November 8, 2019

"U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman of the District of Columbia said Trump’s rhetoric 'violates all recognized democratic norms'..."

"... during a speech at the annual Judge Thomas A. Flannery Lecture in Washington on Wednesday. 'We are in unchartered territory,' said Friedman, 75, an appointee of President Bill Clinton. 'We are witnessing a chief executive who criticizes virtually every judicial decision that doesn’t go his way and denigrates judges who rule against him, sometimes in very personal terms. He seems to view the courts and the justice system as obstacles to be attacked and undermined, not as a coequal branch to be respected even when he disagrees with its decisions.'"

WaPo reports.

How do you get to be a federal judge and think the expression is "unchartered territory"? That's a written speech too (presumably). Did he visualize some entity that issues charters authorizing people to speak about the courts in a particular way? You don't need a license to speak in the United States, and to require one would, ironically, violate our norms. The expression is "uncharted territory," which would simply mean that Trump is venturing into a new area of speech that we haven't previously explored and therefore have not mapped. An uncharted territory is risky...



... but it could be great. The United States began as an uncharted territory....



... and I'm glad we're here and we have maps now and we are free enough that we don't need authorities to charter us.

Now, I agree with the idea that Trump's speech about law is unconventional, but what determines that he has violated all recognized democratic norms? It's often said that the judiciary is the least democratic part of the government, that it's countermajoritarian. So what are the norms of democracy that say a President should not criticize the courts?! You might just as well call this purported norm a norm of anti-democracy.

Anyway... the weasel word is "recognized." It takes all the oomph out of "all." Trump's speech about judges violates "all recognized democratic norms." Who are the recognizers? The judges? Judges certainly have a role talking about democratic norms, which are often part of the determination of the scope of the judicial role: Judges refrain from doing what is left to the processes of democracy. But part of democracy is speech about government — which includes the judges — and that speech is not limited to flattering and deferring to them. It does not violate the norms of democracy to criticize and attack judges.

105 comments:

Dave Begley said...

How embarrassing for that judge. But he'll be celebrated at the holiday Swamp parties.

Tom said...

Two words: Andrew. Jackson.

Michael K said...

More of our unbiased judiciary. What does he think about all the national injunctions by local judges ?

gilbar said...

you know what DID violated all recognized democratic norms?
The coup against the elected President of The United States

gilbar said...

had violated all recognized democratic norms

Tim said...

The anointed class really hates it when the unwashed fight back. Screw him.

rhhardin said...

Comfortable jobs are threatened.

Bob Boyd said...

...a coequal branch to be respected and criticized equally.

The authoritarian rot that produced this speech is present at all levels of the Democrat Party. They even have a name for it. They call it Progressive-ism.

chuck said...

Every time judges appointed by Clinton and Obama open their mouths my opinion of those two presidents, and the law, goes down.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

It's not the double standards. It's the gob-smacking, jaw-dropping, blatant hypocrisy of the double standards.
They're truly talking just to themselves. If "the long march through the institutions" is the Left's equivalent of America's postwar ascendancy, then Trump is their Vietnam.

Big Mike said...

Some judges are butt-hurt that they are criticized. Try ruling impartially instead of on the basis of blocking anything that Trump proposes because "Orange Man Bad."

Fernandistein said...

"We are witnessing a chief executive who criticizes virtually every judicial decision that doesn’t go his way and denigrates judges who rule against him, sometimes in very personal terms."

It's about time. Those assholes fly under the radar far too often.

Howard said...

"A map is not the territory"

The expression first appeared in print in "A Non-Aristotelian System and its Necessity for Rigour in Mathematics and Physics", a paper that Alfred Korzybski gave at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in New Orleans, Louisiana on December 28, 1931. The paper was reprinted in Science and Sanity, 1933, pp. 747–61.[1] In this book, Korzybski acknowledges his debt to mathematician Eric Temple Bell, whose epigram "the map is not the thing mapped"[2] was published in Numerology.[3]

A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.
— Alfred Korzybski, Science and Sanity, p. 58.[4][5]

The Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte illustrated the concept of "perception always intercedes between reality and ourselves"[6] in a number of paintings including a famous work entitled The Treachery of Images, which consists of a drawing of a pipe with the caption, Ceci n'est pas une pipe ("This is not a pipe").


