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A Republican's View of Legislating From the Bench

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Econ101

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Our Political Federal Courts

by Ron Paul
by Ron Paul

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The nomination of White House lawyer Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court has raised questions about her qualifications and political ideology. Conservatives and liberals alike fear that Ms. Miers will not represent their views, and will rule on issues in ways that harm our nation. But clearly we are not asking the right questions about Supreme Court nominees. The issue is not how candidates intend to wield judicial power, but rather whether they understand that the Constitution imposes limits on that power in the first place. We are guilty of permitting our federal courts to become politicized, when the proper role of those courts is to protect us from the very abuses that arise from politics.

Instead of viewing federal judicial nominees as liberals or conservatives, we ought to be viewing them as activists or originalists. Judicial activism is a popular and often misused term in politics today, but if we define it properly we can better understand the problem with our courts. Judicial activism is the practice of judges legislating from the bench, by interpreting law in a manner that creates an outcome to fit their political views. But judicial activism is more than this. Activist federal judges not only craft laws, they also ignore the laws in place – particularly the enumerated powers listed in Article I of the Constitution and underscored by the 9th and 10th amendments. By ignoring the strict constitutional limits placed on the federal government and bulldozing states’ rights, federal judges opened the door to the growth of wildly extra-constitutional government in the 20th century. Activist courts enable activist government.

The bitterness and controversy that often surround the nomination of Supreme Court justices in recent decades makes perfect sense when we consider the lawmaking and lawbreaking power that activist federal courts possess. Federal courts in general, and the Supreme Court in particular, have long since ceased serving as referees who guard against government overreaching. Instead they have become unelected, unaccountable purveyors of social policy for the entire nation. Bitter partisan fights over Supreme Court nominees are inevitable simply because so much is at stake.

How did this come to pass? Unfortunately, our nation has embraced the flawed notion that only scholars, judges, or attorneys are qualified to understand and interpret the Constitution. We have come to accept that constitutional law must be revealed to us from on high by our black-robed masters. Yet nothing could be further from the ideal of constitutional jurisprudence envisioned by our founders. The Constitution is written in plain, forthright text, and there is nothing mystical about it. It simply establishes a system of shared, limited power between the three branches of the federal government, while reserving most government power to the states themselves.

It seems that schoolchildren once knew far more about the Constitution than many adults do today. Yet we cannot hold intelligent opinions about Supreme Court nominees unless we understand this basic constitutional framework. It is therefore incumbent upon every American to read the text of the Constitution, study the history of its drafting and ratification, and consider whether federal judicial nominees will properly abide by their originally intended roles.

The Constitution above all is a document that limits the power of the federal government. The fundamental point that has been lost in our national discourse is this: the Constitution prohibits the federal government, including the federal judiciary, from doing all kind of things. Until we have federal judges who understand this, it matters little what political stripes or experience they bring to the bench. The Constitution does not empower government and grant rights, it restricts government in order to safeguard preexisting rights. When federal courts disregard this principle, acting as legislatures or failing to enforce constitutional limitations, we get the worst kind of unaccountable government.

October 11, 2005

Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.

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theHiredMansWife

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Anyone ever notice the "legislating from the bench" stuff comes up *only* when the group using the buzz word is grumpy about the decision?

Ie, when liberals are irritated about Oregon's assisted suicide law being drug up in front of the Supreme Court, they're worried about "activist judges", "legislating from the bench."

When conservatives are up in arms about Nebraska's marriage protection law being struck down in federal court, it's because of "activist judges", "legislating from the bench."

But conservatives will tell you the first is an example of the proper use of the judicial system, while liberals will say the same of the latter.


"Activist judges" and "legislating from the bench" are just the latest buzzwords to describe a complaint as old as the US of A--we aren't getting our way!! (and of course our way is the one that is just and Constitutional) :wink:
 

Mike

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Also it is up to the Judiciary to interpret the Constitution in our times because it is NOT a timeless document but reflects a philosophy stated in terms of its times.

You have come awful close to calling it a "Living" document, of which I abhor.
 

Econ101

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The Pickett case had nothing to do with constitutional issues except that a jury verdict because some judges didn't believe the "illusion" that is a reality for the 12 jurors and overturned the verdict. It had to do with the appellate court making the PSA into an act to protect packers with market power instead of cattlemen without market power. This is worse than some of the "constitutional" decisions that are made. It is the court substituting its opinion for that of the written law.

The people of that time era knew the difference between "or" and "and". The Pickett judges obviously don't. They are substituting their opinion for the enumerated prohibitions. In fact, they are claiming that they "know the law" more than the writers of the legislation. Isn't that Agman's argument?
 
A

Anonymous

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HMW: "Activist judges" and "legislating from the bench" are just the latest buzzwords to describe a complaint as old as the US of A--we aren't getting our way!! (and of course our way is the one that is just and Constitutional)"

Hahaha!

TOUCHE'!

Exactly right!



Here's your proof:

Conman: "The Pickett case had nothing to do with constitutional issues except that a jury verdict because some judges didn't believe the "illusion" that is a reality for the 12 jurors and overturned the verdict. It had to do with the appellate court making the PSA into an act to protect packers with market power instead of cattlemen without market power. This is worse than some of the "constitutional" decisions that are made. It is the court substituting its opinion for that of the written law.

The people of that time era knew the difference between "or" and "and". The Pickett judges obviously don't. They are substituting their opinion for the enumerated prohibitions. In fact, they are claiming that they "know the law" more than the writers of the legislation. Isn't that Agman's argument?"

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH
WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH

The "perceived" packer victims didn't get their way. The jury bought their bullsh....crap but the Judge and the 11th circuit said the plaintiffs could not prove a violation of the PSA.


