The Corner

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It’S The Judges, Stupid


I see this more as a struggle between the elected branches and the judiciary. The Florida legislature and Governor Jeb Bush did, in fact, attempt to intervene in the Schiavo case a few years back, and prevent the removal of her feeding tube. But the Florida Supreme Court ruled, among other things, that the governor had no such power. Yesterday, Florida Superior Court Judge Greer, in essence, said the same about congressional authority. He quickly dismissed the relevance of the House subpoenas with this statement: “I have had no cogent reason why the committee should intervene.” The state judge, therefore, contended that the House had to convince him of the legitimacy of its subpoena to compel witnesses to appear so it can conduct hearings. I’ve heard nothing from academia about this stunning judicial assertion.

As the courts continue to usurp the policy- and law-making power of the elected branches, and offend an ever-growing number of Americans and their representatives, we can expect the tension between the elected branches and the judiciary to grow. The judges have no one to blame but themselves. In the eyes of many, they have pursued a course that delegitimizes their institution and calls into question their motives. And while the courts set themselves up as the final arbiters of all conflicts between themselves and the other branches, at least the House, in this first test of constitutional wills, does not appear ready to surrender. After all, if it won’t protect its own constitutional prerogatives, who will?

The more the House resists judicial usurpation, the more unhinged its critics in academia and the mainstream media will become — accusing it of politicizing the independent judiciary, intimidating judges, and so forth. The reason for this is straightforward: the judiciary is the means by which the Left has been most successful in recent decades in imposing its agenda on society. They’ve gone to extraordinary lengths to obstruct President Bush’s judicial nominations, including the unconstitutional use of filibusters in the Senate, and they will be equally zealous in the House.