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Monday, October 15, 2012

WHY JUDGES MATTER: Washington Post columnist blasts judicial war against sensible regulation


It’s not just the majority on the U.S. Supreme Court that has been undermining our rights and liberties while pandering to corporate special interests.

In a blistering column Sunday, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post business columnist Steven Pearlstein tears into some of the judges on what is widely-regarded as the nation’s second highest court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Pearlstein blasts judges on that court for:
  • Striking down a regulation calling for graphic health warnings on cigarette labels.
  • Striking down a regulation allowing shareholders to nominate directors of the companies they own.
  • Striking down regulations to control air pollution that would "prevent between 13,000 and 34,000 premature deaths, 15,000 non-fatal heart attacks, 19,000 hospital and emergency room visits, and 1.8 million lost days of school or work."
Pearlstein notes that the money saved through these health benefits is 50 to 100 times greater than the cost of the regulations.

Pearlstein calls the judge who wrote the air pollution opinion, Brett Kavanaugh, "nothing more than a partisan shock trooper in a black robe waging an ideological battle against regulation." He calls Kavanaugh’s opinion in the case "60 pages of legal sophistry, procedural hairsplitting and scientific conjecture." And he adds:
It is a hallmark of "conservative" judges that they genuflect before the tabernacle of judicial restraint even as they throw themselves lustily into the pit of judicial activism.
Read the entire column here.

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