Devil in the Details: Disorder in the Court

By Cohn, Edward; Zengerle, Jason | The American Prospect, November-December 1997 | Go to article overview

Devil in the Details: Disorder in the Court


Cohn, Edward, Zengerle, Jason, The American Prospect


DRAW, DOMESTIC PARDNER

Idaho Representative Helen Chenoweth has never been a fan of gun control. Nevertheless, her latest foray into the public debate over the issue seems a little bit odd. Chenoweth is the lead sponsor of a bill to repeal the Lautenberg amendment, a 1996 provision that effectively prohibits gun ownership by anyone convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense. The amendment, she claims, violates the Second and Tenth Amendments, and is an ex post facto law (because it's retroactive) as well as an unfunded government mandate.

What's more, she says, police sometimes charge both parties in a domestic violence dispute, so the Lautenberg amendment might prevent abused women from defending themselves. According to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, nearly four million women have been abused by their husbands or boyfriends over the past year, and 26 percent of all murdered women are killed by their partners. A mere 3 percent of murdered men, on the other hand, are killed by their wives or girlfriends. In the spirit of frontier justice, Rep. Chenoweth prefers to keep guns in the hands of abused wives rather than keeping them out of the hands of their abusive husbands. Why does this strike us as less than a fair fight?

DISORDER IN THE COURT

The past year has seen the revival of an old Republican proposal, the division of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. For the fifth time since 1983, northwestern Republicans have urged that the court, which serves nine western states, be divided in two, arguing that the court is too large and inefficient, and that a division is necessary for the effective administration of justice. Legislation dividing the court passed the Senate in July on a party-line vote, and the issue has been pushed to the top of the agenda.

But there's more to this story. While there may be good administrative reasons for splitting the Ninth Circuit - after all, it serves 50 million people (more than any of the nation's other circuit courts), has a caseload of more than 7,000, and takes an average of 429 days to reach a decision, compared to 315 days on average nationwide - the bid to split the Ninth Circuit comes in the midst of an all-out Republican assault on "judicial activism" in the federal courts. Conservative congressmen have held up the nominations of many Clinton judicial appointees, called for the impeachment of liberal judges like Thelton Henderson of California, and even proposed a rules change that would give senators a de facto veto over judicial nominees for their circuit.

Tellingly, the Ninth Circuit is probably the country's most liberal. Over the past few years, Ninth Circuit judges have ruled against laws banning assisted suicide, upheld the Brady law, thrown out numerous death sentences, and dealt several important blows to the timber industry. Thus when Republican senators argue that the Ninth is dominated by Californians who don't understand their constituents' needs, the reality is that they don't like a court dominated by liberals.

If Republicans were truly concerned about the Ninth Circuit being overburdened with cases, wouldn't they try harder to fill its vacancies? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Devil in the Details: Disorder in the Court
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.