Congress: Rescue the Constitution from the Courts!
By Virginia C. Armstrong, Ph.D., National Chairman
The battle over the courts and the Constitution is the hottest front in America's culture war. The fundamental facts about this battle have received too little attention from both politicians and the public.
- The judiciary as an institution is the polar opposite of that which our Constitutional Framers intended:
"...the Supreme Court, as currently constituted, [is] a lawless, rogue institution
capable of the most monstrous of injustices in the name of law, with a smugness and arrogance worthy of the worst totalitarian dictatorships of all time." (Michael Paulsen, 2003) This is an accurate picture, but one totally opposite to that which the Framers envisioned:
". . . the judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power; . . . it can never attack with success either of the other two . . . ." (Hamilton, The Federalist #78)
- This morphing of the courts is due, to a substantial degree, to the courts themselves. "At the center of the problem of the Supreme Court's free-wheeling jurisprudence is the ultimate structural flaw: it is judge of its own case." (William Stanmeyer, 1981)
- The courts must, therefore, be restrained by external forces an educated and motivated corps of people and politicians. "Judges as persons, or courts as institutions . . . are entitled to no greater immunity from criticism than other persons or institutions . . . . Judges must be kept mindful of their limitations and their ultimate public responsibility by a vigorous stream of criticism expressed with candor however blunt." (Justice Felix Frankfurter, 1941)
- The U. S. Congress possesses both the authority and the ability to curb the courts. The Constitution grants to the U. S. Congress massive powers over the judiciary. Article III, the Judicial Article, creates only one court-the Supreme Court. All other federal courts are created by Congress "as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." All the power of all lower federal courts is determined by Congress. And the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (which is virtually all of its power) is governed by Congress. The courts themselves, from our earliest constitutional history have recognized this Congressional power. In 1845, the Supreme Court wrote that
". . . the judicial power of the United States, although it has its origin in the Constitution, is (except in enumerated instances) dependent for its distribution and organization, and for the modes of its exercise, entirely upon the action of Congress . . . . "
Our Votes in the 2004 Election Must Persuade Congress
to Exercise Its Court-Curbing Responsibility!