The map is not the territory

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Map%E2%80%93territory_relation

Nonapod said...

Does this fall under the penumbra of "civility bullshit"?

President Trump is hardly the first president to harshly critize judges and judicial decisions that didn't go their way. Sur,e he might do it more often, more publicly, and he might use cruder language than most. But it's also true that he's been subject to some decisions that could be fairly described as contraversial at least and outrageously indefensible at most. The judical hijinx around the "travel ban" are just one example.

Unknown said...

The judiciary system has not shown itself to be exceptionally elite or in any fashion not political in nature. There certainly are Obama judges and their rulings defy any sanity, unless their political leanings are taken into account.

Craig said...

Brilliant. This post should be required reading for all students of law and government.

robother said...

Yeah, I'm sure FDR had nothing but kind words for the SCOTUS justices striking down his New Deal programs.

Amadeus 48 said...

That was as a stupid speech. I wonder if he is a stupid judge? Trump doesn’t ignore rulings
that go against him. He appeals them up the chain. That seems pretty normal to me.

Jeff Brokaw said...

These egghead elites that keep on criticizing Trump on style points... they think they’re helping their side.

They’re not. They are reinforcing how out of touch they are with people who only care about results, like the economy, jobs, rising incomes, etc.

So they keep on doing it, and getting it wrong, yet they think they are the smart ones. Nope.

stevew said...

How did this fella feel about Obama's attack on the Supreme Court during a State of the Union address? Was a norm violated then? Funny that a judge would call out and attack the speech of the office holder of a coequal branch of government - is he arguing for a de facto ban on some speech? That which violates all recognized norms? If so, we'll need to see a list of these norms.

mccullough said...

Trump understands judges are politicians in robes. So did FDR and Obama.

The fiction of independent-minded judges doing their “level best” is argle bargle.

This Democrat Judge didn’t say shit about the Kavanaugh hearings. They were a total circus. Which is fine. Norms be damned.

This is The Arena. Trump works it very well. The Judge is just mad that Trump, like FDR and Obama, doesn’t adhere to The Fiction and that his “Well, I never” approach is ineffective. So is John Roberts bullshit.

gahrie said...

Has this guy never heard of Andrew Jackson? He ignored a Supreme Court decision he disagreed with!

rehajm said...

If you assholes weren’t so politically bent in your rulings he wouldn’t have to say anything, Quit giving him reasons...

Amadeus 48 said...

I have ambivalent feelings about my iphone. “That was a stupid speech.”

gilbar said...

Tom used... Two words: Andrew. Jackson.

It takes me Eleven!
John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it

Bob Boyd said...

Hanging swells from lampposts is a recognized democratic norm.

tim maguire said...

Some judges are a little too used to the deference they receive in court.

Nice takedown.

Narayanan said...

70 + Years old. Can't even write or speak properly. Where did he go to school?

brylun said...

Ginsburg: "He [Trump] is a faker."

What is with all these Dem judges? What happened to the Rule of Law?

Calypso Facto said...

"has violated all recognized democratic norms"

Obama on Citizens United v. FEC: "The Citizens United Decision Was Wrong".

So more "civility bullshit"?

Tom said...

He doesn’t have the balls to say what he really thinks - I don’t like Trump. Instead, he has to seemingly hide behind his “expertise” as he says something that sounds far more authoritative than it actually is.

Trump wins because he has balls.

readering said...

Interesting timing paired with WH ranting about $2M fine for abuse of charity law in NY.

hombre said...

Years ago, during my career as a prosecutor, I was frequently accused by members of the judiciary of being a “judge hater.” This because of my public criticism of “some judges” as being too lenient or too political or too liberal. I never spoke against any individual judge except in response to a direct question by the media regarding a specific action.

It was apparent that many judges believed they were above criticism, or, as my Chief Deputy observed, “The judges think they ARE the Constitution!” That was years ago and their behavior is much worse now.

It is simply not possible that judges, even Democrat judges, cannot see that their colleagues have overreached to thwart President Trump - particularly regarding immigration where his grant of authority is extensive. If judges like this old Democrat and C.J. Roberts “can’t stand the heat,” they need to encourage their colleagues to “get out of the kitchen” by following the law, not the politics.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

For leftist judges, history started in 2016.

