, my fellow
Those liberal justices declared last spring in the case of Roper v. Simmons that "evolving standards of decency" now make it "unconstitutional" to execute murderers who were minors at the time of their crime. The justices based their ruling not on the original intent or actual language of the United States Constitution but on foreign law, including United Nations treaties.
Ironically, one of the UN
treaties invoked by the U.S. Supreme Court as a basis for its Roper
decision is a treaty the
I am not surprised that the
liberal activists on the U.S. Supreme Court go to such lengths to usurp more
political power. I am also not surprised they use such ridiculous reasoning to
try and force foreign legal fads on
But I am surprised, and
dismayed, that my colleagues on the Alabama Supreme Court not only gave in to
this unconstitutional activism without a word of protest but also became
accomplices to it by citing Roper as the basis for their decision to
The proper response to such
blatant judicial tyranny would have been for the Alabama Supreme Court to
decline to follow Roper in the
After all, Roper itself
was established as new U.S. Supreme Court "precedent" only because
the Missouri Supreme Court refused to follow prior precedent. The U.S. Supreme
Court used the appeal resulting from the
State supreme courts may decline to follow bad U.S. Supreme Court precedents because those decisions bind only the parties to the particular case. Judges around the country normally follow precedents in similar cases because they know that if those cases go before the Court again they are likely to receive the same verdict. But state supreme court judges should not follow obviously wrong decisions simply because they are "precedents."
After all, a judge takes an oath to support the constitution -- not to automatically follow activist justices who believe their own devolving standards of decency trump the text of the constitution. Thus, faithful adherence to the judicial oath requires resistance to such activism, and a changing U.S. Supreme Court membership makes such resistance more likely to bear good fruit.
But even if, in the
worst-case scenario, the
After all, the liberals on the U.S. Supreme Court already look down on the pro-family policies, Southern heritage, evangelical Christianity, and other blessings of our great state. We Alabamians will never be able to sufficiently appease such establishment liberals, so we should stop trying and instead stand up for what we believe without apology.
Conservative judges today are
on the front lines of the war against political correctness and judicial
However, it does no good to possess conservative credentials if you surrender them before joining the battle.
Parker, a graduate of Dartmouth College and Vanderbilt Law School, is Associate
Justice of the
in the Birmingham News,