Thoughts of an American Centrist

Friday, April 22, 2005

The Family Research Council wants to Shut Down Key Federal Courts (really, no exaggeration)

Thanks to The Moderate Voice for the tip on this story. Read this post in full! Here's an excerpt:

"Dobson, who emerged last year as one of the evangelical movement's most important political leaders, named one potential target: the California-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Very few people know this, that the Congress can simply disenfranchise a court," Dobson said. "They don't have to fire anybody or impeach them or go through that battle. All they have to do is say the 9th Circuit doesn't exist anymore, and it's gone."

Get it? So now if you don't like a court — just ELIMINATE IT if you don't like it's rulings. Where did you read THAT in any American history book about how our democracy with its separation of powers functioned?

QUESTION: We wonder if the swing voters and libertarian Republicans who voted for George Bush ever dreamed they would EVER see the day when this was being seriously proposed. We suspect when they cast their votes it was a "given" that the GOP top leadership agreed to centuries old consensus about how our democracy functioned. This is the group that wants the public to trust them to go along with a "nuclear option" — because they don't like activist judges (??)."

I'm trying to figure out if this is extortion or bribery. I'm leaning on the side of extortion.

The only way this ridiculous assault on judges has been allowed to continue is the phenomenal success of groups like the FRC is convincing masses of their followers that somehow the court system as it now stands is unconstitutional. Granted, Article III does give a lot of leeway in setting up courts, and Congress certainly has power over that, but all these WWFFD ("What would the Founding Fathers Do?") strict constructionists should clearly realize from both the writings of Jefferson, Washington, and the Federalist Papers that they all felt an independent judiciary was essential to protecting our democracy from blind political ambition.

I agree that it is time for moderates who either voted for a Republican in 2004 and/or have an inclination to vote Republican in 2006 let our members of Congress know that we will not stand to have our courts brought under the heel of Congress.

Our Constitution outlines three equal branches of government, and that system has done a hell of a good job for more than 200 years. Let's not squash all that now.