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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Editorial: Criticism of Judiciary is Troubling

Criticism of judiciary is troubling
The Omaha World-Herald  -  EDITORIAL  -  December 22, 2011

Newt Gingrich's campaign-trail attacks on the independence of the federal judiciary offer a troubling view of the Constitution and the distinct roles played by the three branches that share the power of our federal government.  Federal judges should be accountable to the law, not to political winds that can blow from either direction, right or left.  In bidding for the Republican presidential nomination, Gingrich has said he would consider sending U.S. marshals to haul judges, under subpoena, before Congress to explain controversial decisions. He argued that presidents have the right to ignore rulings of "elitist judges" when the decisions conflict with their powers as commander in chief. On a Sunday talk show, he suggested that some laws could be set by agreement of two of the three branches of government. He's not alone in criticizing judges. Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he would push to end lifetime appointments of federal judges. Former Sen. Rick Santorum said he would sign a bill to abolish the "rogue" California-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The Constitution is specific on the roles of the three branches of government. Congress makes the laws. The executive branch executes the laws. The judicial branch interprets laws and tests their constitutionality. Yes, there is tension among the three branches, but that division of power is a fundamental protection in our democratic society. What are courts in authoritarian regimes but a tool to enforce the state's will? At the same time, the Constitution gives each branch checks and balances over the others. It is the president who nominates federal judges, while the Senate confirms them. The courts check both with judicial review, while Congress has the power to initiate a constitutional amendment.  Some federal judges have overreached and tried to legislate from the bench. But they are granted life terms, barring impeachable conduct, to free them from the influences of the two other branches and popular opinion.  There are those who believe the legislative and executive branches overreached in passing the new health care law. Where did they turn? The federal courts, of course, and that challenge is now before the Supreme Court. It's part of the constant balancing of power.  Gingrich's statements bother many conservatives, including two of former President George W. Bush's attorneys general interviewed by Fox News.  Michael Mukasey, a former federal judge, said some of Gingrich's ideas were "dangerous, ridiculous, totally irresponsible, outrageous, off-the-wall and would reduce the entire judicial system to a spectacle." Alberto Gonzales, a former state supreme court judge, worried about allowing Congress to police court decisions: "I believe that a strong and independent judiciary doesn't mean that the judiciary is above scrutiny, that it is above criticism for the work that it does, but I cannot support and would not support efforts that would appear to be intimidation or retaliation against judges."  Bruce Fein, a conservative attorney and former Reagan administration official, called Gingrich's ideas "more pernicious to liberty than President Franklin Roosevelt's ill-conceived and rebuked court-packing plan."  The winds of politics blow both ways. In a changeable climate, the stable rule of law — the ability to resolve conflicts peaceably — rests on an independent judiciary as much as it does on two other strong and independent branches of government.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any and I mean ANY focus on the judiciary keeps them clean. Plain and simple. Keep the heat on, especially those that have the most power!!!!!!

Expose Media Monkeys said...

More media garbage. Do you know that only the Supreme Court is created in the Constitution and that Congress by law created and can un-create all the Appellate and District courts and Congress can decide what issues those judges can resolve? i.e. If Congress abolishes a court the judges' positions are gone or if Congress removes the jurisdiction to decide the unconstitutionality of laws, all the lower courts would lack that power.
What framer of the Constitution wanted to give absolute power to nine "appointed for life" judges? None. How is that different from a ruling noble class? Lord Acton had it right about judges with "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it."
Just look at the judges mentioned on this site and see "the certainty of corruption by authority" And who is stupid enough to believe that putting a black robe on a lawyer means we should sanctify or respect his opinion on anything? The morons on our Supreme Court issued the Dred Scott decision. Should it have been sanctified? Are nine people or just one in a 5/4 decision to decide our laws absolutely and ignore the millions opposed?

Anonymous said...

So they say it's "TROUBLING" do they. Why don't they speak with the ordinary folks that have to deal with the "Corrupt Judiciary" every day. These folks in their black robes think they are Gods and we are their servants. Hey, we pay for all this and they better get the message. Case in point that pops up... the Judges in Penn that we finally jailed for what they did to poor children. This is going on all over the country and the lawyers know it because they are making a whole lot of money off of it so they play along with their Judge pals. One lawyer I knew said he tried to report these situations to the police and the courts, including the DA's and AG and he received a series of threats that if he opened his mouth he would be dead. So what do you think he did? This is the way the corrupt Judical system functions in the home of the free and the land of the brave! The new Mob...

Anonymous said...

A system where the worst criminals are running the legal system. What goes in comes out.
This is worse than a judicial hell hole. What is it? A cesspool.

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See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
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