The danger of politicizing the judiciary
"The bedrock of our democracy is the rule of law and that means we have to have an independent cheap burberry bags judiciary, judges who can make decisions independent of the political winds that are blowing," said Kennedy, who is a lawyer. The danger of politicizing the judiciary is particularly pronounced in areas where state and county judges spend growing amounts of money to get elected or fend off electoral challenges sponsored by groups promoting narrow agendas, she said. "People aren't so much aware of it, but it's happening in judicial races much more than it ever did before, on the local level and even further up," Kennedy said. Ternus, the former chief justice, said: "Efforts to intimidate the judiciary and to turn judges into politicians or theologians in robes undermine fair and impartial justice and will, over time, destroy the ability and willingness of judges to do their duty as faithful guardians of the constitution." Bob Vander Plaats, a Sioux City businessman and former Republican candidate for governor, led efforts to oust the three judges, arguing that being a servant of the law "doesn't give the Iowa Supreme Court the authority to legislate from the bench, execute from the bench or attempt to amend the Constitution." Monday's ceremony at the JFK Library and Museum also honored U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford for ignoring repeated threats to his life and traveling around Syria to encourage and support peaceful protesters targeted by Assad's brutal crackdown. The protests and the ensuing crackdown spawned military defections, an armed rebellion, assassinations of burberry men underwear government and military officials, massacres of civilians and international condemnation. A truce set to begin on April 12 has failed to stop the bloodshed, raising fears that Syria is degenerating into civil war. The U.N. says 9,000 people have died in Syria since the uprising began in March 2011. Ford, who left Syria as security conditions worsened, was in Boston to accept the award. The Denver native, who now lives in Baltimore, remains the U.S. envoy to Syria. "Ambassador Ford has really gone out of his way to redefine the American role (in the international arena) and the importance of courageous American diplomats to support aspirations for freedoms around the world," Kennedy said. Last year's award went to Wael Ghonim, the Google executive credited with helping to inspire the uprising in Egypt. The Profile in Courage Award is named after the JFK book "Profiles in Courage," winner of a Pulitzer Prize in 1957. Past recipients include President Gerald Ford and former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, who is now a U.N. special envoy working on a tenuous peace plan for Syria. This year's 2012 burberry new cheap wallet beige/blue outlet 01 award also celebrates what would have been the late president's 95th birthday, on May 29.