Alex Hays, one of the court's most vocal critics, describes the current majority as an "establishment, left-of-center political clique" and a threat to democracy. Hays runs Constitutional Law PAC, a political action committee focusing exclusively on judicial elections.Problem is, the court has been notoriously unpredictable--as have conservative groups in their support. In 2002, for example, the court struck down a provision making assault murder-worthy if someone died as a result.
[Property rights attorney John] Groen calls the case the "most tragic" example he's seen of the court legislating from the bench.Throw in some gratuitous charges of "judicial activism," and you have a mixed-up batch of critics united only in their Marx-like opposition.
Alexander, who sided with the majority, says he realizes the ruling had far-reaching consequences. But he points out that the court's interpretation of felony murder was in line with how it is applied in nearly every other state.
Groen's allies at the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW) have accused Alexander of handing "get-out-of-jail-free cards" to hundreds of convicted murderers.
Alexander's defenders, meanwhile, point out that Sanders also was in the majority on the felony-murder ruling. And despite Sanders' stand in the case, Groen and the BIAW together donated more than $16,000 to his 2004 campaign.
Update: Record spending in this year's election. What a surprise.