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Monday
Feb232009

Obama Will Pack the Supreme Court!

THE SUPREME COURT RENEWAL ACT OF 2009

The proponents do not all agree on all of them, but are unanimous that Congress should soon reconsider the law applicable to the Supreme Court of the United States:

The Microsoft Word document is about 77kb and contains a set of four proposed “reforms” .  The “reform” of greatest concern is one to pack the court.

proposal i: regular appointments to
the supreme court

The following is quoted from the narrative accompanying the proposed code.

One question to be considered is the prospect that as Justices retain power for extended lengths of time, appointments to the Court are made so infrequently as to diminish the likelihood that the Court’s many important policy decisions will reflect the moral and political values of the contemporary citizens they govern.

The first reform presented here therefore provides for regular biennial appointments of new Justices selected by the then sitting President and Senate in order to assure timely rotation within the membership of the Court. To assure a Court of nine Justices, this will require a modification of the duties of Justices who have remained on the Court for more than eighteen years. A variation on this specific proposal was advanced and widely discussed in 2005. It won approval from many, including bar leaders and former judges. Most opposition rested on a constitutional argument that any term or age limits imposed by Congress would violate Article III and require a constitutional amendment. But no proposal for such an amendment has been advanced, and we see no serious constitutional problem in legislating regularized appointments with diminished but continuing roles for those Justices holding office for very long terms.

Almost everywhere high court judges are subject to term or age limits that prevent the risk of superannuation. Our proposal is not a term limit but a system of rotation to assure some regularity of change in the composition of the Court. If necessary to meet the constitutional objection, the allocation and assignment of duties when there are more than nine active Justices could be left for the Justices themselves to resolve by a rule of court. There is surely no constitutional objection that could be made to that scheme, but it would be more cumbersome than the one proposed.

Two alternatives for avoiding any constitutional problem are available if thought to be necessary. One response would be to provide a large bonus to Justices who retire in good time. It would seem unjust to give such a bonus to Justices and not to circuit or district judges who now tend to surrender their power and accept senior status in good time. Another response to the constitutional question would be to revive the practice of required circuit riding. If each Justice were required to sit on a district court bench a few times a year, that requirement would again serve, as it long did, to keep the Justices in closer contact with the citizens they govern and the realities that citizens perceive. And it would reduce the likelihood that Justices will cling to an office they are no longer willing or able fully to perform. We do not favor either of these reforms but mention them as alternatives to be considered if the more modest proposal we advance is thought to raise a problem under Article III.

It appears that the legal scholars object to the presence of Conservatives on the Supreme Court bench.

One question to be considered is the prospect that as Justices retain power for extended lengths of time, appointments to the Court are made so infrequently as to diminish the likelihood that the Court’s many important policy decisions will reflect the moral and political values of the contemporary citizens they govern.

Were these legal scholars raising this objection during the terms of Presidents Reagan or Bush? So why the push now? Could it be because they have a Socialist in the White House and hope to keep him there for the next 8 years if not longer?  Could it be that they desire to grease the skids for changes having irreversible negative  impacts upon our Constitutional rights?

Which justice has been on the bench too long? Is it Justice Thomas? Justice Sevens? Justice Scalia? Justice Souter? Justice Ginsburg? Why does the Constitution give them life terms during good behavior?  Could it be the value of Judicial Independence?  What happens to that vital concept if every new President obtains arbitrary power to name new Justices every two years?

Lets be clear about the context. The Socialists have working majorities in both houses of Congress. They intend to repeal the Presidential term limit, pack the court, gerrymander their districts so that no Conservative will ever be elected to replace any of them and squelch dissent with the  ’fairness doctrine’  &  ’local advisory boards’ packed with ACORN activists. They have power and they intend to solidify it; forever.
Examine the quote again; notice the red flag?  The intent of this proposal is to dilute the protection of liberty & property ownership by removing the provisions preventing mob rule.

The first reform presented here therefore provides for regular biennial appointments of new Justices selected by the then sitting President and Senate in order to assure timely rotation within the membership of the Court. To assure a Court of nine Justices, this will require a modification of the duties of Justices who have remained on the Court for more than eighteen years.

Does any doubt remain? Does anyone remember President Obama’s remarks to the Chicago NPR station in ‘01?  He complained bitterly that the Supreme Court protected ‘negative rights’;  that the Constitution specified what the Government can’t do to us rather than what it must do ‘for’ us?

Now is the time to rise up and raise Hell, before this unconstitutional scheme is fully hatched and railroaded through Congress.  Go at once to http://www.congress.org/ and send an email to your Representative & senators. Tell them that their vote for this proposal to pack the court will seal your last vote for them, regardless of all other policies, positions and votes.

Don’t ignore this; don’t brush it off. Don’t assume that someone else will take care of it.

    * Email your federal legislators immediately. Make sure that you absolutely will not tolerate packing the Supreme Court.
    * Phone radio talk show hosts and  inform them about this issue.
    * Send letters to your local newspaper editors.
    * Raise this issue on forums and web sites. Copy and cross post this article.
    * Copy this article and paste it into an email to your family, friends and associates; urge them to forward it.

title 1: the organization of the supreme court

§1. Number of Justices Sitting to Decide Cases on the Merits; Quorum. The Supreme Court shall generally sit as a Court of nine Justices but if necessary six Justices shall constitute a quorum. The Court may by rule authorize a single Justice to make provisional rulings when necessary.

§2. REGULARITY OF APPOINTMENTS. One Justice, and only one, shall be appointed during the first session of Congress after each federal election, unless during that Congress one or more appointments are required by Section 3. Each appointment shall become effective on August 1 of the year following the election. If an appointment under this section results in the availability of more than nine Justices, the nine who are junior in time of service shall sit to decide each appeal certified for its decision on the merits.

§3. vacancies. If a retirement, death or removal of a Justice results in there being fewer than nine Justices, including Senior Justices, a new Justice or Chief Justice shall be appointed and considered as the Justice required to be appointed during that Congress, if that appointment has not already been made. If more than one such vacancy arises, any additional appointment will be considered as the Justice required to be appointed during the next Congress for which no appointment has yet been made.

§4. the ofFICE OF senior justice. A Justice who is senior to nine or more Justices shall unless disabled continue to hold office as a Senior Justice. If there is a vacancy on the Court or if a Justice is recused a Senior Justice shall be called by the Chief Justice in reverse order of seniority to sit when needed to provide a nine-member Court to decide a case. A Senior Justice shall also participate in any other matter before the Court including decisions to grant or deny a petition for certiorari or to promulgate rules of court in compliance with the rules enabling provisions of Title 28.

§5. TEMPORARY DELAY IN COMMENCEMENT OF REGULARITY OF APPOINTMENTS. Justices sitting on the Court at  the time of this enactment shall sit regularly on the Court until their retirement, death, removal or voluntary acceptance of status as a  Senior Justice. No appointments shall be made under Section 2 of this Title before the Congress that begins after the last of the present  Justices so leaves the Court, but any Justice appointed after the date of enactment shall become a Senior Justice in accordance with the   provisions of Section 4 of this Title.

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