After listening to James Dobson and his evangelical Christian colleagues talk about controlling the federal judiciary through the Republican majority in Congressâ€”to the extent of punishing judges and defunding courtsâ€”one canâ€™t help recalling events in 1930s Germany. The National Socialists removed judges who didnâ€™t go along with the party program. Law became what the party said it was.
Dobson, speaking on his radio show in April, imagined political change proceeding this way: â€śThe troublesome Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco could be abolished and then staffed by different judges immediately.â€ť He complained that â€śCongress has not had the political gumption to take any such action.â€ť House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has encouraged such views: â€śWe set up the courts. We can unset the courts. We have the power of the purse.â€ť