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Perry wants term limits on high court [favors change in Constitution]
Charlotte Observer ^ | September 1, 2011 | Todd J. Gillman The Dallas Morning News

Posted on 09/02/2011 11:50:24 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

WASHINGTON Rick Perry, like other conservatives, has lots of complaints about the Supreme Court: The justices, he says, have meddled in social policy, stepped on state power and generally run amok.

One solution the governor embraces is to end lifetime tenure - a cornerstone of the Constitution, whose drafters worried far less about activist or senile judges than about meddling tyrants and political pressure.

The idea isn't original, and it's not limited to conservatives. Some scholars on the left have also embraced the idea as a correction for judges serving too long.

It began to percolate in the 1980s and '90s after a series of bruising Senate confirmation fights, although it's never gained much traction. A handful of bills and proposed constitutional amendments have been filed in Congress in recent years to little effect. But Perry's embrace of the idea, combined with his states' rights principles, may demonstrate how he would push as president to change the balance of power in the federal government.

Perry, in his anti-Washington book "Fed Up!," derides the high court as "nine oligarchs in robes" and writes: "We should take steps to restrict the unlimited power of the courts to rule over us with no accountability."

Perry devotes an entire chapter to his indictment of the judiciary. The proposal to eliminate life tenure is barely a footnote, but that's enough to inspire sharp passions.

"Most lawyers would be against this," said Laurel Bellows, president-elect of the American Bar Association. "If you are a strict constructionalist - which apparently the governor isn't because he's looking to amend the Constitution - you would have respect for the wisdom of the Framers."

Perry's stance is remarkable in the sense that presidents have long viewed the power to shape the judiciary as one of the prizes that comes with winning the White House.

That's why the stakes are so high and the fights so fierce when a rare Supreme Court vacancy arises. It's a key reason President George W. Bush picked a 50-year-old conservative, John Roberts, as chief justice, planting seeds of a legacy that could persist for decades longer than his own presidency. And it's unclear if more frequent confirmation fights would insulate the judiciary or make it even more politicized.

At Alliance for Justice, a liberal advocacy group, president Nan Aron noted that five of nine current justices were appointed by Republicans.

Railing against the judiciary is an effective way for Perry to attract conservative voters, she said, but "I don't know that he's fully thought that through. ... He would want his judges to serve for life."

Paul Carrington, a Duke University law professor and former dean who has led the effort to impose term limits, agreed that the current system breeds arrogance.

He called it "nuts" to let octogenarians run the country. "It's ridiculous to have a person sitting in a position of that much power for 30 or 40 years," he said.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: amnesty; corporatewelfare; laraza; openborders; perry; perry2012; perrytalk; perrytards; porkulus; rinofreeamerica; rinoperry; rinothinking; scotus; scotusping; statesrights; supremecourt; termlimits; texican; ussc
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To: Bigun

Thank you for that information. One has to wonder why Congress is content to let the Court appropriate so much power for itself?


151 posted on 09/04/2011 6:16:35 PM PDT by Flag_This (Real presidents don't bow.)
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To: Flag_This

You are more than welcome!

I have been wonder about that myself. My rep has said that the problem has been that although we have had Republican majorities recently we have NEVER had conservative majorities and, upon reflection, I see that is true.


152 posted on 09/04/2011 6:42:36 PM PDT by Bigun ("The most fearsome words in the English language are I'm from the government and I'm here to help!")
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To: Bigun
The founders NEVER intended that the SC would be the sole arbiters of what is, or is not, constitutional!

Conservatives need to use proper language when talking about the court. We're not waiting for the court to determine whether Obamacare is constitutional, or "make" it unconstitutional. We're waiting for it to recognize that it is unconstitutional and was from the moment of inception. The Court has no authority to grant legitimacy to unconstitutional legislation. Since the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, any Court action which is contrary to the Constitution is illegitimate.

153 posted on 09/07/2011 4:22:29 PM PDT by supercat (Barry Soetoro == Bravo Sierra)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
From the article: "We should take steps to restrict the unlimited power of the courts to rule over us with no accountability."

That's exactly why the Congress has the power of impeachment; and YES they can get rid of Supreme Court Justices.

In fact, it's entirely possible that if a Justice were to commit a felony in some State that state could demand his removal under the "good behavior" constraint to their lifetime tenure.

154 posted on 09/12/2011 5:35:04 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: cuban leaf

>I agree with you in spirit, but let’s be frank. The bar ain’t all that high these days. It began with a blue dress and only went downhill.
>Well, one could argue it began with “I am not a crook.”

I would argue with Wicard v. Filburn. {Though perhaps earlier...}


155 posted on 09/12/2011 5:47:31 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
While it is true that the States have been stripped of much of their power; they are still quite powerful.... you just have to play your cards right.
156 posted on 09/12/2011 5:56:01 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Castigar
You can be a strict constructionist but still think the constitution could be amended.

Actually in order to be a strict Constitutionalist you must believe that the Constitution may be amended, for in the unamended Constitution itself it lays forth the process for amending itself.

157 posted on 09/12/2011 6:06:52 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Armando Guerra

>Imagine if after passing ObamaCare Congress then passed a joint resolution restricting the Supreme Court from ruling on its constitutionality?

Such a resolution would be contrary to the Constitution, and therefore null and void.
But that cuts both ways, the Judiciary does *NOT* have the power to amend or otherwise alter the Constitution, and on that basis alone they should have been run out of the country for Roe v. Wade.


158 posted on 09/12/2011 6:33:53 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: ops33

>If you follow that line of logic then the Constitution would never be amended, even though the Founding Fathers provided us with 2 methods of having the Constitution amended.

3 — You’re forgetting the Declaration of Independence.


159 posted on 09/12/2011 6:42:00 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: OneWingedShark

It took me a moment or two before I understood what you were referring to, but I must admit you are correct.


160 posted on 09/13/2011 5:26:24 AM PDT by ops33 (Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired))
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To: BuckeyeTexan
The thought was that if there were life terms, there would be no political motive for a decision....in other words...there were no promised jobs ahead for a vote or other money benefit.

Guess they never figured we would just blow the the system apart with liberalism and turn into a nation of baby killers and sexual perversion promoters.

The problem becomes with those interpreters who consider the Constitution to be a living document.

The problem with SCOTUS is not the term...it's the friggin' lousy, liberal, brain dead judges.

161 posted on 09/21/2011 9:39:02 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: mamelukesabre

Why is it allegedly “a stupid idea” to term limit the black-robed megalomaniacs of the Supreme Court?


162 posted on 12/09/2011 11:08:45 PM PST by DNA.2012
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