The Constitution gives the Supreme Court the power to check the actions of the President and the Congress. It can void a President’s actions if they are not allowed by the Constitution. It can void laws that Congress passed if they violate the U.S. Constitution. After the 14th amendment, it can also void state government’s laws if they also violate the constitution.
Jean Edward Smith wrote an article for the New York Times advocating the stacking of the Supreme Court if a Democrat is elected to the presidency in 2008 and the Democrats maintain control of Congress. The pathetic ideological fantasy that Smith penned makes a muddled mess of the various actions that have been taken or attempted to influence the Supreme Court as far back as 1805. For someone as scholarly and educated as Smith appears to be on paper, he has authored 15 books and is professor at Marshall University, his article is not only fallacious but blatantly stupid and perversely dogmatic. Smith has absolutely no acumen as to the role of the Supreme Court in the United States government.
He used the following statement to mislead the reader into thinking the Marshal Court and the framers of the Constitution were functioning laterally with each other in real time:
The framers of the Constitution did not envisage the Supreme Court as arbiter of all national issues. As Chief Justice John Marshall made clear in Marbury v. Madison, the court’s authority extends only to legal issues.
John Marshall was the 4th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. What Marshall did with the Marbury decision was place the Court’s power to declare laws unconstitutional directly upon the fact that the United States has a written Constitution. This is something the liberals, such as Smith, seem to forget we have. John Marshall was one of the great Chief Justices but he also, with the Marbury case, initiated judicial revue. The case of Marbury v. Madison was not within the Supreme Courts jurisdiction and should have been rejected but was accepted thus initiating judicial revue.
He also spewed assertions regarding an over reaching court, alluding to the current Robert’s court:
When the court overreaches, the Constitution provides checks and balances. In 1805, after persistent political activity by Justice Samuel Chase, Congress responded with its power of impeachment. Chase was acquitted, but never again did he step across the line to mingle law and politics.
Again with the beguiling. Thomas Jefferson was behind the impeachment of Chase. He was not impeached for the reasons Smith states. Before leaving office, John Adams, stacked the court system with Federalist judges to keep the Federalist agenda alive. Jefferson, a Republican, was displeased by this action and sought to change it. Jefferson was intent on breaking up the Federalist packed courts and impeachments was his only tool. Sage, incidentally was impeached for ruling on law on basis’s other than the Constitution among other things.
Another stupid statement:
But the method most frequently employed to bring the court to heel has been increasing or decreasing its membership. The size of the Supreme Court is not fixed by the Constitution. It is determined by Congress.
Smith is starting to warm up to where he is headed with this article. In this statement he is referring to the various times that Congress has decreased or increased the number of justices on the court to advance or protect their ideology. Depending on whether they wanted to limit an opposition President’s picks or expand the President’s picks if he was cut from the same clothe. In other words it has only been done by corrupt Congresses’ and by his alluding that the next Congress should apply it could only mean that they, too, are just as corrupt.
The last time court stacking was tried was with FDR. His plan was so superficially stupid and obviously transparent, Congress voted against it as to not be associated with it. His plan was to appoint a justice to the court whenever a justice reached the age of 70 to help keep the court from falling behind on its workload. The court was up to date and had not been behind and there were 5 justices at the age of 70. He would have had five instant appointments and absolute control of a politically mandated Supreme Court.
He polished off his bird-brained diatribe with this:
If the current five-man majority persists in thumbing its nose at popular values, the election of a Democratic president and Congress could provide a corrective. It requires only a majority vote in both houses to add a justice or two. Chief Justice John Roberts and his conservative colleagues might do well to bear in mind that the roll call of presidents who have used this option includes not just Roosevelt but also Adams, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln and Grant.
Nearly all the court stacking listed above never made it to fruition and the ones that did were done through corruption and with the intention to circumvent the rule of law.
Smith is so infected with a malignant far left liberal mentality that he knows the facts but is incapable of laying them out in a fair and balanced exposition. What type of education do you think Professor Smith’s students are receiving? Do you think they leave his class with a truly balanced idea of factual history? Or are they taught a twisted ideological version of the facts?
The Robert’s Court finds itself in a precarious situation. Since it appears to be “thumbing its nose at popular values” rather than using the Constitution to decide a law’s constitutionality, maybe the country would be better served, according to Smith, if Roberts, Alido, Thomas, Scalia and Kennedy were replaced by one MTV veejay, a VH1 veejay, the editor of People Magazine, a high school art teacher and Paris Hilton. This seems like a well rounded group with first hand knowledge of “popular values” and coupled with the other four activist justices on the court would have a perfectly balanced court to interpret the “popular value” of a law according to Smith.
Justice Roberts also finds himself in a bind with Congress:
Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) plans to review the Senate testimony of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel A. Alito to determine if their reversal of several long-standing opinions conflicts with promises they made to senators to win confirmation…“There are things he has said, and I want to see how well he has complied with it,” Specter said, singling out Roberts.
So now not only should the Supreme Court be concerned with using “popular values” as a basis for the court’s rulings rather than the Constitution, it must also rule according to the the inane and meaningless questions answered during the Senate confirmation hearings.