Final Word from Monday, June 1, 2009

More significant than Sonia Sotomayor's "racist" comment is her assertion that the Court of Appeals is where policy is made. In a rule-of-law state, a court is supposed to interpret law, not make it. A comment yesterday by Chief Justice Pavel Rychetský of the Constitutional Court is in a similar vein. He told Czech TV that once both chambers of Parliament approve the Lisbon treaty, Pres. Klaus is obligated immediately to either sign it or submit a complaint to the Constitutional Court. In cases where the president has no time limit for making a decision, he said, it is of course assumed that he will act without delay. This key constitutional issue has never been addressed formally, and Rychetský has said that his court might have to rule on whether Klaus can be forced to sign the Lisbon treaty. In a rule-of-law state, a judge is supposed to interpret law, but not as a four-man kangaroo court in a TV studio.[Czech Republic Television ČT Česká televize]

Glossary of difficult words

kangaroo court - an unofficial court held by a group of people in order to try someone without good evidence;

Sonia Sotomayor - nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court;

"racist" - Sotomayor said that she would hope that a wise Latina woman (judge) would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male without her experiences.

vein - a distinctive quality, style or tendency;

Czech TV - the segment in question begins at about the 55-minute mark;

rule-of-law state - a state in which laws are respected and adhered to.


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