These problems are related, but different. The problem of judicial and legal corruption, is a much wider and deeper problem, and the issueof 'political activist judges" is only one aspect of that.
Regrettably, political discussion about the smaller problem of 'political activist judges' is often used to confuse and distract from the debate about needed judicial reform and the judges' brutality toward legal system victims who don't have political connections.
In the USA, it is common to have great worry and fuss when a judge is being selected for the USA Supreme Court. People talk about it as if some co-monarch is being selected, and that there should be great fear about what will happen if the wrong person gets the job. Even the people who favour a particular candidate as either 'liberal' or 'conservative' or whatever, still worry about the Supreme Court Justice they support for the moment, given that he might be in the job for another 35 years, and might later change his views in some screwy direction.
The power of the judges in America, however, really shows the weakness of American democracy. Why is a Supreme Court judge, a type of 'king or queen for life', with unlimited powers to make political policy, and it appears no one can over-rule these judges or remove them?
As noted earlier in this FAQ, it is not well-known, but the USA Constitution actually makes the US Congress Supreme over all judges, even the Supreme Court. The Constitution says that if such judges do not have "good behaviour", if they ever stop acting in a judicially wise manner, they can be removed, via impeachment by the Congress House and trial by the USA Senate, ordering their removal. The US Constitution makes the Congress the highest power, with unlimited rights of removing judges, even on the USA Supreme Court.
However, that power is almost never used, despite how the Chairman of the US Congress House Judiciary Committee - who would initiate impeachment proceedings against judges - should be much more powerful and significant than he is. And it seems that sometimes the members of that House Judiciary Committee are threatened, and even have family members attacked and jailed, if they are thinking of saying or doing anything against the oligarch power of gangster US judges.
The power of judges in America, is quite ridiculous from the point of view of democracies in Europe, where people decide policies in a parliament they have recently elected. In Europe, there is no particular worry about choosing judges. In Europe judges might secretly be communists or capitalists or anything in between, but people don't worry that the country will be destroyed if a judge is picked who has the wrong political position.
In Europe in past decades, the judges tended to stay out of politics - they would explicitly leave the political questions to the elective government, as their job is to just apply the law and ensure justice in how the law is applied. In Europe, countries tend to have multiple political parties across the spectrum, who will speak out if the judges get political. There was thus less political fear of unelected judges-for-life, who are usually not allowed to make political policy for the people.
That has been changing recently in Europe, however, as the whole world falls under the Hollywood movie image and USA ideals of judges being in charge of everything. In Europe as well now, there is an increased tendency for judges to start 'making law' via judicial
orders, allegedly to protect 'human rights' but at times doing things that Europeans feel violate human rights.
When Americans complain about 'political judges', it's funny to observe that the voters who still think they are Democrats or Republicans, each look at the judges as biased the other way. The Democrats see America's judges as 'too right wing, too conservative'; the Republicans see America's judges as 'too left wing, too liberal'. But both sides are actually right, and also wrong at the same time. The judges are just plain arrogant, and are constantly twisting the laws in a way to increase their own unlimited power as judges, but above all to serve the oligarchs who seek to control America under 'colour of law'.
There are some instances where American politicians do speak a little bit, and respond to public feelings of anger and unease about judges. However, this is almost never about the really big issues of outright fraud, corruption, bribery, extortion, and sheer sadistic psychopathic malice by the judicial branch. The complaints that you do sometimes see by politicians, are about the more narrow problem of judges who are openly bending their decisions on one of the emotional issues usually associated with one political party versus the other. USA judges are said to be 'too loose' or 'too restrictive' of gun rights and so on.
The problem of political judges, versus judicial corruption, has the same basis - arrogant judges out of control, ignoring the law and doing what they want - but the politicians stick to a very narrow script about a few controversial decisions, and they ignore the more general problem of bribery and court fraud, innocent people getting railroaded, and families getting destroyed.
There has long been a great problem in America, even going back more than a century, of judges who end up twisting the law and re-interpreting the law in some way to meet a preconceived political objective. In such cases the judge often goes to the extent of ignoring the Constitution or the laws as clearly written, and just making up his own rules or laws, using the terrifying power that American judges possess over the people appearing in their courtrooms.
If other judges do not move quickly to overturn or overrule such bad rulings, a lot of damage can be done. And judges are nearly always inclined to cover up for each other, especially if the victim is not wealthy or powerful.
But this is only one aspect of the far bigger problem, that the 'law' in America has become almost infinitely flexible, a devious tool in the hands of judges and lawyers. Nowadays, lawyers do not see the law or the Constitution as what is clearly written and understood by most people; the law is whatever the judges say it is.
And if the judges get together to say the Constitution means something else, then the original Constitution is effectively dead, if the judges won't honour it, and when lawyers won't even fight for it, because the lawyers are too afraid of contradicting the judges.
The process of bending and twisting the law for political purposes has been advancing over the last century. It has been accelerating extremely rapidly since the 1960s and 1970s, with the rapid expansion of lawsuits, prisons, and the power of lawyers and judges in America. Nowadays, lawyers just laugh at the 'stupid Americans' who still read the old Constitution, or some written law, and expect to be protected by those laws or provisions. To an American lawyer, now, what is 'legal' or not, just depends on whatever crazy thing judges say is 'legal'. This is even taught in law schools, as the doctrine of 'legal realism' - the 'law' is whatever the heck judges say it is. And if the judges are bribed, or psychopaths, or blackmailed into serving the oligarchy, well, that is the 'law'.
What is written in the law, are just some words that a US judge will use as a starting point as he plays the 'legal game' in his courtroom with his lawyer friends. The law, the facts, truth, justice itself - none of that matters, to a grinning, smirking judge abusing his power, made even more arrogant by the fact that the Appeals and Supreme Courts, and the politicians and media, are likely not going to contradict him.
Very clearly, over the last several decades, judges have made all sorts of politically-oriented rulings on controversial issues that tend to be very emotional for the American people - putting children on busses to integrate schools, or abortion for example. It is very strange to watch for other countries, because in other countries, such controversial issues are usually decided by a political debate in their parliament. In America, however, such issues, over and over again, are decided in the courts, by judges elected by nobody.
Some of these cases are in that very narrow realm of issues that politicians use as emotional footballs - abortion, gay marriage, school prayer, displaying passages from the Bible, things like that. Yes politicians do talk about judges, and accuse them of twisting the law one way or the other, about such issues. This does help to distract many people into believing that one or the other political parties cares about 'dishonest' judges, because they talk about a few judicial decisions on these high-heat emotional concerns.
But what politicians, of any party, still avoid discussing, is the general problem of the wide corruption in American courts - the total violation and denial of rights to the average person; the railroading of innocent people, and especially minorities, into jail; the destruction of families and the lives of children; and courts that continually favour rich people and big corporations over common citizens.
About such real issues, all of a sudden the politicians become very submissive to the fake saintly image of judges, as if they are talking about gods and goddesses in heaven. They mumble about 'respect for the courts', and 'not interfering with the great American legal system', whilst denying the appeals for help of people desperately seeking justice against their oppressors.
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