Drago said...

Good thing those democrats never attack judges and their decisions!!

SGT Ted said...

The phrase " he has violated all recognized democratic norms" is meaningless in a country with real free speech.

It simply means "Trump says things I don't like" tarted up to appear judicious and adult-like.

iowan2 said...

It pains me people spend so little energy understanding the government structure of the United States of America. Simple things like three co-equal branches. I can only look at that to mean co-equal, and adversarial. Somehow we have been conditioned to think, by putting on a robe, a person becomes imbued with divine wisdom. Nope, still human.

That is evident everyday, and todays example is before us.

Narayanan said...

What are the commenters saying on WaPo?

LegalInsurrection here I come

Ralph L said...

I knew it! Althouse is a Chartist.

Bob Boyd said...

God himself takes a regular beating in every democratic society worthy of the name.
And you don't hear him crying about it.

Original Mike said...

"unchartered" = Trump does not have the Deep State's permission

Robert Cook said...

"Two words: Andrew. Jackson."

Yeah. Another asshole.

Shouting Thomas said...

Artists, like Lenny Bruce, used to defy any attempt to throttle free spech.

President Trump is the Lenny Bruce of this era.

rcocean said...

Why are judges making speeches? Why are district judges striking down Trump's executive orders and administrative rule changes? Where is that in the Constitution?
How do District courts have the right to issue NATIONWIDE injunctions. IRC, they only started doing this 170 years AFTER 1787.

And who is Friedman? He's just some lawyer who knew a Politician and got confirmed. Trump and everyone should be MAD AS HELL about the judicial tyranny where judges think they can do anything 'untethered to the constitution'. Trump and Congress are co-equal branches, not subservient to un-elected judges.

rcocean said...

Mr Friedman has made his speech, now let him enforce it.

Bob Boyd said...

OK boomer.

Drago said...

Cook: "Yeah. Another asshole."

All non-communists are a**holes in Cookie-land.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I don’t know, the world has been charted, but there are still some unchartered territories, see the Wikipedia page for terra nullius. And is Althouse’s smackdown relying on the Washington Post getting the transcription right? How embarrassing for her usual WaPo rant, even if they did in this instance.

pchuck1966 said...

FDR hated the judiciary in his first term.

Swede said...

Heat, kitchen etc.

Ken B said...

Lincoln was unkind about the Dred Scott decision. I recall Jefferson expressing something short of full admiration for Marbury. A lot of presidents made remarks about Korematsu.
A great post Althouse.

Seeing Red said...

Trump called out the Supremes during an address to Congress?

I thought Obama did that?

Wasn’t that uncharted?

gspencer said...

"He seems to view the courts and the justice system as obstacles to be attacked and undermined, not as a coequal branch to be respected even when he disagrees with its decisions.'"

Sure thing, Gramps.

This from a federal employee who never has to wonder where the next paycheck's coming from, who went on "senior[/Gramps] status" 10 years ago.

narciso said...

'Im the only standing between you and the mob'

Temujin said...

He must have missed the history class on FDR when he was in school.

Howard said...

Blogger Drago said...

Good thing those democrats never attack judges and their decisions!!


Exactly. In 2030 when the republicans hold fewer than 30 senate seats, the dems will impeach every stinking Trump appointee just because.

Bay Area Guy said...

Ahh, the poor Life-tenured snowflake Judge doesn't like Trump's tweets. Poor thing. Maybe, he shouldn't read them. It's not hard to avoid speech, you don't like.

Seeing Red said...

Clinton and Obama are lawyers.

Trump is a businessman.

RBG doesn’t like our Constitution.

Part of this seems collegiality.

traditionalguy said...

The problem is the Federal Judges veritable Divine Right life terms. Democracy says the Federal guys have to be re-elected every two years or go back home. The Senate gets three times longer but then also has to be re-elected or go back home. But the Divine Right Federal Judges now are appointed at about 40 years of age with a life expectancy left of 50 years. When Madison and Randolph came up with the Judicial Branch, new Judges were all retired lawyers about 55 years old with a life expectancy left of 10 years.

Yancey Ward said...

