Time to rein in the courts

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Merlin1047, Oct 18, 2004.

  1. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    (text in red are extracts from a Phyllis Schlafly Report)http://www.eagleforum.org/psr/2002/oct02/psroct02.shtml

    Our founding fathers divided governmental power between three branches of government, the legislative, the executive and the judicial. Their theory was that this division would maintain a system of checks and balance in order to prevent any one sector of government from becoming all-powerful.

    But the founding fathers never envisioned the abuses rampant in the judiciary today. They never fathomed that unethical activist judges would abuse their power in the manner that many do today. Judges ruling with total disregard for law, overturning legitimate laws which do not suit them or creating law by their rulings.

    The trouble with some judges is that once they are appointed to the federal judiciary, they seem to think they have been anointed to rule over us lesser mortals. They just write their own opinions into the law. Some of these activist judges are very arrogant about saying this.

    Justice William J. Brennan in a 1982 speech revealed the mindset of these liberal activist judges. He praised what he called "the evolution of constitutional doctrine." Brennan said that in previous times, "the function of law was to formalize and preserve (accumulated) wisdom," but "over the past 40 years Law has come alive as a living process responsive to changing human needs." He bragged that the law has become "a moving consensus." Brennan added, "our constitutional guarantees and the Bill of Rights are tissue paper bastions if they fail to transcend the printed page."

    Justice Brennan made that all up. There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution about evolution, a living process, changing needs, or transcending the printed page.


    How can judges become so arrogant that they see it as their right and their duty to impose their societal concepts on the rest of us? And how dare they do this often without any supporting basis in law?

    Simple. They are not elected, they are appointed. And they are appointed for life. They owe no allegiance to the voters. They need take no heed of the will of the people. They are, in fact, dictators within our democratic republic whose word is law. They can apply any criteria, no matter how irrational to their decisions. For example; A striking current example of how activist judges engage in the "evolution" of the so-called "living" Constitution was provided by the U.S. Supreme Court in June this year. In Atkins v Virginia, Justice John Paul Stevens rewrote the Eighth Amendment to outlaw capital punishment for those with low I.Q. scores. There isn't any basis in the Constitution for his decision. Justice Stevens based it on what he called "a national consensus," for which he cited "polling data."

    Bill Clinton appointed almost half of all federal judges now serving, and federal judges serve for life. In addition to the 373 Clinton-appointed judges, federal judges appointed by Presidents Jimmy Carter and Lyndon Johnson are still deciding cases.

    The federal courts today are precariously balanced between activists and constitutionalists. The election on November 5th is our one big chance to curb the power of activist judges and restore balance to the courts.

    Just this year, we saw a stunning example of how off-course the Imperial Judiciary has gone when the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that it is unconstitutional to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in public school. The atheists probably thought that after their string of court victories banning prayer and the Ten Commandments, the time was ripe to get rid of God in the Pledge of Allegiance. An activist judge gave them the decision they wanted.

    Someone once asked Dwight Eisenhower if he had made any mistakes as President that he later regretted. Ike replied: Yes, two, and they're both on the Supreme Court. Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush all made similar mistakes. In fact, seven of the nine current Supreme Court Justices were appointed by Republican Presidents, and a Nixon-appointed judge wrote the infamous Pledge of Allegiance decision this year.


    The constitution specifically limits legislative powers to the congress and the senate. The judiciary was never intended to be imbued with these powers. Yet through judicial activism, that is the de facto result.

    If your congressman or senator passes laws which are disagreeable to the constituency, the voters can throw them out of office and seek to have the law repealed. However when an irresponsible activist judge exceeds the scope of his authority with a ruling based solely on his personal prejudices, that precedent may last for decades. Worse, these irresponsible rulings affect every facet of our lives, degrade our rights and jepoardize the very fabric of our government.

