Cheat-Seeking Missles

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Grieving Judge Blasts Conservatives

Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow is the US District Court judge whose husband and mother were murdered by a man bent on murdering her to get revenge for her actions on the bench. It was a terrible crime that shook up anyone who believes in justice.

Now Lefkow has testified before Congress regarding what should be done to protect judges, and much of her testimony criticized conservative and Christian leaders for what they said about the judges in the Teri Schiavo case. Examples, courtesy of AP via the Sacramento Bee:
House majority leader Tom DeLay: "This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior."

Evangelist Pat Robertson: "The gradual erosion of the consensus that's held our country together is probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings."

Sen. Rick Santorum: "The actions on the part of the Florida court and the U.S. Supreme Court are unconscionable."
Sympathetic as I am to her tragedy, I think she's bashing conservatives here, not offering meaningful recommendations for protecting judges. Santorum's quote is not inflammatory in the least, and Robertson's is not on point at all. DeLay's is inflammatory, and coming out of the mouth of Judge Lefkow, it appears ill-advised.

The Schiavo case was extremely high profile and is recent enough that most in Congress probably actually still remember it, so I can see why she used it. But those comments are milquetoast compared to some of the hateful stuff that was directed at Republican legislators and presidents for trying to save Teri's life. I heard no commentators cautioning about dire effects, nor did I see AP running stories expressing worries that Daily Kos and others should perhaps hold back or a Congressman might be harmed.

The fact of the matter is that Judge Lefkow's family was murdered by a twisted criminal who was angered about perceived personal injustice and harm caused by the judge. He didn't kill for a cause; he killed for revenge. And that's what always puts judges and those around them at risk.

Judge Lefkow should have kept her comments to recommendations for increased security for judges.