The judiciary is just a cabal of appointed politicians- as such, they are fair game for criticism by anyone with a mouth or a pen.

Kevin said...

'violates all recognized democratic norms'

Translation: We still can't find a crime he's committed.

buwaya said...

All Great Men (the historical sorts) are assholes.
They all are, if seen from outside the miasma of myth and the volumes of sycophancy that surround them.
Its part of the type.

Nice humble people are not useful, are ineffective, in a grand-historical, individual sense. It takes a personality capable of imposing the will against opposition and against inertia to make a Great Man.

There is even a sort of aggressive, in your face, squashing humility, that is not humility at all but a rhetorical weapon. See Gandhi.

Wince said...

How can this Friedman not have to recuse himself from every Trump-related case in his court?

Is he retiring and this is his parting-shot out the door before Trump names his successor?

'We are in unchartered territory,' said Friedman, 75, an appointee of President Bill Clinton.

"We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them."
- Chief Justice John Roberts

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Shorter D-hack deep state a-hole: Trump fights back.

Limited blogger said...

Trump hurt someone else's feelings?

Holy shit, what a pathetic bunch of wussies.

Richard Fagin said...

"We are witnessing a chief executive who criticizes virtually every judicial decision that doesn’t go his way and denigrates judges who rule against him, sometimes in very personal terms." So? Is Trump disobeying any of the rulings he disagrees with? Are government lawyers breaking court rules and compromising decorum? Then, sorry, judge, you have no standing to complain. Trump didn't lose his First Amendment rights at the White House gate.

Browndog said...

Out of curiosity, I Googled "What are democratic norms". I wanted to find a list to see if I too violate these norms, and what the distinction is between democratic norms and other norms.

After 10 pages of results, it seems that whatever they are, Donald Trump has been violating them since 2016.

~ Gordon Pasha said...

John Rogers, CJ, hit hardest.

Bob Boyd said...

Trump. He gloats like a butterfly and tweets like a bee.

Sebastian said...

"violates all recognized democratic norms . . . We are witnessing a chief executive who criticizes virtually every judicial decision that doesn’t go his way and denigrates judges who rule against him, sometimes in very personal terms"

WTF?

It is the very exercise of democracy for an elected leader to express the views of the people who elected him against the undemocratic usurpations by unelected judicial overlords. Many federal judges have earned the denigration.

Of course, this guy only confirms the point: the silly rhetoric further erases the illusion of judicial impartiality. It's politics all the way down.

Roger Sweeny said...

President Trump is the Lenny Bruce of this era.

His autobiography is titled, How to Talk Dirty and Influence People. It's an interesting book, though it falls apart at the end.

Skeptical Voter said...

Jeez Louise! A 75 year old federal judge has forgotten all about FDR's assault on the Supreme Court and court packing efforts? He doesn't remember Obama dressing down the Supremes at a State of The Union address? How did such an ignorant tool get on the federal bench?

alanc709 said...

"Howard said...
Blogger Drago said...

Good thing those democrats never attack judges and their decisions!!

Exactly. In 2030 when the republicans hold fewer than 30 senate seats, the dems will impeach every stinking Trump appointee just because."

That's because, according to the lunatics on your side, our coastal regions will be underwater due to climate change. Those 30 Senate seats will make up 60% of the remaining seats in the truncated USA. Or so I'm told.

Char Char Binks said...

Accepting the transcribed “unchartered” makes as much sense as believing that you can hear the distinction between “their” and “they’re” in DJT’s speech.

Bilwick said...

" . . . an appointee of President Bill Clinton." Says it all.

Bilwick said...

" . . . an appointee of President Bill Clinton." Says it all.

Bilwick said...

"Jeez Louise! A 75 year old federal judge has forgotten all about FDR's assault on the Supreme Court and court packing efforts? He doesn't remember Obama dressing down the Supremes at a State of The Union address? How did such an ignorant tool get on the federal bench?"

Someone once wrote that when Obama got elected, "liberals" changed their bumper stickers from "Question Authority" to "Obey." I guess the judge and other members of The Hive are still following the "Obey."

Char Char Binks said...

Shorter Friedman — HARRUMPH!

Caligula said...

" 'We are witnessing a chief executive who criticizes virtually every judicial decision that doesn’t go his way and denigrates judges who rule against him, sometimes in very personal terms."

