Saturday, April 02, 2005

Legislative, Executive and Delay

Article. III.
Section. 1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.

That's the beauty of our Constitution. Everybody can get it. Three separate but equal branches of government, covered under the first three articles. There are no provisions for one section to hold sway over another. Article three provides for a separate judicial branch. Period. Isn't that gorgeous?

Being the foresightful forefathers they were, the gang provided for expansion as population grew, and structure that provided stability for a fledging nation finding its feet. Our Constitution is the oldest in-force document of its kind in the world. Really. Pretty smart gang.

They put this little bit in as well.
Article. VI.
... The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Paging Mr. Delay, paging Mr. Tom Delay, there's a reality check for you on line 4.

DeLay issued a statement asserting that "the time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior." He later said in front of television cameras that he wants to "look at an arrogant, out-of-control, unaccountable judiciary that thumbed their nose at Congress and the president." --Washington Post

He wants to LOOK AT them? Under what constitutional basis? Delay has neither the right nor the authority to restructure OUR Constitution. He had no right to attempt to force the courts to intervene in the Schiavo issue at all. The courts correctly refused to set a precedence of permitting interference. They, of all people, understand the lego theory of how our legal system builds upon previous decisions. That's legalese for slippery slopes for us lay-people.

Delay also is operating under the assumption that he can punish the male judges who don't run their decisions by him prior to passing sentencing. (He pointedly did not mention female judges, so apparently women can continue to pass judgment with impunity. Whoo-hoo!) What arrogance is this, that Delay is now self appointed judge and jury for the nation. Hang on a sec, let me check something here .... nope, Article I, Legislative, Article II, Executive, Article III, Judiciary. Whew! Article III is not Delay. I double checked. Rest easy America; for now, he's still shackled.

Delay feels comfortable giving a press conference and stating that judges who don't toe the Bush line, in effect "thumbed their nose", can expect him to pursue them. (As if he has any authority whatsoever to initiate, let alone conduct such an investigation.)

What is truly troubling to me is that the basis for this assault on the separate, constitutionally granted power of the Judiciary, is that it is being fronted as part of this wretched moral mandate. Delay is gunning for the judges because he can use this as a two edged sword. He can appear to be ardently pursuing the moral mandate to appease the extreme right fundamentalists, but what he really wants is to weaken one branch in order to empower another.

Do you believe our Constitution has run its course? Is it no longer a document that has the power to stir you? Should one or two power crazed people be able to undo the foundation of this country because it suits their purposes?

Count me out.

Democrats continued to criticize DeLay yesterday, with Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) charging that the Republican might have broken a federal statute against threatening U.S. judges.

"Threats against specific federal judges are not only a serious crime, but also beneath a Member of Congress," Lautenberg wrote. "Your attempt to intimidate judges in America not only threatens our courts, but our fundamental democracy as well." --Washington Post

Beneath a member of congress, maybe, but the only thing beneath Tom Delay isn't freezing over any time soon.


At April 02, 2005 8:39 PM, Blogger TrueJerseyGirl said...

It is AMAZING how low and far some of these people will stoop to kiss the asses of their extreme-right constituants.

At April 03, 2005 3:29 AM, Blogger ThomasMcCay said...

I think they are also kissing the smelly bums of financial contributors and others with their hands on the strings of political largess.

At April 03, 2005 9:01 AM, Blogger Jet said...

I'm afraid the extreme right constituents get the carrot dangled in front of them while the power game is quietly accomplished under the guise of the moral mandate.

At April 03, 2005 3:10 PM, Blogger Tom Harper said...

Great title, and great post as always.

A few years ago DeLay was making noises about impeaching federal judges (Thelton Henderson of California was their biggest target) who make too many "wrong" decisions.

In some ways I'd like DeLay to stick around and be an albatross for the Far Right. But I think he's too dangerous to have in power. Someday one of these ethics charges (or whatever law he violated with his threats to the judiciary) might actually stick, and we can be rid of him. I hope.

At April 03, 2005 9:54 PM, Blogger Brother Kenya said...

Great post, Jet. And check out this one about DeLay and Rove and the possible ramifications of a shake-up

Also, pop by my place sometime! I'd be glad to see you there.

At April 04, 2005 1:18 PM, Blogger Jet said...

Maybe we'll get lucky, but I suspect neither the legislative or exectutive branches will bring it to Mr. Delay. Since the judiciary is his constant target, maybe they will step up and bring him down. That's probably one of the reasons he is so desperate to diminsh their powers.

My money's on Ronnie Earle.

At April 08, 2005 3:19 PM, Blogger R said...

It just seems like more and more that the Republican party has become nothing more than a well organized gang. I get the feeling that Tom Delay and his ilk would be in prison for embezzlement, or pyramid scams if they were out in the public sector. Government affords them a chance to rip people off without the consequences. Apathy makes it possible.


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