Ruth or Consequences?

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The structure of the Supreme Court is one of the flaws of the Constitution. If Thomas Jefferson would have had input during its design, the House would have had the authority to remove a justice. Lifetime appointments are never a good idea. Especially once the rot has set in.

David DeGerolamo

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Publius Huldah
2 years ago

there is nothing wrong with the structure of the federal courts, including the Supreme Court. Federal judges do NOT have “lifetime appointments” -- that is a false myth. The text of Article III, Sec. 1, US Constitution, states that federal judges serve during “good Behaviour”.

Congress has the clear constitutional authority to remove any federal judge by impeachment -- see, e.g., Federalist No. 81 (8th para).

Furthermore, the federal courts have no power to enforce their Judgments -- they must depend on the Executive Branch to enforce them. If the President, in the exercise of his independent constitutional duty to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” determines that a Judgment of a federal court is improper, he has no obligation to enforce it. See, e.g., Federalist No. 78 (6th para).

Our problem is not the structure of the federal courts. Our problem is mind-boggling ignorance of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. As Jefferson said, you can’t be Ignorant and Free.

Americans don’t know our two Founding Documents, and they elect to office people who don’t know them. THAT IS OUR PROBLEM.

Publius Huldah
2 years ago
Reply to  DRenegade

Yes, the doctrine that federal judges are the final arbitrators of what the Constitution means is false.

Congress has the power (the Duty, really) to remove federal judges by impeachment when they violate the Constitution.

The President has the power (the Duty really) to refuse to enforce their unconstitutional judgements.

The States have the inherent power (the Duty, really) -- AS THE CREATORS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND OF THE JUDICIAL BRANCH -- to refuse to submit to unconstitutional Judgments of the federal courts.

So what did Jefferson mean? Obviously, if Congress fails to do its Duty to impeach & remove usurping judges, or judges who are otherwise unfit for office [It is said that Ruth sleeps thru oral arguments]; then yes, they’ll be there till they die. Jefferson is clear that our CONSTITUTION did not create such a tribunal as the Supreme Court was even then becoming.

Publius Huldah
2 years ago
Reply to  DRenegade

Much has been written about Marbury v. Madison which is totally wrong. Contrary to popular opinion among the Patriot Crowd, Marbury v. Madison is a wonderful decision!

What Marbury v. Madison says is that when an Act of Congress violates the Constitution, the Judicial Branch must side with the Constitution instead of Congress. THAT ‘s the Judicial Branch’s “check” on the Legislative Branch.

Does the Legislative Branch have a “check” on the Judicial Branch? YES! the Legislative Branch has the power to impeach & remove federal judges who violate the Constitution.

Does the Executive Branch have a “check” on the Judicial Branch? YES! As Hamilton points out in Federalist No. 78 (6th para), The President’s “check” is that he may refuse to enforce any judgments of the Judicial Branch which are unconstitutional (or even unjust).