And if he keeps that up, perhaps he'll threaten to 'pack' the Supreme Court?

Umm, well no, he hasn't, has he? It was that other U.S. president, the one who died in 1945 who did that. And Democrat activists who are threatening to do so again, post-Trump, to remove the influence of Pres. Trump on the Court.

But, sure, it's Trump who's threatening our "impartial" judiciary, with his intemperate speech. Because there should be no restraint on the judiciary (unless it's been appointed by Trump), and when judges act beyond their Constitutional authority no one, but especially not POTUS, should ever criticize them.

gilbar said...

trad guy pointed out, that ...
When Madison and Randolph came up with the Judicial Branch, new Judges were all retired lawyers about 55 years old with a life expectancy left of 10 years.


I think a Mandatory retirement age would work well; to be lenient, make it 70
Otherwise; like the James Bond movie; maybe we should remind them:
"Remember you're only a Judge; for Life"

hstad said...

There's something wrong with this Judge or the Judiciary? "Uncharted Territory" and "violated all recognized democratic norms?" Really, does that mean past President's have never denigrated Judges. LOL! But it is OK, for Democrats to say anything, even if a lie, to kill future 'Judges' not liked by them. Just another TDS Democrat who believes in his 'Elite' magnificence. These people are truly self-absorbed, our founding fathers should never have given these 'Elite' lifetime employment. Egos out of control!

Gospace said...

We have federal judges entering uncharted territory where one president is forbidden by unelected judges to reverse a frigging acknowledged to be unconstitutional executive order of another president because the judge "questions his motives".

"Orange man bad" is not in the Constitution as a reason for ruling against a President, but many recent judicial decisions boiled down to their essence say, "Orange man bad" as their sole justification.

Leland said...

I suspect this Judge has made a lot of unprecedented decisions based on his apparent lack of knowledge of history. Perhaps Senate confirmation can weed out candidates with no long term memory capability?

Jim at said...

Remember when Trump publicly bashed the SCOTUS during the State of the Union?

Or the times he threatened SCOTUS for being partisan before the ruling on his signature health care plan became public?

jimbino said...

When it comes to English grammar, prescriptivists speak of recognized norms, but the descriptivists (like those over at Language Log) don't recognize "proper English" but promote instead the idea that any damn thing native English speakers say is ipso facto proper English. They figure that any grammatical construction, no matter how dumb, meets their standards as long as it shows up on google's n-gram viewer, including the "singular they."

So, go ahead and n-gram both "uncharted territory" along with "unchartered territory" to find that the latter is preferred in a significant number of citations whose number has recently been increasing.

Sam L. said...

I trust nothing in the NYT. Same for the WaPoo.

JaimeRoberto said...

Maybe the use of unchartered comes from the philosophy that everything should be approved by the state.

JaimeRoberto said...

Trump has lost some court cases, but has he defied the rulings? To the best of my knowledge he's either appealed or abided by the ruling. How is that outside democratic norms?

Rusty said...

"How is that outside democratic norms?"
If the left doesn't like it it's 'outside democratic norms.'

Eric said...

It was way out of line when President Trump lectured the Supreme Court Justices at the State of the Union.

Narayanan said...

Could this Judge be telling us : in USA Constitutional Framework Judiciary has been delegated authority to charter speech?

1A says Congress shall make no law. Does that stop Judiciary?

stan said...

He's not so stupid that he doesn't know about FDR and Obama. He just chooses to ignore the history and lie about it. This judge is a Democrat. Democrats lie. Period. It's what they do. He's been lying so long he doesn't even care what the truth is any more. Because lies in the promotion of the leftist agenda are moral. See e.g. Lenin.

Clyde said...

Judge Friedman seems like a paragon of objectivity and neutrality whose main concern is the law. NOT!

Scott said...

Q: What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of less than 80?

A: Your Honor

Iman said...

Here come da Judge!

Michael K said...

So, go ahead and n-gram both "uncharted territory" along with "unchartered territory" to find that the latter is preferred in a significant number of citations whose number has recently been increasing.

They never had nuns making them diagram sentences. I kept my hand book of grammar through medical school. I corrected a lot of medical student grammar in their writeups.

