Posted by Steven Hayward
The death penalty decision finally puts to rest once and for all the old saying that the Supreme Court follows the election returns.
What would be the opposite of FDRs court packing? Court de-packing?
Congress needs to define cruel and unusual as a directive to judges.
Whenever a law is overturned, it should immediately be returned to the legislators, who should overturn the decision by some supermajority.
The opposite of packing is "send the Court packing."
Its time to impeach some justices. THere is nothing else that will stop them before they do something even worse, or possibly irreversible, such as rule that the Constitution may not be amended in some particular regard.
I would like to see a Constitutional Amendment passed that specifically states the powers of the Court. Im sure thats unrealistic, but it would be fun to see how the Court would interpret it.
Congress can remove the appellate jurisdiction of the federal courts over cases arising under the 8th amendment in state criminal procedings.
Congress can - under the 14th amendment - define what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and authorize the courts to apply that definition to the actions of state courts.
Contrary to Judge Rehnquists recent claims, Congress can and indeed should impeach federal judges for judicial acts that are indefensible under the Constitution - in this case applying foreign law to American litigation.
What will happen here? Nothing, because most people are either indifferent to executing minor criminals or are opposed to it. They do not understand their obligation as American citizens to defend the Constitution against judicial usurpation by demanding that politicians take remedial action.
The horrifying thing is that these guys are citing international "law."
I wish the House Judiciary Committee would haul Justices Kennedy and Scalia in to explain their Roper deicsions when the Senate gets its next opportunity to vote on new Supreme Court Justice. It would be a great lesson.
The number of justices needs to be expanded to fifteen.
This would diminish the importance of each judicial nomination, and ratchet downwards the political passions that attend the naming of each nominee.
The number 9 is not sacrosanct in American judicial history.
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