New chief of staff takes aim at judges
JEFFERSON CITY – The governor’s new chief of staff is a 36-year-old attorney who hopes to help reform the judiciary.
Ed Martin said he agrees with Gov. Matt Blunt’s philosophy that judges are to uphold, not make, the law. In a Sept. 5 interview with The Pathway, Martin said he looks forward to working with the governor to fill important judicial vacancies in the months to come.
“There are too many judicial activists,” Martin said. “They’re taking the law and they’re making a mockery of it. There is a time for judges to make hard decisions about what the law means. That’s fair. But not to project what would be a kind of new millennium, secular agenda that has to generally be pro-gay marriage, pro-abortion and all these things that are anti-family.”
Martin has a diverse legal background that he said ought to help him perform his duties as chief of staff.
“Rigorous training in the law, especially in accurate understanding of natural law and what law means, is an asset when you’re in government,” he said. “If you understand that correctly, I think you also understand the limits of government, and you understand how government needs to serve the people and not overstep. It’s too easy for us to become the paternalistic state.”
Formerly a lawyer with Americans United for Life, the oldest national pro-life organization in America, Martin comes to Jefferson City with a reputation as a pro-life activist. He is a devout Catholic who deeply respects the restrained emphasis that Catholics Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Samuel Alito are bringing to the U.S. Supreme Court. While stating that he is “somewhere between Scalia and Thomas in terms of understanding the law,” he settles on the philosophy of Chief Justice Roberts as one that ought to be practiced in the Missouri judiciary.
“Judges are umpires,” Martin said. “Here are the rules. Call the game, balls and strikes. Don’t decide how you want the rules. Don’t decide to rewrite the rules. Just call it as you see it. You could always write an opinion, ‘I call it as I see it, I wish it was the other way.’ Don’t call it the way you wish it was and then pretend it’s the law.”
The new chief of staff said he is looking forward to the start of the 2007 Missouri General Assembly when he can help play a part in fulfilling the governor’s vision for a pro-life Missouri.