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To: Impy

While I agree that the idea would never pass, it is because it would be blocked steadfastly in the senate. They like being free agents, and hate the idea of having to even pretend to watch out for the interests of their state.

I cite the example of John McCain, whose closest thing to a home state is Virginia (though I’ve heard several Virginians disavow him), whose only real connection with Arizona is his wife, a wealthy beer heiress, who buys his seat in the “rotten borough” of Arizona, hopelessly outspending (and viciously smearing) any Arizonan who challenges him.

As a senator, he does nothing for Arizona, and is entirely a federal government animal, chasing his own RINO ambitions. And the only thing Arizona can do is wait for him to be scraped out of his seat when he goes the way, and pray no other hyper-wealthy person buys the seat after him.

So since the 17th Amendment is here to stay, there is even a proposal to in effect, by constitutional amendment, to create a new body, a judicial body, that gives the states at least a little say in the direction of the country.

This idea is for the creation of a “Second Court of the United States”, directly underneath the Supreme Court, but populated with 100 *state* appointed judges. Not a federal court, it does *not* determine if cases are constitutional. Instead, it is a “jurisdictional” court, to determine if a case should be federal, or if it should be returned to the state of origin for decision.

Its only other responsibility is to have original jurisdiction in all lawsuits between the federal government and the states, meaning that the states, not federal judges, would get first crack at such lawsuits.

So what does this accomplish?

1) It replicates the original function of the US senate as a representative of the individual states. So the senators get to keep their free agency, but the states again get a say in how the federal government is run.

2) Each year, America’s 3,600 federal judges send through the appellate courts an enormous number of cases, many of which represent a huge federal assumption of state power. At the federal circuit court level, some 8,000 cases are appealed to the SCOTUS, which can hear only a few dozen, a gigantic bottleneck. So the vast majority are stuck with the circuit court decision, for better or worse, often worse.

With the creation of the 2nd Court, if the SCOTUS refused a case, it would *first* be returned to the 2nd court, which could choose to return it to the states, taking it entirely out of federal hands. And only if they decided that it was indeed a federal issue, would it be returned to the circuit courts for *their* previous decision about its constitutionality.

3) The Obama administration, and presidencies before it, use the Justice Department to harass by lawsuit states that are disobedient to the federal government. It is intolerably expensive for the states to fight such lawsuits in each case having to go up the chain of federal courts, though it can only really be resolved by the SCOTUS. First their state district court, then a panel of their federal appeals court, then the entire appeals court “en banc”, and finally the SCOTUS. If the SCOTUS decides it can hear the case.

A 2nd Court, however, would first let the individual states decide who is right and who is wrong. This is important, as a clear majority of states, or more so, a 2/3rds or even 3/4ths majority of the states, would have a resounding impact on the SCOTUS. In effect, it *could* act as a “safe” version of a constitutional convention. Yet it would still give the SCOTUS a final say as a last check on the process.

Importantly, such lawsuits go both ways, so the states could sue the federal government in front of the other states, to protect both their interests and the interests of their citizens.

So, the bottom line is that a 2nd Court would even go beyond the abolition of the 17th Amendments, and take on federal usurpation of power by all three branches at the same time, but in a gradual manner. In the long term, restoring the balance between the federalism and anti-federalism argument.

27 posted on 04/26/2012 7:07:09 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy ("It is already like a government job," he said, "but with goats." -- Iranian goat smuggler)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy; Impy
>> While I agree that the idea would never pass, it is because it would be blocked steadfastly in the senate. <<

While I agree the idea would never pass, I don't think it would get a majority (or even come close to getting a majority) of votes in the U.S. House, either. And that includes whether the House is controlled by Republicans or Democrats. The Congressmen are up for re-election every 2 years and wouldn't want their opponent running campaign ads saying "Joe Dunn says he wants to empower you... but Joe Dunn tried to take away your power to vote out Washington politicians. Maybe it's time you voted out HIM while you still can. Vote Mark Smith on November 2nd"

What's surprising is the 17th passed in the first place, given that it's an amendment and needs to be ratified by the states. That means not only did U.S. Senators agree to give up their cushy appointed jobs, but state legislatures actually agreed to take away their OWN power! They must have really been shamed into passing that due to some major scandals. They've been trying to have elected members in the UK House of Lords for decades and the Lords always block it. Can't say I blame them, I'd love having a lifetime government job and not being accountable to my constituents. I just thank God I live in America where we don't have royalty and "birthright" mentality.

29 posted on 04/26/2012 8:11:47 AM PDT by BillyBoy (Illegals for Perry/Gingrich 2012 : Don't be "heartless"/ Be "humane")
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