Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Courts Need a Huge Check

When I was taking my Advanced Placement Government class back in high school, I was taught the system of checks and balances that was established for the three branches of government.  We all know about the checks between Congress and the President ala veto power and two-thirds majority.  But when it came to the courts, the check was that the President nominates judges and the Senate approves them.
That is not a check on judicial power.  The sad fact is that once an appointee has lied enough to the members of the Senate and is confirmed, then nothing prevents that person from making the most idiotic and ridiculous rulings.  And Presidents are all too happy to execute the rulings because they have the mistaken notion that the courts are the final arbiter of the Constitution.
The truth is, there is nothing in the United States Constitution giving the federal courts, inferior or supreme, power to make the final decision on constitutional matters.  That power they gave to themselves through Marbury v. Madison back in the early 1800s.  But we have a Congress and a President that is too cowardly to defy obviously unconstitutional rulings because for some strange reason, it is considered the rule of law.
So now we have a situation where the federal courts, both Inferior and Supreme Courts, are nothing more than elitist rogues who have little regard for the United States Constitution.  There has to be some kind of check imposed on them in order to manage their power.
I really like Mark Levin’s solution to the problem that he discussed in his book Men in Black and reiterated in Liberty and Tyranny.  He proposes an amendment that would allow the Senate to override any court decision with a two thirds majority.  This is similar to the veto override power, but is limited to the Senate and allows some kind of check that does not necessarily politicize court decisions.
I would like to add that we should limit a judges’ term to 10 years, regardless of the level of court appointment.  That means that if you are serving on an Inferior Court for 4 years and get promoted to Supreme Court, you can only serve for 6 years.  I think Mark Levin talked about this also, but I cannot remember off the top of my head for how long.  In any case, 10 years is plenty of time to serve on the federal bench.
Lastly, I think we should require that every judge goes through a biannual physical that includes tests for mental acuteness.  Judges cannot be remove from the bench as easily as a politician and if they are going to be making important decisions, then their mental and physical health is paramount to their job of serving we the people.  I have heard that when Thurgood Marshall resigned, he urinated himself during his farewell speech.  I am almost certain that there are judges suffering from the early stages of some form of senility and that is very dangerous.  It would not surprise me if a Supreme Court Justice was found to have some sort of deteriorating mental condition and continued to serve.  We need to be able to filter those people off the bench because the purpose they serve is too important.
I believe that serving as a federal judge is a very noble and important purpose.  But, like with every other position of power, there are several wicked people who seek to impose their worldview on the rest of us through the force of government.  Therefore, it is necessary to add more requirements and checks on the federal court system in order to save the United States from the tyranny of the minority that is the Inferior and Superior Courts.