HMW, click on the first page of the "just for you gunslinger" post and read the Judges ruling which was upheld by the 11th circuit court and you can see for yourself what a crybaby Conman and packer blamers like him are when they don't get their way.

Great post HMW! You nailed it! More producers are seeing through the phoniness of these blamers every day.



~SH~
 

Econ101

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~SH~ said:
HMW: "Activist judges" and "legislating from the bench" are just the latest buzzwords to describe a complaint as old as the US of A--we aren't getting our way!! (and of course our way is the one that is just and Constitutional)"

Hahaha!

TOUCHE'!

Exactly right!



Here's your proof:

Conman: "The Pickett case had nothing to do with constitutional issues except that a jury verdict because some judges didn't believe the "illusion" that is a reality for the 12 jurors and overturned the verdict. It had to do with the appellate court making the PSA into an act to protect packers with market power instead of cattlemen without market power. This is worse than some of the "constitutional" decisions that are made. It is the court substituting its opinion for that of the written law.

The people of that time era knew the difference between "or" and "and". The Pickett judges obviously don't. They are substituting their opinion for the enumerated prohibitions. In fact, they are claiming that they "know the law" more than the writers of the legislation. Isn't that Agman's argument?"

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH
WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH

The "perceived" packer victims didn't get their way. The jury bought their bullsh....crap but the Judge and the 11th circuit said the plaintiffs could not prove a violation of the PSA.


HMW, click on the first page of the "just for you gunslinger" post and read the Judges ruling which was upheld by the 11th circuit court and you can see for yourself what a crybaby Conman and packer blamers like him are when they don't get their way.

Great post HMW! You nailed it! More producers are seeing through the phoniness of these blamers every day.



~SH~

No, SH, the court even admitted that the plaintiffs had made their point but not for the 11th circuit re-intereting the PSA against the English it was written in.
 
A

Anonymous

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Conman: "No, SH, the court even admitted that the plaintiffs had made their point but not for the 11th circuit re-intereting the PSA against the English it was written in."

The court did not admit that the plaintiffs made their point. Their point was that ibp violated the PSA. Judge Strom stated that there was no PSA violation. Quit lying!


~SH~
 

theHiredMansWife

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popc1.gif
 

Econ101

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~SH~ said:
Conman: "No, SH, the court even admitted that the plaintiffs had made their point but not for the 11th circuit re-intereting the PSA against the English it was written in."

The court did not admit that the plaintiffs made their point. Their point was that ibp violated the PSA. Judge Strom stated that there was no PSA violation. Quit lying!


~SH~

"Legitimate business reason" was made up by the court. "Harm to competition" was made up by the court. The Robinson-Patman argument was totally misused. This court rolled over for Smithfield, Tyson, Swift and the others.

How much campaign money did these give to politicians all together?
 
A

Anonymous

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Conman: "Legitimate business reason" was made up by the court.

Legitimate business reason was one piece of the puzzle.

There was no proof of a PSA violation. NONE!

You blame everyone because they can't find a violation that doesn't exist. You blame GIPSA, you blame the packers, you blame the courts, and you will blame anyone else that doesn't believe your conspiracies.


Conman: "Harm to competition" was made up by the court."

If there was market manipulation, that would be harm to competition. I thought that is what this case was about? ANTI-COMPETITIVENESS????


Conman: "The Robinson-Patman argument was totally misused. This court rolled over for Smithfield, Tyson, Swift and the others."

WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!
WAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

Poor Conman, can't find a violation that doesn't exist.


HiredMansWife, you're funny! Here's a coke!

I'll bet you tell the fat man at the end of the bar that the ugly man at the other bar thinks he's fat don't you? Then you tell the ugly man at the other end of the bar that the fat man thinks he's ugly. Then you get your popcorn and watch the fur fly don't you?



~SH~
 

theHiredMansWife

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Actually, SH, I've read enough to realize you guys don't need an incentive to start arguing. Certainly not from a newbie... lol



No, I just calls 'em like I sees 'em.
shrug.gif


and I sees "legislating from the bench" as simply being the battle cry du jour that means "they're out to trample our rights! :mad: "



Though which side of "our" varies from day to day or issue to issue...
 
A

Anonymous

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You're right!

I don't agree with recent decisions involving the taking of private property by cities for the "supposed" good of the public.

I also don't agree with recent decisions legislating freedom "FROM" religion as opposed to freedom "OF" religion.

I don't cry in my beer about those decisions. I simply do what I can to elect those who will elect judges that agree with my political views.


~SH~
 

theHiredMansWife

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I don't agree with recent decisions involving the taking of private property by cities for the "supposed" good of the public

I don't either.
For that matter, I've yet to talk to *any*one who thought that one was a good decision. How did that pass?? :???:
 

Econ101

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theHiredMansWife said:
I don't agree with recent decisions involving the taking of private property by cities for the "supposed" good of the public

I don't either.
For that matter, I've yet to talk to *any*one who thought that one was a good decision. How did that pass?? :???:

Pfizer, was it?
 

mrj

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theHiredMansWife said:
I don't agree with recent decisions involving the taking of private property by cities for the "supposed" good of the public

I don't either.
For that matter, I've yet to talk to *any*one who thought that one was a good decision. How did that pass?? :???:


Wasn't the reasoning of the case that the city/county(don't remember which) gov't. wanted the higher taxes that a big business would pay, plus the jobs and even more taxes paid by the workers?

It is fairly understandable that they would see it that way, and really unfortunate that the court did not do the right thing and point out that it was unconstitutional.

Maybe it was a wake-up call that we needed. Look at the number of states that have done the right thing and passed laws re-affirming the states right to over-rule the Supreme Court by passing a law protecting their citizens against the mis-use of Emminent Domain.

MRJ
 

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