Brad said...

Something else that violates "recognized norms" is judges giving speeches criticizing the sitting President of the United States.

But that's OK, because "Orange Man Bad."

Paul Doty said...

Has this retarded ever listened to msnbc?

President Toilet Paper Shoe's Perfect Phone Call said...

Now, I agree with the idea that Trump's speech about law is unconventional, but what determines that he has violated all recognized democratic norms?

How can you be serious? For Trump's oft-stated sentiments to be acceptable in this constitutional order we would basically have to rewind the clock to a revisiting of Marbury vs. Madison.

Judges refrain from doing what is left to the processes of democracy. But part of democracy is speech about government — which includes the judges — and that speech is not limited to flattering and deferring to them. It does not violate the norms of democracy to criticize and attack judges.

Trump doesn't just criticize or attack a judge or ruling he doesn't like. He seriously believes that all of them should be subject to his authority. Judgements and cases involving him and his perceived authority come at a pace never before seen - it's like nearly the entire focus of his presidency is about what he feels he should get away with in defiance of the other two branches. This guy seriously doesn't believe in separation of powers and places himself and his personal interests above the constitutional order. If you can't see that and can't come up with a single precedent of a chief executive who was this obsessed with getting away with anything he wanted - Congress and SCOTUS be damned - then you need to provide it. You haven't yet and won't in the future and the fact that you fail to ever do this while always "arguing" Trump's perspective and yet wondering why people accuse you of carrying his water is sad and bizarre. Where is the objectivity? Where is the deference to any constitutional order besides that phony one advanced by the "unitary executive" types? Where is there any argument for how his behavior is different from what the founders were clearly trying to avoid and curtail in the executive at the founding? Bueller? Bueller? SMH.

Gahrie said...

For Trump's oft-stated sentiments to be acceptable in this constitutional order we would basically have to rewind the clock to a revisiting of Marbury vs. Madison.

Knowing what I now know about that case, I'd vote in favor of revisiting it.

Quayle said...

“ Trump doesn't just criticize or attack a judge or ruling he doesn't like. He seriously believes that all of them should be subject to his authority.“

Ah, the mind and motive reading abilities of our superiors. The don’t need no stinking evidence of anything. They just know. It’s a special skill - diving people’s thoughts and motives.

Larry J said...

Judges like to present themselves as the high priests of the law, above all question or reproach from the lessor beings. I’m of the opinion that a significant percentage of them are nothing more than failed lawyers with sufficient political connections to get appointed or elected to the bench.

From Inwood said...

Why things re SCOTUS appointments have become screamingly insane & we have an opéra bouffe instead of a reasoned discussion:

Trump could end up replacing 3, even 4, Supreme Court justices

I would argue that "Independence" of the Judiciary means simply that it is a co-equal branch of government.

For the benefit of the non-lawyers here:

Judicial Review is a distinctive power of SCOTUS that is nowhere specifically mentioned in The Constitution; Chief Justice Marshall asserted the principle on which it rests in the early 1800s.

Present members of the High Moral Elite, inhaling the air of Post-Warren euphoria, forget that before FDR, SCOTUS was criticized because it had transferred laissez faire into dogma in order to stop the spread of socialism.

And SCOTUS Justices? Those wonderful guys who brought us decisions like:

• Dred Scott (overruled by The Civil War),
• Income Tax Unconstitutional (overruled by The XVI Amendment),
• Segregation not bad per se, just as long as it’s “separate but equal” (overruled by Brown v. Bd of Ed),
• OK to put Japanese citizens in Concentration Camps (overruled recently), &
• The beat goes on.

And why should a Single Fed Judge in Hawaii have the same power as POTUS re Executive orders, & why should his power extend beyond his District?

And why should a five-justice majority of nine unelected people run the country?

So, I suggest that getting rid of Government By Judiciary & achieving Judicial self-restraint is the best position intellectually, morally, & in keeping with our Constitution. This is obviously a chimera, but, as I noted, before FDR, Libs were screaming about those wonderful guys who brought us such decisions.

So saying, hopefully Conservative don’t, after confirmation “progress” ever Leftward.

