Friday, April 01, 2005

Lautenberg takes DeLay to the mat

Atrios, via Raw Story:

April 1, 2005

Tom DeLay
Majority Leader
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Majority Leader DeLay,

I was stunned to read the threatening comments you made yesterday against Federal judges and our nation’s courts of law in general. In reference to certain Federal judges, you stated: “The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior.”

As you are surely aware, the family of Federal Judge Joan H. Lefkow of Illinois was recently murdered in their home. And at the state level, Judge Rowland W. Barnes and others in his courtroom were gunned down in Georgia.

Our nation’s judges must be concerned for their safety and security when they are asked to make difficult decisions every day. That’s why comments like those you made are not only irresponsible, but downright dangerous. To make matters worse, is it appropriate to make threats directed at specific Federal and state judges?

You should be aware that your comments yesterday may violate a Federal criminal statute, 18 U.S.C. §115 (a)(1)(B). That law states:

“Whoever threatens to assault…. or murder, a United States judge… with intent to retaliate against such… judge…. on account of the performance of official duties, shall be punished [by up to six years in prison]”

Threats against specific Federal judges are not only a serious crime, but also beneath a Member of Congress. In my view, the true measure of democracy is how it dispenses justice. Your attempt to intimidate judges in America not only threatens our courts, but our fundamental democracy as well.

Federal judges, as well as state and local judges in our nation, are honorable public servants who make difficult decisions every day. You owe them – and all Americans – an apology for your reckless statements.


Frank R. Lautenberg


  • Thank you, Mr Lautenberg, for expressings my feelings so succinctly. If there were a way to let The US House know how many people would have signed on to your letter, they might be even more uncomfortable with their Leader!

    By Anonymous Gretchen Blank, at 12:00 PM  

  • Excellent letter, Mr. Lautenberg.

    I am doubtful that Delay is concerned about the safety of our judges, in fact, he appears to be making a deliberate attempt to arouse anger against the judges.
    Delay's bitter attack on Michael Schiavo (a man he had never met) may have led to public anger against Shiavo and prompted the death threats he has received.

    Delay's irresponsible behavior and abuse of power which (seems deliberate to me) could lead to the harm of a private citizen and our judges. This is chilling. It is no wonder that Delay is able to control Republicans in Congress--they are terrified of him.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:01 PM  

  • Why doesn't someone come up with another letter that we all can sign on to? Delay has to bve one of the most corrupt and evil men in Congress.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:22 PM  

  • If one of the "Terri Schiavo" judges gets shot at, I bet Tom DeLay would shift to "law and order" mode.

    By Blogger Thomas, at 11:50 PM  

  • I think De Lay is going to use this as an excuse to weaken democracy and the independant judicial system. What he calls judges thumbing their noses at Congress and the President is actually called checks and balances, where the three branches keep each other all in line. De Lay doesn't like that now because judges didn't do the GOP's bidding, rather they stood by the rule of law here. If he can weaken the independence of judges, he and Bush can further frog march our country into a Republican theocracy.

    By Anonymous Jesse, at 6:57 PM  

  • spot on,... someone may leave him a milk can on his porch. wish I could.

    By Anonymous garmofluxnone, at 12:16 AM  

  • Everybody is lying," Abramoff told a former colleague. There are e-mails and records that will implicate others, he said. He was noticeably caustic about House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. For years, nobody on Washington's K Street corridor was closer to DeLay than Abramoff. They were an unlikely duo. DeLay, a conservative Christian, and Abramoff, an Orthodox Jew, traveled the world together and golfed the finest courses. Abramoff raised hundreds of thousands for DeLay's political causes and hired DeLay's aides, or kicked them business, when they left his employ. But now DeLay, too, has problems—in part because of overseas trips allegedly paid for by Abramoff's clients. In response, DeLay and his aides have said repeatedly they were unaware of Abramoff's behind-the-scenes financing role. "Those S.O.B.s," Abramoff said last week about DeLay and his staffers, according to his luncheon companion. "DeLay knew everything. He knew all the details."

    By Blogger thomas, at 7:41 AM  

  • my comment above is from April 18th edition of newsweek about to come out i guess

    By Blogger thomas, at 7:42 AM  

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