A MISSOURI LAWYER'S
MARCH 25, 2005
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Greets and Huggers. Posted the evening of March 25, 2005. I want
to believe our elected representatives are honorable persons, representing
their constituents. Doing what they believe is in the best interests of all of
Missouri's citizens. I respectfully dissent with much they have so far enacted
this legislative session perhaps philosophical differences, (like, legislation
should benefit all of Missouri's citizens .... not just business entities). My
Dear Friend, David Ransin, (a brilliant trial lawyer), is passionate in his
belief, that there is a concerted effort by a conservative few, to shift our
system of justice from one of checks and balances, to one of majoritarian rule
... minimize the power of our judges and by doing so, minimize the ability of
our Judicial Branch to enforce the contract we have with our elected
representatives: our Constitution. Perhaps he is right. SJR16,
"This proposed constitutional amendment, if approved by the voters,
would reduce the term of office for a supreme court judge from twelve years to
five years. Further, in order for a supreme court judge to be retained, the
judge must receive two-thirds of the public vote, rather than a simple majority
of the vote." HJR10
"Proposes a constitutional amendment requiring the advice and consent
of the Senate for Missouri Supreme Court nominees." and HJR11
"Proposes a constitutional amendment requiring Senate confirmation of
Missouri Supreme Court and Court of Appeals nominees." Share with me
... does the phrase "Checks and Balances" have any meaning to you? A
successful attack on our judiciary would be disastrous of course ... can you
picture an American Christian Theocracy? No diversity of cultures, religions,
moral views and the only civil rights we have, specifically granted in our
Constitution ... versus ... all rights retained and only capable of being
limited by a compelling or legitimate State interest? The former, is, what
those "activist" judges have managed to save us from. Wouldn't 49% of
us be twisting in the wind of majoritarian rule, otherwise? Yet in the Schiavo
case, our judges were criticized for not being activist enough?? A modest
proposal: how about we encourage our judges to enforce the contract we have with
our elected representatives, (our Constitution with it's Bill of Rights), by
reigning in the actions of our elected representatives designed to increase
their power or force the will of a fundamentalist Christian majority .... upon
the minority. "Creation
for a good article explaining why "evolution" makes sense .... hehehe
..... and "creation science" doesn't or this
article: "... IMAX theaters in several Southern cities have decided
not to show a film on volcanoes out of concern that its references to evolution
might offend those with fundamental religious beliefs....") or
criminalizing "Stem Cell Research", (SB160),
ring a bell?
Have you read George Orwell's "Animal Farm"? ... (If you haven't, or it's been awhile, click HERE for a synopses). Share with me how these two legislative proposals, currently pending, benefit anyone other than the ruling "pigs" on our little "animal farm"? HB688: "Section A. Section 510.120, RS Mo, is repealed and one new section enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as section 510.120, to read as follows: "510.120. 1. During the period beginning December fifteenth of each year and ending June fifteenth of the following year there shall be a stay of all administrative and court proceedings in which any member of the general assembly is an attorney for any party, a necessary witness, or a party to a civil action. Such stay shall not be discretionary with any trial court and shall be invoked by the filing of a notice by a member of the general assembly filing with the clerk of the court stating that he or she is a member of the general assembly. Such stay shall apply to all trials, motions, hearings, discovery responses, depositions, responses to motions, docket calls, and any other proceedings before any court in this state, including municipal courts and probate courts and all administrative bodies. Such stay shall also apply to any order requiring any member of the general assembly to serve as a juror during the aforesaid time period. Such stay shall not relieve any party of any obligations under either a statute of limitations or the performance of an obligation based upon a final judgment. Such stay shall not apply to any circuit court proceeding in which a member of the general assembly is the criminal defendant." emphasis added ...... and SB531, defining who may take a Bar Exam: To repeal supreme court rule 8.07, and to enact in lieu thereof one new supreme court rule relating to the application for bar examination. "... (e) An applicant who has served at least eight years as a member of the Missouri general assembly may be permitted to take the bar examination." emphasis added. So the elected "pigs" on our little "animal farm", can repeal Supreme Court Rules? Perhaps they would like to award themselves degrees? How about a degree from UMC, (withhold funds until UMC does), in "Accepting Lobbyist's Funds" ... an "ALF" ... a degree that entitles you to take a Bar Exam? Proves what Orwell wrote .... doesn't it? "All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others." So share with me ... without a viable Judicial Branch ... who will keep our elected "pigs" in check and our "farm" free? Share with me ... who would protect 49% of us from the whim ... of the ruling "Pigs"? 'Nuff said."
