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Impeaching Judges



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Regretfully, I don’t think impeachment gets us too far. We will expend enormous capital on the sympton — one or two judges, perhaps — which would be better focused on a systemic change, in my view. There are a number of proposals out there, including a couple of mine — term limits (which would have some limited value) and a congressional veto by super-majority vote. But they require amending the Constitution, which admittedly would be difficult, at least for now. Congress’s Article III power is probably the most direct and likely successful tool, but even it requires an extensive public education effort to overcome opponents in and out of Congress. Congress took a little step in exercising this power in the Schiavo case, for which it has been criticized, especially by those who favor government by judiciary, and some conservatives based on federalist arguments (with which I don’t agree, but that’s not the issue here). My views on the filibuster are fairly well known around here, so no reason to repeat them. But whatever the approach, the Senate Republicans and the White House (which, remarkably, seems to have taken an hands-off approach) must start communicating with the American people. They have the arguments, if they’ll make them.



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