Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Dan Park never misses a chance to say something negative about Republicans--only this time his target is not Gov. Mitch Daniels, but rather attorney Jim Bopp.
Instead of insulting Bopp, Parker ought to be thanking him for standing up for the civil rights of all Americans. The one thing The Star's story ("80 percent success rate at Supreme Court," July 2) made clear is that Bopp is a distinguished attorney who has the respect of the legal profession.
"Partisan hacks" don't usually have an 80-percent success rate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. It tells us a lot about where today's Democratic Party is when defense of free speech and the First Amendment is considered a wedge issue.
First of all, let's be clear on one very important point. Jim Bopp's victory in the recent term of the U.S. Supreme Court should in no way be characterized as a victory for free speech and the First Amendment. Indeed, Bopp's win is a victory for groups like his own special interest group client, Right to Life, to spend bucket loads of unrestricted money to influence the outcome of elections. By allowing the free flow of millions of dollars from these special interest groups during the heat of an election, we are diminishing the influence of individual voters and allowing wedge issue groups who care only about abortion and banning gay marriage to have an overbearing and over-represented influence on our electoral process.
Further, Clark's suggestion we should all be "thanking [Bopp] for standing up for the civil rights of all Americans" is insulting beyond belief. Jim Bopp has in fact been the leading advocate of a constitutional amendment to enshrine discrimination into Indiana's Bill of Rights against same-sex and unmarried couples. Jim Bopp doesn't support civil rights for all Americans, only those who support a narrow, fundamentalist ideology which would deny individual rights to "non-believers." The next time Clark gets a notion to extol the virtues of a fellow Republican, he should choose someone who actually believes in the party's founding principles as demonstrated by our first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln.