November 15, 2011

Perry, the radical: "I’m a true believer that we need to uproot..."

"... tear down and rebuild Washington, D.C., and our federal institutions."

Of particular interest to law folk:
“Too many federal judges rule with impunity from the bench, and those who legislate from the bench should not be entitled to lifetime abuse of their judicial authority.” He proposed 18-year terms, staggered every two years, for new Supreme Court justices, and suggested similar limits on federal appellate and district court judges...
 It would take a constitutional amendment, of course.

54 comments:

Seven Machos said...

A great idea. This is a representative democracy. There is no reason why a whole branch of the government should not be answerable to the people.

Lucius said...

"I'm gonna tell you three amendments, the day I get to Washington, I'm doing right away--"

But seriously, eighteen year terms for the Supreme Court is a fine idea.

And no more wise lesbopotami, that'll be nice too.

A Souter, a Thomas, anything but that.

Carol_Herman said...

The media is playing all the intelligent conservatives in America, without once referring to what the conservatives were hoping to achieve "by picking the GOP nominee."

Does Romney pay those people to do this? (Rhetorical question. But the media, it seems, will be "picking" who runs on the GOP ticket.) Where they expect Obama to win. So they're doing everything they possibly can. Including making Perry sound like a dork. (While of all things, Chelsea Clinton gets a media role at NBC.)

I NO LONGER BELIEVE IN THE PROCESS!

And, I can't figure out how to get intelligent conservative people out of harm's way.

While, yes. For the conservatives, watching everything the 8 contendahs "do" ... Especially with the comedy gold of asinine debates ...

I was wondering ... ???

Why not take the questions you hear asked ... but instead of a candidate answering them. Produce your own answers.

Some of those questions really would make gist for the mill.

Like this:

QUESTION: Where, exactly, if you had magical powers ... would you move Washington, DC to?

Historically, DC was a swamp nobody liked. It wasn't even "central to anything." But it got Federal politics out of NYC. And, Philadelpia.

Maybe, we should move DC to a ship? And, let it sail our coasts. Down the Atlantic. Across. Pick your waterways. And, then up our Pacific Coast. Till it reaches Alaska.

Think of it as a cruise.

Put a dollar value on how much it would be worth to ya ... to buy your own cabin.

Oh,yeah. Pack an ore. Or two. Just in case you have to stick an ore out your cabin window ... and "halp" the ship get out of a ditch. Or off a sandbar.

Seems to me people should get much more involved in "creative" solutions. And, no dipping of litmus paper.

Carol_Herman said...

If the republican nominee loses to Obama in 2012 ... the Supreme Court will become a "colorful bus" of many nationalities. And, no white man's seat at all.

It's a serious enough problem ... that it would pay to become more attractive, as a label, to people who hate the GOP even more than they hate "the other party."

As much as you hate the Blue States ... 2012 will hinge on how 12 states (called Toss Up's) flip.

Now, why should people vote for republicans? Because when they're dead they'll be voting for democrats.

You know, if you scream loud enough, you can force Bacchus and Boehner to exit. The conservative, Peter Schweizer has written the book on why there are GOP bums and thieves, who have used their access to financial information. To make a killinbg in a stock market.

No. It's not against the law.

It's legal. Please stop using litmus paper. You're not going to convince enough voters that GOP candidates are worthy substitutes to the bums we've got now.

edutcher said...

Great ideas. When the Federal Courts became instruments of particular agendas the idea that the Federal judiciary were honest brokers went out the window.

Term limits for Federal judges, and a lot of Perry's other ideas, will hopefully get some scrutiny.

And, yes, I love the idea of ripping out the DC mentality by the roots.

Limiting the time Congress can spend in session is another good one. Congress wasn't intended to be a year-round job.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Perry sounds like one of those Occupy people, with their "process".

Tinkering with the process of government, thinking that will change the type of laws that are passed, and make them suddenly all 'good', that's magical thinking. Idiocy even.

Give me concrete solutions to the immediate problems we face now. And stop wasting my time.

Skyler said...

I like Perry to a certain extent, but I don't agree with term limits on judges.

But I used to be against term limits on the legislature, but I've become convinced that the growth of power of the central government makes it necessary.

edutcher said...

Jason (the commenter) said...

Perry sounds like one of those Occupy people, with their "process".

Tinkering with the process of government, thinking that will change the type of laws that are passed, and make them suddenly all 'good', that's magical thinking. Idiocy even.

Give me concrete solutions to the immediate problems we face now. And stop wasting my time.


Then come up with something yourself.

It's fascinating how many whiners there are who don't really want to hear anything, they're enjoying themselves too much bitching about everything.

Some of his ideas are quite concrete, but term limits for the Federal bench and limiting Congress' time in session will help end a lot of the mess we have, and that mess is as procedural as it is substantive.

And he's also got some good ideas to address the economy.

Carol said...

Maybe, we should move DC to a ship? And, let it sail our coasts. Down the Atlantic. Across. Pick your waterways. And, then up our Pacific Coast. Till it reaches Alaska.

Think of it as a cruise.


OMFG. Carol, if I ever get back to Pasadena, I hope we can party together.

ricpic said...

Let's say you personally were in deep financial trouble, living under a bridge if you didn't change your spending ways trouble. And let's say you'd avoid living under a bridge by spending 1% less next year than this year and 1% less than next year the year after next year and so on for 8 years, maybe only 6 years but probably 8. You'd do it, right? Remember, if you don't do it you end up living under a bridge. Well, that's the situation the federal government, and by extension the people of the United States are in. But the federal government won't do it. Won't cut spending by 1%, a measly 1% a year for 8 years. Why? Because entitlement spending MUST GO UP. It is written. Cela.

And make no mistake, with the exception of Ron Paul none of the so-called conservative candidates even entertain such a course of action no matter what pap they serve us peasants. There are just too many rice bowls that must be kept full.

And since things are never bad till they're suddenly horrific we are going to end up under that bridge. But it may not be for 5 years, maybe 10, so why worry?

Larry J said...

Term limits on judges is a wonderful idea. As it is, we have too many black robed tyrants that are almost impossible to remove from the bench.

Jim said...

In private industry, there are any number of influences; recessions, competition, unprofitability, consumer choice which eventually force people and organizations to simplify and renew.

The issue with governmental bureaucracy is that other than prolonged messy citizen movements, there is no over riding influence to periodically simplify. On the contrary, increasing regulation and higher pyramids are rewarded.

There isn't even a practical method to tie cost to tax revenue so at least we pay as we go.

But how to get back to square and renew a little? Tainter has some scary things to say on the subject. So does Olson.

MadisonMan said...

Alternatively, how about a minimum age for a judge? Like 60?

Shanna said...

Rather a max than a minimum age. Are we nominating too many 20 year olds? Hardly.

Seven Machos said...

A maximum age merely provides incentive for the part in power at the time of judge selection to pick someone who is younger and, therefore, more inexperienced.

Minimum age I don't much like, either, though I can't quite think of a reason why. I guess all I can say is that 60 seems high to me.

MadisonMan said...

I chose 60 because most people won't work past 75. Many people won't live past 80.

Coketown said...

Get this idiot a copy of Sim City 4. No matter how tight his Levi's or how slow his drawl, I don't trust him. He's too stupid to run anything more complex than Sesame Street. And don't tell me Texas. Texas runs itself.

Seven Machos said...

I've run across hoary judges in my day. Here in Cook County, they actually bring judges back out of retirement because there is a judge labor shortage.

I realize that Cook County court and federal court (just down the street) are different.

America's Politico said...

Fellow Americans:

When I become your President in Washington DC, you will find that there will be no Federal agency. I will defund everything, and I will send money to the States. This is my stimulus package.

Americans everywhere are telling me that they want to check in with the President. I hear you. When I am in the White House, you can reach me directly, collect-call, tweet, email, Facebook, virtual reality. I will always be there for you.

Americans everywhere come to me and say they are proud of their country. I hear you. America is the best. We will not pay for any person from anywhere in the world to come to the US. They will have to first pay to create jobs, then and only then we will give them visa. Yes, America is open for business, for America.

I hope I can count on your support in Iowa.

This is James Richard Perry, and I approve this message.

MadisonMan said...

they actually bring judges back out of retirement because there is a judge labor shortage.

Too many laws. But that's for a different discussion.

themightypuck said...

We need more spanking judges.

Bob_R said...

The 18 year term proposal isn't that radical. But my guess is that it will have consequences that none of us anticipate - least of all Perry. Will it make the court less results oriented or more? Less ideological or more? Will the nomination process be more or less contentious or more.. I hsve no idea and I am suspicious of anyone who thinks they know.

Hagar said...

It appears the Republican "establishment" is going to sit this one out, and Obama will be re-elected.

It's going to be a long four years.

Seven Machos said...

Shorter: don't change because change could possibly be bad.

Skyler said...

Coke town observed: "Texas runs itself."

Isn't that the point? We don't need much from state government. Would that the federal government could operate the same way.

rcocean said...

Yeah right. If you're a social conservative and you believe this load of nonsense you're an idiot.

Perry will give Amnesty to illegals and cut the capital gains tax and "reform" social security. Change the Judiciary? Sure.

Titus said...

I am ok with term limits on judges.

Also, age limits.

You have to be out of there when you turn 65 you old fuck.

Lance said...

Perry's proposals don't reduce federal power, they just concentrate it even more in the executive branch.

Titus said...

I really would like to see term limits on the congress whores too.

18 years would be more than enough for each of them.

Seven Machos said...

Lance -- Not if there is advice and consent, or if the Senate picks period.

Joe said...

I'm all for term limits on judges and getting rid of pensions for legislators.

Lance said...

Shorter: don't change because change could possibly be bad.

Rather say "Don't change unless you've got a really compelling reason." Term limiting judges won't do anything for the real problems of mounting deficits, runaway entitlements, and unaccountable federal bureaucracy. Once those problems have been reasonably addressed, then we can talk about whether federal judges should be forced into early retirement.

Seven Machos said...

Lance -- Get over yourself. People here are merely talking about the quality of the idea.

Also, when was the last time you read the Constitution? The president can do very little about mounting deficits, runaway entitlements, and unaccountable federal bureaucracy.

Lance said...

Lance -- Not if there is advice and consent, or if the Senate picks period.

First, that still doesn't reduce federal power, which should be the primary aim of any new Constitutional amendment.

Second, the Senate can barely get their act together to confirm federal judicial appointees. I can't imagine how awful they'd be at selecting judges. Seriously, can you really see Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell doing any better a job at this than Barack Obama or George W. Bush?

Lance said...

Lance -- Get over yourself.

Okay.

traditionalguy said...

I heard that on NPR while working out tonight, and thought it through.

Yes it is an expression of anger to win a Primary caucus, but it is also utter BS.

How will a President just do that..like cut the Congress terms and budget in half?

Does he plan to execute the Congress members we elected and issue decrees from the Oval Office?

There is no intelligence there. He is makes crazy Ron Paul look erudite. He must think we are totally ignorant fools.

Peter Hoh said...

Speaking of uprooting institutions, did you see Friedersdorf's idea about moving the Supreme Court to L.A.?

Unknown said...

It would take a constitutional amendment, of course.

Of course not. The SCOTUS has an impact on Commerce so no amendment is needed.

That's some Clause, that Commerce Clause!

Sheepman said...

He proposed 18-year terms, staggered every two years, for new Supreme Court justices

I made the same proposal in a comment here in response to a post about the age of Supreme Court justices. I hadn't seen it elsewhere, but it makes so much sense that I'm sure many have come, independently, to the same proposal.

Seven Machos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seven Machos said...

I did a huge novella-length paper on this in law school. My conclusion was that Supreme Court judges should be up for reconfirmation every so many years by the Senate.

It would generally be a rubber stamp but it would be a step toward democracy. I urge all of you who think that courts need not be beholden to the will of the people to seriously reconsider your commitment to democratic government. Like, from the very beginning.

Sheepman said...

.... Supreme Court judges should be up for reconfirmation every so many years by the Senate.

The problem with retention elections or reconfirmations is that judges will be too concerned about the politics of their decisions. Not a good idea if you truly want an independent judiciary.

Seven Machos said...

I don't want an independent judiciary.

Mick said...

Seven Machos said...
"A great idea. This is a representative democracy. There is no reason why a whole branch of the government should not be answerable to the people".



No silly. We are a Constitutional Republic, not a "Representative Democracy".
And yes, there would have to be an amendment to change the terms of office of SCOTUS judges.

There would also need to be an amendment to change A2S1C5, i.e that the POTUS be a natural born Citizen-- born in the US of 2 US Citizen parents. "Born a citizen", "native Citizen", or "Native born Citizen" are not the requirement. Natural born Citizen is the requirement, thusly defined by SCOTUS in Minor v. Happerset:

"The Constitution does not, in words, say who shall be natural-born citizens. Resort must be had elsewhere to ascertain that. At common-law, with the nomenclature of which the framers of the Constitution were familiar, it was never doubted that all children born in a country of parents who were its citizens became themselves, upon their birth, citizens also. These were natives, or natural-born citizens, as distinguished from aliens or foreigners."

Incidently, why do you think Obama supporters that own Justia.com mangled cites to Minor v. Happersett as to Original Citizenship in the time leading up to the last election?

http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/justiagate-the-great-american-memory-hole-by-cindy-simpson-at-american-thinker/

Mick said...

Seven Machos said...
"I did a huge novella-length paper on this in law school. My conclusion was that Supreme Court judges should be up for reconfirmation every so many years by the Senate.

It would generally be a rubber stamp but it would be a step toward democracy. I urge all of you who think that courts need not be beholden to the will of the people to seriously reconsider your commitment to democratic government. Like, from the very beginning."



Duh, No Mr. Chicago Marxist. You are showing your true colors. We are not a "Democracy", i.e the tyranny of the majority run by an Oligarchy (like Venezuela). We are a Constitutional Republic.

gerry said...

I want an amendment (so they couldn't screw with it so easily) that limits how much money congresscritters can make - I mean Nancy Pelosi has enough, according to the president, right? - especially from insider stock trading.

Dave said...

Love the idea, it links up nicely with presidential term limits in that no one president can select a majority. I'd make the selection year on years that are not elections to diffuse some of the political heat.

Class factotum said...

Maybe, we should move DC to a ship? And, let it sail our coasts. Down the Atlantic. Across. Pick your waterways. And, then up our Pacific Coast. Till it reaches Alaska.

The only waterway I can think of that goes from the Atlantic to the Pacific is the Panama Canal. (And around the tip of South America, of course, but the Straits can be a pain.) And we don't run that any more. Am I missing something here? It has been a long time since I had geography.

Tom said...

Did anyone else notice how much he sounded like Chance the Gardener, aka Chauncy Gardiner?

MadisonMan said...

Maybe, we should move DC to a ship? And, let it sail our coasts. Down the Atlantic. Across. Pick your waterways. And, then up our Pacific Coast. Till it reaches Alaska.

Too coast-centric.

rcommal said...

Maybe, we should move DC to a ship? And, let it sail our coasts. Down the Atlantic. Across. Pick your waterways. And, then up our Pacific Coast. Till it reaches Alaska.

Too coast-centric.


How about up and down the Mississippi River, navigating through all those locks and dams?

Scott M said...

How about up and down the Mississippi River, navigating through all those locks and dams?

Very democratic. You need a different local citizen every few miles to navigate the ever-changing sandbars and such so a lot of people could be involved with governing...or at least not letting government get stuck on a log.

Seven Machos said...

Mick -- The way you cling to semantics is touching. It evidences your craziness so perfectly.

JackOfClubs said...

I like judicial term limits in principle, but the practical effects wouldn't be apparent for decades. The average Supreme Court term is 16.71 years. In the modern era (since Earl Warren, and excluding the incumbent justices) that average has trended up to 20.32, so there might be some slight advantage, but not much.

Another problem is that the effects presumably would have to be phased in. Even if we assume that Perry gets his amendment in early 2013, it is not reasonable to suppose that he would get a judge through the nominating/confiramtion process before 2014 -- a mid-term election year. Each term limit after that would also fall on an election year which would put quite a bit of political pressure on the Senate.

Also, note the unfortunate order in which the current justices would rotate off:
Scalia 2014 (Mid-term)
Kennedy 2016 (Presidential)
Thomas 2018 (Mid-term)
Ginsburg 2020 Presidential)

So Perry's crusade against judicial activism would have the following results:
1. In the two easiest nominations, he would be forced to replace the two strongest conservatives. Hopefully he could find suitable candidates, but the benefits to the overall state of the court would be at best neutral.

2. His battle to replace moderate Kennedy with a conservative would certainly be a factor in his re-election bid in 2016. Lot of down-side there for very little improvement.

3. He would have to wait until the last year of his second term (assuming he survives the 2016 election) to replace his first liberal. That nomination fight would occur in his lame-duck year and would substantially impact his successor's chances.

4. That successor would be replacing Steven Breyer, which would certainly be a factor in the election.

On the whole, I don't see much upside in the political dimension and a lot of downside. Maybe the principle is worth the risk. I do like the fact that we would know when justices are up for replacement, and could decide whom to vote for accordingly. But that benefit would be more of a side-effect and isn't really the point of Perry's proposal.