    The federal courts have invented new "rights" such as the right to abortion and welfare payments. The federal courts have arbitrarily overturned the votes of the people in California, Colorado, Arizona and Washington State who had the old-fashioned belief that they could exercise self-government. The federal courts have set themselves up as a super-legislature and grabbed authority to micromanage schools, prisons, hiring standards, and legislative reapportionment.

    For all those who claim that we are not a nation founded on the judeo-christian ethic, you would have found no support for your argument among the Supreme Court justices sitting on that bench during the period from 1892 to 1952.

    The Supreme Court's effect on what is taught in the public schools, starting with expelling prayer and Bible reading in 1962 and 1963, has been disastrous. An 1892 Supreme Court decision clearly spelled out that "This is a religious nation. . . ." (Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States). Even FDR-appointed liberal Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas wrote as late as 1952 that "We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being" (Zorach v. Clauson). But since 1962 the federal courts seem determined to eliminate every mention of religion from the schoolhouse.

    The good people in Kentucky raised private funds to have a simplified version of the Ten Commandments nicely framed and placed in every classroom in Kentucky, but in 1980 the U.S. Supreme Court banned the Ten Commandments from the public school classroom (Stone v. Graham). (A copy of Kentucky's framed Ten Commandments is hanging at Eagle Forum Education Center in St. Louis.) By the year 2000, the Court even banned prayers before football games (Santa Fe Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Doe).

    Out went the Ten Commandments, in came condoms. Out went the Cross and pictures of Christ, in came drawings of apes pretending to walk like humans. Out went Adam and Eve, in came Heather Has Two Mommies. Out went Easter, in came Earth Day. Out went teachings against homosexuality, in came teachings in favor of homosexuality.


    So if our federal courts and supreme court are a menace to our government, how do we get them back under control?

    The answer is easy, however implementing the solution will be difficult in the extreme. We need to amend the constitution to require judges at all levels from the local probate court to the federal court, to the Supreme Court of the United States to be elected by the people.

    This solution would provide two immediate benefits. First, it would deny presidents the means to control our lives long after they have left office. Clinton's orgy of appointments to the federal judiciary will haunt us for the next twenty years. Federal judgeships are passed out like hallowee candy by politicians seeking to implement their particular philosophy on society even after they have left office.

    Second, by having to run for office, judges would remember that they are responsible to the people. Judges need to be reminded that we the people are in charge of this nation - not the stodgy robed arrogant dictators sitting on judicial benches. Additionally, if a judge produces rulings as bizarre as those vomited forth by the 9th circuit court in California, he can be thrown out of office on the next election.

    Now there is a danger that in being responsible directly to the voters, the judiciary may take on a lynch mob mentality on cases which are highly emotional hot-button issues with the voters. In order to prevent this, judges should be given fairly long terms of eight years. But they should be limited to two terms on the bench. Another solution would be to limite a judge to a single term of ten to twelve years.

    I see the activist judiciary as one of the greatest dangers to our personal freedoms and to our system of government. Each year the judiciary takes on more and more power simply by ruling that they are entitled to it and we have no effective recourse.

    I think the time has come to take action to control a judiciary which is trying to hijack our freedoms, our laws and our government. I wanted to throw this out to see what you think of the concept of electing judges instead of allowing politicians to appoint them.
     
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  2. sagegirl
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    sagegirl Member

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    I read a book several many years ago "The Benchwarmers" it had alot to say about our federal judges. Actually judicial positions are among the most important votes that we cast. Funny how most of them will run as non-partisan, and to find out about them you gotta dig.
     
  3. MJDuncan1982
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    MJDuncan1982 Member

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    Don't think we need the Constitution to be a living document?

    Have you ever looked at the doctrines relating to federal jurisdiction in the Constitution? Crossing state line was a big deal back then. Interstates, Railroads, Airplanes, the Internet, all have revolutionized jurisdiction and taken it to a place the founding fathers never could have imagined.

    It would be extremely impractical to not adapt the Constitution to the technologies of today.

    And furthermore, how many S.Ct. cases have you read? They are the most logical writings in the government. And the basic premise for that logic is the Constitution.

