My colleagues in the 2016 presidential race are falling all over themselves because of the Supreme Court’s ruling that gays can get married. Some have called for a Constitutional Amendment to make the Justices have to run for re-election. Let’s face it, every time the Supreme Court overturns the will of the majority by telling them that what they want to do is unconstitutional, my fellow conservatives rail against this as judicial activism. Now, amending the Constitution takes a lot of effort. It’s much easier to use the remedy already in the Constitution: Impeachment. That’s right. Judges can be impeached, just like Bill Clinton. And when impeached, they can be removed from office. Just like Bill…oh, wait. He finished out his term, with a budget surplus & no war. But I digress
On Monday, one of the commenters here at The Zoo wrote, “They also intended the jurisdiction of the Judicial branch of our government to be able to settle all disputes, not just the ones you feel comfortable letting them decide.” Actually, that’s not quite true.
Let’s look at the Constitution itself, Article III to be specific:
Section 1. The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.
First thing to notice is there is only one court authorized in the Constitution: the Supreme Court. Congress could, if it wanted to, abolish all federal courts. More about that later.
Next, ” The judges … shall hold their offices during good behaviour…” That means they can be removed for “bad behavior”. And what is “bad behavior”? That’s pretty much up to Congress to decide. So if my Republican colleagues really want to do something meaningful, they can impeach the five Justices that voted against their long-held ability to discriminate based on gender. Frankly, given their arguments, I cannot see how they can NOT impeach those Justices. Their ruling seems to epitomize ‘bad behavior’ from the evangelical christian point of view, which demonizes homosexuality as coming from Satan Himself.
Now, let’s turn to the jurisdiction issue. What is the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court? Here’s the clincher:
In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make. (Section 2)
What’s that mean? It means Congress gets to make exceptions as to the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction. Now, back to Section 1. What if Congress eliminates all federal courts except the Supreme Court? The only federal cases the Supreme Court could hear would be “cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party.” In fact, those would be the only federal cases that could be heard, period.
Then, to cap it off, under Section 2, Congress could strip away the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction to hear appeals from the various State Supreme Courts. And here, there’s an appealing “States’ Rights” argument: Why should States’ Supreme Courts be beholden to a Federal Supreme Court? Why should “justice” have to be meted out in Washington?
My conservative colleagues lack the intestinal fortitude and political will to reign in activist judges. When I become President, one of my first tasks will be to address the judiciary and return the courts to the founding father’s original intent: One Supreme Court, with Justices serving for life, so long as they exhibit “good behavior”.
So, come 2016, vote Briseadh na Faire for President. I’m the only candidate for President who knows what’s best for America; the only candidate who acknowledges up front that I will break each and every one of my campaign promises, and, when I do, you won’t be disappointed!
[Briseadh na Faire – it’s hard to pronounce.]
I’m Briseadh na Faire, and I approve this message.