And if we ever get a POTUS who appoints justices who don’t see themselves as mere justices, he may be impeached as a madman. Oh, wait a minute! 😊

As for the general public, it is uneducated or under-educated about the Constitution. (As are law school grads who only read the cases assigned & take notes from the Orthodox Liberal Prof.) All they see is that it is the subject of endless nit picking, angels on the head of a pin, Jesuitical/Talmudic disputations. Thus, they are susceptible to the inevitable encroachments of the judicial power-seekers & the politicians who enjoy their decisions.

But, I would repeat that "Independence" of the Judiciary means simply that it is a co-equal branch of government.

And that "Independence" does not mean that its foolish pronouncements, such as those noted above & by Kavanaugh, may never be questioned, much less vitiated by another branch of the tranche or by a Constitutional amendment.

So, when Conservatives in recent history have questioned SCOTUS' activism and argued for congressional action to reign it in or called for a Constitutional Amendment to overturn/modify/clarify a decision, many Liberals thoughtlessly accused such Conservatives of attacking the "independence" of the judiciary or, worse, suggested that conservatives were advocating that its decisions do not have to be "obeyed". The fact that the four decisions referred to above are now generally thought of as wrong & that three were overturned, one by the Civil War, no less? Nevermind!

From Inwood said...

Why things re SCOTUS appointments have become screamingly insane & we have an opéra bouffe instead of a reasoned discussion:

Trump could end up replacing 3, even 4, Supreme Court justices

I would argue that "Independence" of the Judiciary means simply that it is a co-equal branch of government.

For the benefit of the non-lawyers here:

Judicial Review is a distinctive power of SCOTUS that is nowhere specifically mentioned in The Constitution; Chief Justice Marshall asserted the principle on which it rests in the early 1800s.

Present members of the High Moral Elite, inhaling the air of Post-Warren euphoria, forget that before FDR, SCOTUS was criticized because it had transferred laissez faire into dogma in order to stop the spread of socialism.

And SCOTUS Justices? Those wonderful guys who brought us decisions like:

• Dred Scott (overruled by The Civil War),
• Income Tax Unconstitutional (overruled by The XVI Amendment),
• Segregation not bad per se, just as long as it’s “separate but equal” (overruled by Brown v. Bd of Ed),
• OK to put Japanese citizens in Concentration Camps (overruled recently), &
• The beat goes on.

And why should a Single Fed Judge in Hawaii have the same power as POTUS re Executive orders, & why should his power extend beyond his District?

And why should a five-justice majority of nine unelected people run the country?

So, I suggest that getting rid of Government By Judiciary & achieving Judicial self-restraint is the best position intellectually, morally, & in keeping with our Constitution. This is obviously a chimera, but, as I noted, before FDR, Libs were screaming about those wonderful guys who brought us such decisions.

So saying, hopefully Conservative don’t, after confirmation “progress” ever Leftward.

And if we ever get a POTUS who appoints justices who don’t see themselves as mere justices, he may be impeached as a madman. Oh, wait a minute! 😊

As for the general public, it is uneducated or under-educated about the Constitution. (As are law school grads who only read the cases assigned & take notes from the Orthodox Liberal Prof.) All they see is that it is the subject of endless nit picking, angels on the head of a pin, Jesuitical/Talmudic disputations. Thus, they are susceptible to the inevitable encroachments of the judicial power-seekers & the politicians who enjoy their decisions.

But, I would repeat that "Independence" of the Judiciary means simply that it is a co-equal branch of government.

And that "Independence" does not mean that its foolish pronouncements, such as those noted above & by Kavanaugh, may never be questioned, much less vitiated by another branch of the tranche or by a Constitutional amendment.

So, when Conservatives in recent history have questioned SCOTUS' activism and argued for congressional action to reign it in or called for a Constitutional Amendment to overturn/modify/clarify a decision, many Liberals thoughtlessly accused such Conservatives of attacking the "independence" of the judiciary or, worse, suggested that conservatives were advocating that its decisions do not have to be "obeyed". The fact that the four decisions referred to above are now generally thought of as wrong & that three were overturned, one by the Civil War, no less? Nevermind!

From Inwood said...

Correction:

Last sentence in my submission should have read:

The fact that the four decisions referred to above are now generally thought of as wrong & were all overturned, one by the Civil War, no less? Nevermind!