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House GOP leader DeLay says remarks on judges were sound

By John Byrne | RAW STORY Editor

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) has responded to a letter from Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) which questioned the leader's sharp comments about the judiciary, RAW STORY has learned.


In his response, penned Wednesday, DeLay said that he had received Lautenberg's letter with a "combination of confusion and regret," and asserted that none of his remarks were "threatening, irresponsible, dangerous, inappropriate, intimidating or reckless."

"Mischaracterizing a call for the judiciary to publicly explain its reasons for taking an innocent woman's life as threatening 'our fundamental democracy' reveals either ignorance or contempt for the framework of checks and balances that make our constitutional republic possible," DeLay concluded in the letter, obtained by RAW STORY.

In response, Lautenberg said DeLay's statements speak for themselves.

“If there is any question about what Majority Leader DeLay meant in his statement, one only needs to look at his history of threatening and inflammatory rhetoric against our nation’s judges,” the New Jersey senator remarked, citing previous quotes DeLay made.

"We will look at an unaccountable, arrogant, out-of-control judiciary that thumbed their nose at Congress and the president," DeLay told the Houston Chronicle Apr. 1. "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior."

A more direct quote Lautenberg cited DeLay made in the Washington Post in September 1997.

"The judges need to be intimidated," the Sugarland Republican told the Post. "If they don't behave, "we're going to go after them in a big way."

DeLay's letter follows.


Article originally published Apr. 8, 2005.

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