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It's Time to Make an Example Out of an Activist Judge!

October 11, 2003

On Friday a grievous attack was perpetrated against our Constitution. Judge Steven Ohmer, a Missouri circuit judge appointed by Gov. Mel Carnahan, violated his oath of office by issuing a restraining order on the implementation of the concealed carry legislation - overwhelmingly passed by the Missouri Legislature after many months and thousands of man-hours of work.

This may be a case of judicial activism or simply ignorance of the Missouri Constitution's Bill of Rights. Whichever the case, this intrusion into the purview of Missouri's General Assembly is an impeachable offense.

While that might seem to be a radical reaction to a temporary restraining order, one must consider the political environment in which we presently live. Judicial activism is rampant - all over the nation unelected judges are negating the will of the people as expressed in direct votes and the decisions made by their elected representatives. This is unacceptable when there is no sound constitutional basis for the judge's rulings. Neither the will of the people nor the Constitution are being upheld, but rather these judge's own political agenda.

No matter what your political interests are, whether they be 2nd amendment, right to life, sanctity of marriage, parental rights, state's rights, upholding our Christian heritage – you name it – you should be concerned about judicial activism because one renegade judge can undo all your work in just a few minutes!

Central to the Constitution are the provisions for separation of powers among the three branches of government. Our founding fathers understood the dangers of centralizing too much power with too few people. In their wisdom they not only established clear separation of powers between the administrative, legislative, and judicial branches of government, but they also provided for checks and balances to be used to maintain those separations of powers.

Impeachment is the "check" that both the US and Missouri Constitutions provide to the Houses of Representatives to keep renegade judges from usurping the authority of the other two branches.

“Missouri Constitution Article VII Section 2. The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment...

The revised statutes of Missouri clearly spelled out the basis for impeachment:

RSMo 106.020. "All elective executive officials of the state, judges of the supreme court, the court of appeals and circuit judges shall be liable to impeachment for crime, misconduct, habitual drunkenness, willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency, or any offense involving moral turpitude, or oppression in office.” (Emp. added, RC)

When judge Ohmer issued that temporary restraining order on Friday, he either allowed politics to influence his court's decision, and was thus guilty of "corruption in office", or he was grossly ignorant of the clear provisions of the Missouri Constitution's Bill of Rights, making him guilty of "incompetency".

Whichever the case, it is now the responsibility of the Missouri House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings against this judge before he is allowed to further erode the very foundation of our constitutional republic and set an example to any judge who would consider following his lead.

By: Ron Calzone
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