Read the Schiavo posts to the SFIG, (click HERE for a complete overview of the case, including pleadings, Orders and GAL Reports, (last updated March 24, 2005)), and watched the news with interest, this week. Such a passionate outpouring! Surprising to me, were the "knee jerk", reactions expressed in some of the posts to the SFIG. Surprising in the sense, that these missives were posted by highly educated, professional advocates ... who reached conclusions to support a point of view based on agenda/mind set ... readily ascertainable as not being supported by the facts/reality. Some incredibly stupid statements. MOST surprising ... why were we even arguing/debating the issues presented by this case? Isn't this sad scenario one which occurs hundreds of times each day across our America? Share with me ... what right the State has ... to interfere in the most private of decisions reached/made by a husband and wife? Didn't we just pass a Constitutional Amendment to define, formalize and empower that relationship? And yet ... our President, members of Congress, the Federal Government, the Governor of Florida and Florida's Legislature got involved??!! So share with me ... what right they had to do so .... after how many court proceedings? Aren't our judges supposed to have the final say? How many times and how many different ways, did our judges voice that opinion, in this case, over the past 7 years??!! I feel, after reading the complete overview contained in the above referenced link ... profound sadness for the people close to Terri Schiavo, (her husband, her mother and father) ... absolute distain and disgust for the politicians who used the plight of this family for political gain .... and I have nothing but the highest respect, admiration and gratitude to and for the judges involved. By their actions, they ensured we remain a nation of laws, not personalities, in spite of incredible public and political pressure. It reaffirms my staunch belief in our judicial system, our judges and our role as lawyers, (we are the foot soldiers of our Judicial Branch, aren't we?). Share with me who else, if not you and I, will defend, fight for, the contract we have, on our little " animal farm", .... with our elected "Pigs"?
In science news this week, a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health found "Teens who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are more likely to take chances with other kinds of sex that increase the risk of sexually transmitted diseases, a study of 12,000 adolescents suggests." Seems, teens pledging to remain virgins have the same STD rates as non pledging teens. I suppose, once they come down with an STD, they can explain, as did then President Clinton "I did not have sex with ....". Perhaps the pledge should have an operational definition of "sex" .... because the bad news is "... teens pledging virginity until marriage are more likely to have oral and anal sex than other teens who have not had intercourse ..." . And the good news, only 88% of the pledging teens were unable/unwilling to abide by their pledge "... the same research team found that 88 percent of teens who pledge abstinence end up having sex before marriage, compared with 99 percent of teens who do not make a pledge."
The MoSFIG is up and running, (it is a "mirror" of the SFIG). If you are receiving SFIG posts, then you are on the MoSFIG list. Should the SFIG go down ..... in the "TO:" section of your email program, just type in "firstname.lastname@example.org" instead of "email@example.com". Your post will reach each member of the our little "family", as if it had been posted to the SFIG. I hope it is never needed ... but if it is ... it is available ... for our little "family" to use. Added several pictures to the SFIG Family Album this week. If you are not in it, send me your picture by either email or a regular picture and I will scan it and return it to you with a copy on floppy. How cool is it to see a person post, then go to the SFIG Family Album and see what the person looks like??!!
Sitting here editing these Ramblings, sipping on some Port and watching the evening news. It was a cold rainy day today ... but there was ample sunshine in my heart: I had lunch with my daughter, Elsbeth ) On the drive back, I thought about Terri Schiavo, her husband and her parents. There is yet another court action pending tonight, even though 15 courts have already ruled on the issue. Susan and I each have a Durable Medical Power of Attorney, a Durable Power of Attorney and a Living Will, incorporated into one document. I wrote it a couple of years ago, (when she found lumps in her breast). [If you would like a copy, email me.] I wondered about the difference between the love a parent has for their child ... and the love a husband has for his wife. There is a difference, isn't there? Isn't one the love that comes from giving life ... and the other .... the love that comes from sharing life? Don't I know/view Elsbeth, the person, in a light different than her husband? Who would know her better her wants, her needs, her secret longings, her desires, what makes her laugh and what makes her cry ... NOW .... better? Me or her husband? I wondered what I would do if Elsbeth were in Terri's position. What would you do if it were your child? So share with me .... do you really believe the State, in the form of members of the executive branch or the legislative branch, has standing to inject it's view, impose it's will, take sides, in a conflict that hinges on Elsbeth's or your child's desire to continue to live, in a "persistent vegetative state, or not? Isn't the decision to NOT use extraordinary means to prolong life, a decision made between a person and their God? Shouldn't a court of competent jurisdiction, have only two issues of fact to decide: are extraordinary means being used to prolong life .... and .... what is the wish of the person on life support? Not easy questions to ask .... and as we have all learned .... not easy questions to answer. Not easy to answer because the outcome is tainted by "faith".
Susan and I have talked ... neither of us want artificial means used to prolong life, (you see ... we both believe in a just and loving God: that this reality is only a small part of living). And the best part? Holding each other, after a full day of sharing, talking, laughing, loving and working together .... and each of us, in our own way .... giving a prayer of thanks .... and for me, a prayer for the safe return of our men and women in uniform, (care to join me?) .... <whispering> .... Please, Please, Please, God .... let them come safe and soon! Be and sleep well ... you are the guardians of our system of justice ... ensure, that our men and women in uniform, return to the same liberties, they are willing to lay down their lives to preserve .... on our little "animal farm" .... continue to fight .... to protect us from the "pigs". If my post offends, I apologize ... that is not my intent. As Always ....
A Warm Brotherly Hug
Karl (the dumb ole lawyer, from Holden, Missouri).
Karl H. Timmerman M.A.J.D. © 2005
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