Vultures Row: Constitutional Crisis

Constitutional Crisis

Constitutional Crisis

That phrase has been bandied about a lot the last few weeks due to the Terri Schindler-Schiavo case. A lot of people are upset that “congress is sticking their noses in peoples business”. This is an uninformed point of view. All congress did was authorize the federal courts the option to review the case. They clearly have the power to do this as set out in article three of the constitution.

Where is the Crisis then?

When the founding fathers set up the government after the failed confederacy attempt they realized that there should be three separate but equal branches of government. The branches are of course, Executive, Legislative and Judicial. To ensure that no branch became too powerful they set in place a system of check and balances. Today there is a disparity in the system.

No Legislation Without Representation!

The Judiciary is no too powerful. There are no checks on what activists judges can do. There is no term limts on how long they can serve and they are making law without being held accountable to the people that they claim to serve. If we do not like the president we either vote him out or we wait him out. If we do not like our representatives in congress, we lobby against them and vote against them. We put them in the minority to reduce their powers, but there is no recourse to us when there are judges (LAWYERS) that we do not like nor agree with.
They do have the right to interpret the laws sent to them, but the do not have the authority to make law as they see fit. As it stands these people, no better than any other citizen in our society has the power to dictate how we live with no avenue of protest to the public.
This is the exact situation that the founding fathers sought to avoid.

Some possible solutions

1. Term Limits – All public officials at the highest levels should have term limits. So far the Presidency is the only office that has this. Each branch of the government would benefit from this. A staggered 12 year limit for all three branches would ensure that no one branch or person becomes dominate.
2. Veto – Congress should have the power to veto a judicial ruling with a two thirds super majority. By making it two thirds, this power would not be abused but could be a constant and possible restraint on the abuse of power of the bench.
3. A Judicial Oversight committee in Congress that would have the power to call rulings into question

America faces a crisis in that one branch as become an oligarchy with no over site. When will the Judicial System answer to the people it claims to protect? It dominates us, it does not represent us.


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