The Corner

The Court-Stripping Vote

Kathryn: I’m for the general proposition that our political culture should legitimize the idea that statutes passed by Congress and signed by the president can restrict the courts’ jurisdiction. (I’ve argued this at length in NR over the years.)

I would not have picked this particular issue to begin that legitimation. It doesn’t stop the judicial imposition of same-sex marriage in any important respect: State courts can still impose it as in Massachusetts, and federal courts can still use the Fourteenth Amendment in various ways to impose it nationally. Also, I have always thought that it would be much better to begin to make court-stripping less controversial by attaching it to an issue with overwhelming popularity–like the Pledge of Allegiance.

I know House Republicans want to take up court-stripping with regard to the Pledge, too. But giving people the idea that court-stripping is going to be used routinely also doesn’t strike me as a smart way to start the campaign for the idea either.

That said, I suppose that if the House were going to take up the issue, I’m glad that it passed, because it may add some momentum to the general cause of court-stripping.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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