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OldGreyEagle

Is it Time to Send the Electoral College Packing?

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>>the 5 out of 9 justices who shut down the Florida recount and ended the right to vote

 

???!!!

 

Holy cow, we have just jumped off the ledge...

 

What is that saying again? Oh yes, "Move On."(This message has been edited by brewmeister)

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Brewmeister, I am just quoting some of the people I heard responding to the court decision back in 2000. Here's the really cool part: today, those same individuals claim to support the Tea Party. Delicious!

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Personally I found it amusing that liberals, great supporters of a "growing and evolving constitution" that can be freely re written by a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court, have gotten a little dose of what that means with the "Citizens United" and "Bush V Gore" decisions.

 

Both liberals and conservatives have abused the power of the courts when they had the chance to do so. My preference would be to permanently prune back that power by providing a term of office for judges of 12 years or so, renewable if re confirmed by the Senate.

 

In my opinion, the reason for judicial abuse of power is rooted in the lifetime appointments of Federal judges. They need to be brought to heal by the political branches in a moderate way.

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SP

 

I think the lifetime appointments means that the judges don't have to worry about fluctuations in the political environment and are able to decide issues based on their understanding of the Law. As it is with any human system, I would not appreciate a Judge whose values can be swayed by popular thought

 

We often hear people decrying the lack of Statesmen in politics. Those who took a stand because they beleived in it, not because it was politically expedient. WIll we have the same result in the Judiciary?

 

Or do we not trust people to do things they have been doing since the COuntry started?

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OGE-

 

I think the thought is because the single longest lasting impact a president can make is the appointment of a federal judge, then term limits might provide some type of regulator on the situation. I'm not sure that is the case.

 

Both parties have and will continue to appoint right or left leaning judges based upon which party is in power at the time of the appointments. I'm not sure how you go about fixing that, especially when the appointment is ratified by the senate and in recent history, the same party has held sway in both the senate and the white hosue. It makes confirmation hearings more of a rubber stamp than a true vetting process.

 

I don't think term limits on judges fixes this problem. However, I also do not like the idea of the federal judges being in there for life, as they are untouchable. That can be a very good thing, it can be a very bad thing. If they stick to interpretation of the law and ruling on legal vs illegal status of laws, its a good thing. Once they start legislating from the bench (which again, has been done to both party's advantage) then its a very bad thing.

 

As I remember from Poli-Sci 101, the judical branch holds the most power in the US government. Congress can pass laws, the President can choose to sign or not sign a law.... but the Supreme Court gets to determine IF the law is LEGAL (constitutional). So, its the Supreme Court that really has the ability to define and rewrite the constitution. And those that get to make that decision are appointed for life. I'm not sure thats a good or bad thing, but I'm also not sure what one would do to improve upon the system either?

 

Dean

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As I was formulating my resonse to SP, it occurred to me. I start this thread about eliminating the Electoral COllge, and then get indignant when someone mentions changing the length of a judicial appointment

 

I guess I just reaffirmed my humanity, I am inconsistent

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Lifetime appointments have certainly made judges independent all right. independent to the point of arrogance and abusing their authority.

 

The judiciary was certainly not intended to be the most powerful branch of government. That was supposed to be the legislative branch.

 

But judges rewrite the constitution these days with impunity, by a simple 5-4 majority. The Congress doesn't bother amending the constitution any more --- a job left to the courts these days.

 

With a twenty, thirty or forty year term, judicial nominations become a high stakes activity for the President. If judges needed to be confirmed again after twelve years or so, there might be more turnover and greater accountability. The high stakes on judicial appointments would be reduced.

 

While the Supreme Court claims to be the defender of the constitution, in fact it has done more to subvert the constitution than the other branches. The courts have had a 200+ year history of awarding themselves more and more political power at the expense of the elected branches of government.

 

The Supreme Court awarded itself the power to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional in 1803. It was 1857 in the Dredd Scott decision before they did that a second time. Fifty four years. These days I doubt that 54 days go by without laws being declared unconstitutional.

 

These days, Federal courts minutely supervise not only the laws passed by the Congress but the actions of the President as well. Any Federal judge feels empowered to declare the Congress or President to be violating the constitution, and they do so regularly.

