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The inordinate power of a district federal judge
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We have just witnessed the result of an appointed government official who has claimed that his understanding of constitutionality is supreme in the land.

This nonsense makes me almost weep.

The president has taken an oath to support and protect the constitution. So has the federal judge. Why does a judge have power over the other two branches of government which swears to follow the constitution with the same power of swearing that a judge possesses?

It is because the chief justice of the Supreme Court opined more than 200 years ago that he had that power. He declared that judges were the sole repository of the judgment of constitutionality.

Since that day we have lived under an aristocracy of judges with powers equal to knighted lords and more powerful than a president.

There is nothing in the constitution that spells out this superiority of the federal courts over the other equal federal branches of government.

Don't you think the drafters of that document would have been clear about this monumental idea if that was what was intended?

I have made this argument several times in this paper and when I make it in person, people's eyes glaze over and they hunt someone else to talk to.

The notion that federal judges are not superior over the other two branches of the federal government is so shocking to even think about most people will not even stop to consider the possibility that our habits of submission might be wrong.

If a president extends his power beyond that spelled out in the constitution, the remedy is impeachment by the house and trial by the senate.

I believe that the president should carefully listen to the courts and to the congress. But the president is under no obligation to be driven from pillar to post by any federal court.
I await the day when a president defies the federal courts and tells them to go back to the court room and pound salt.

Gary Pichon
Marble Hill

 

 

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