    And do you know the reason S.Ct. judges are not elected? Look at the Presidential race. The founders did not want the judges to have to whore themselves out to the electorate. They are insulated from the often times irrational whims of citizens. The people are very often stupid and do not think in the long run. Some parts of our government need to be free from them.

    As to the case you cite. The polling data is in the foot note as a final and inconsequential but additional reason to outlaw the death penatly in these cases. The 8th Amendment forbids cruel and unusual punishment. It should be obvious to everyone that that is an extremely subjective standard. It depends upon the evolving moral compass of the people. Remember when hanging was acceptable?
     
  4. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    MJ, it sounds to me like you'd be much more comfortable living under a monarchy. Apparently you are willing to let judges impose their will without regard to the laws passed by the people through the legislative branch.

    I think that we should be extremely careful in tampering with the constitution. But in this case, the urgency to rein in the dictatorship of the judiciary overcomes my reluctance to tamper with a document which has served us well for over 200 years. So yes, the constitution should not be totally rigid and inflexible. Matter of fact the founders provided the amendment process for that very reason. But the authority to amend the constitution is vested in the people NOT in judges and therein is the essential difference in our outlook.

    I am well aware why the founders wanted judges appointed. But their concept was that judges should work within the framework of constitutional laws passed by the legislative branch. They never intended judges to have the authority to create their own law and to impose their own prejudicial views on society. Today judges do not behave as the founders intended. Today the authority of judges needs to be limited and reduced once again to the concept the founders intended - that they interpret law, not make it.

    MJ either you are an elitist, or you have little regard for your fellow citizens. Otherwise how could you make the statement "They are insulated from the often times irrational whims of citizens". "Often irrational whims"??? I beg to differ. The "citizens" have somehow managed to muddle through for over two centuries, often in spite of the irrational rulings from our arrogant judiciary.

    I don't care one whit what the basis was for including polling data in this ruling. The fact is, it should not have been there at all. Judges are supposed to base their rulings on law. Strange that you deride the "often irrational whims of citizens" on the one hand, but find those whims to be acceptable when a decision should have been based on law and not on an opinion survey.

    And yes, I do remember when hanging was alright. Personally, I don't see why we're not doing it today.
     
  5. MJDuncan1982
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    MJDuncan1982 Member

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    Point, specifically, with evidence from a case, where a judge "made up" law.
     
  6. MJDuncan1982
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    MJDuncan1982 Member

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    Also, many state judges are actually granted the authority to make up law. State Constitutions ratified in states under the influence of England authorize judges to fill in the blanks the legislature either missed or left out (for one reason or another) by interpreting British Common Law.

    Judges routinely place directives in their rulings pleading the legislature to pass laws so they won't have to rely on Common Law.
     
  7. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    i am going to have to agree with MJ here. The Founders made sure our Judges were not elected for a reason. It was a check against mob rule mentality.

    There is an easier way to fix this. Elect Conservative Presidents with Conservative Senates.
     
  8. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    You've got to be kidding.

    But I'll humor you.

    here you go:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Case_law

    There's lots more. This is a reader's digest type of article. I can come up with these all week long. You'll be reading till your eyes bleed.
     
  9. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    As I pointed out, times change. The founders did not envision that judges should have the power they have today.

    As far as electing a conservative president being the "easier way to fix" this problem. Horse apples. If the Democrats can trot out a total loser like kerry and we end up with a close race, then electing a conservative is anything but easy.
     
  10. dilloduck
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    dilloduck Diamond Member

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    So now judges just whore themselves out to the elite political party leaders??
    I don't see that as any check against activist judges. All THEIR politics are done under the table, hidden from public scutiny until it's too late. They sit on a bench with other judges and become known as a "court" rather than a group of individuals which further insulates them from public resposibilty. I say they all should be elected and the people would have some direct power over them as they do with the other two branches of government! Not having to be directly responsible to the people is legislation without representation !!!!!
     

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