 

But WHO REVIEWS THE SUPREME COURT? They act with impunity. I would say they make at least as many errors as the Congress or President.

 

Making judges subject to reconfirmation after a term of years seems perfectly reasonable to me.

 

 

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People still think that federal judges and supreme court justices are appointed for life, huh? People still think they aren't subject to political fluctuations?

 

Judges and Justices are subject to impeachment - the US has impeached and removed from office federal judges in the past - and the courts can't stop them. I know the constitution says judges will continue to serve during good behavior but Congress, through its impeachment power, is the ultimate arbiter of just what "good behavior" means. We've always operated under the assumption that it means as long as the judges and justices don't commit criminal acts, they are serving under good behavior. But, there really is nothing stopping a super-majority in Congress, other than honor and integrity, from declaring that a ruling in a case that Congress disagrees with constitutes bad behaviour and impeaches and removes one or more judges/justices. Yes, the people would decry, and yes, we don't ever want to see it happen, but Congress does have that power - the courts can't interfere with impeachment proceedings.

 

As for the electoral college - packing for where, Grad School?

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democratic republic

or

democracy?

 

democracy = popular vote = mob rule

 

The United States, by design, is a democratic republic

Smart guys we had way back then..... but even they predicted the eventualtity of our constitution's failure.....

 

"When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic." - Benjamin Franklin

 

and he also said, "The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. "

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Hello blw,

 

 

>

 

 

Unfortunately, there are few checks on the ability of the Supreme Court to abuse its power. No Presidential veto, no concurrent votes by the Senate and House.

 

Get a 5-4 majority and you can re write the constitution, which has been done repeatedly by the Supreme Court.

 

So I suggest that if you want to avoid the ills of willful majorities, we need a check of judicial rule, judicial oligarchy, judicial aristocrats and judicial tyranny, whatever you might want to call it.

 

If we want a Democratic Republic as you suggest we need a check on the power of an arrogant judiciary.

 

I again point out that in 1803 the Supreme Court declared an act of Congress unconstitutional for the first time in Marbury vs Madison, choosing an issue where there were no means for the political branches to oppose their decision.

 

The second time the USSC declared an act of Congress unconstitutional was in 1857 with the Dredd Scott decision, which took a LOOONG steps towards starting the Civil War.

 

That was 54 years without the court declaring an act of Congress unconstitutional. These days, the littlest Federal judge stands eagerly ready to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional.

 

I suggest that the courts have spent 200+ years expanding their power and have been displacing the proper role of the political branches. These days THEY are the ones who routinely abuse their power.

 

They should be checked. Reasonable term limits would merely make them more accountable to Congress and promote a healthy turnover of judges.

 

It's past time for some reform of the judiciary, in my view.

 

 

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Well, we could repeal the 22nd amendment. Let presidents go back to serving more then two terms.

 

FDR faced a court stacked against him. He won by outlasting them.

 

If federal court judges had no incentive to "hold off" retiring, waiting for a more like-minded replacement administration, then the courts would get less political. Maybe. Who knows.

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I'll just point out that the 14th Amendment has the following provision:

 

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

 

 

The same goes for most or all the amendments adopted since the Civil War.

 

I would say that not surprisingly, the Congress adopted an amendment which gave THE CONGRESS new powers.

 

I don't see anything about the Supreme Court getting the power to enforce the 14th amendment or other amendments which gave THE CONGRESS the power to enforce those amendments.

 

 

The 14th amendment gave THE CONGRESS wide new additional powers, which it could use by the process of passing laws with the usual checks and balances.

 

It's outrageous that the Supreme Court usurps the power of Congress to enforce that and other amendments by a 5-4 decision.

 

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> Both liberals and conservatives have abused the power of the courts

 

No they haven't. It is not possible to abuse the power of the courts. The courts exist to interpret the law. They simply function like machines doing their work. It is what they were intended for.

 

There is no abuse or activist court problem in this country. Never has been. It is a make-believe problem that political pundits point to in order to scare people. The people serving on courts are smarter than most Americans, certainly better educated, and are exercising their jobs within a legal framework of checks and balances.

 

If you don't like their decisions, there are ways to overturn them built into the Constitution. The fact that no one supports overturning them is what the real griping is about.

 

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