Sunday, 03 April 2005

How our constitutions are supposed to work

James Atticus Bowden:

Two Republican Florida Senators could have saved Terry Schiavo’s life by voting ‘yes’ to a law. ‘The death penalty is an authorized punishment for capital crimes designated by the legislature’ (Article I, Basic Rights, SECTION 17, Florida Constitution), not the order of a county judge. The Florida House could have impeached Judge Greer (Article III, SECTION 17) for committing the felony (Florida Statute Chapter 825) of denying nutrition to a disabled person and multiple violations of guardianship (Florida Statute 744).

[…]Instead, George Greer, a black-robed priest-king, ordered that a deputy sheriff stand guard in Terry’s room and prevent her parents from giving her a cup of water. When Gov. Bush had an executive agency exercise their authority under Florida law, George Greer ordered — took executive authority — over all Florida authorities.

[…] The Roman Republic ended when Roman Law was contested by men who said, ‘the law is what I say it is.’ Civil wars begat dictators, more civil wars and dictators until the civilization was a shell to be broken by invading barbarians. American Civilization is at her Rubicon.

People seem to have forgotten that our constitutional republic’s system of checks and balances applies to all three branches of government. The judicial branch is not the final word on what the legislative and executive branches decide to do. The judiciary’s job is to ensure that what the legislative and executive branches are doing are within the boundaries of the respective constitution (federal or state). This is a job in which the judiciary has continually failed, nearly from the inception of our nation.

Likewise, the judiciary is not to engage in making up law from the bench, which has repeatedly done since the 1960s, up to and including the granting of constitutional rights never before voted upon and passed. Law is the purview of the legislature, not the judiciary bench. Rights are granted by God, not the government. The judiciary has no enforcement powers of its own; it has to rely on the executive branch to enforce any decisions it may make.

This is why I don’t see why the deputy sheriff in the Schiavo case mentioned above could not have been removed by a state trooper on orders from Governor Bush, should the governor had chosen to do so. That deputy does not answer to Judge Greer. He answers to the Sheriff, who answers either to the constituents who elected him, or to the elected county government which appointed him. The latter, in turn, is answerable to the people who put them in to office. Unless that deputy committed a crime, or is acting as a baliff in the judge’s courtroom, Judge Greer has no executive authority over him.

Judges are not the final arbiters of what the law is. They are the insurers that the law is followed, and that law does not trample upon stated constitutional rights. It is not their job to “interpet” the law; a good law should need no interpretation. I am continually amazed at how the words “Congress shall make no law…” has been applied to state and local governing bodies. Likewise, “…shall not be infringed” has become “…shall be infringed when deemed necessary.” No, it means shall not. Not then, not now, not ever. Not by a little or a lot. It means not at all. Yet we see it happen all the time, and by and large, as a populace, we do nothing about it.

If a law is unclear, then the judiciary should send it back to the legislature for a do-over. Other than that, they should keep out of the law-making business. The Constitution of the United States is plenty clear-cut on many matters. We have simply allowed what was once clear to our forebears to be muddied in our eyes.

[All emphasis throughout is added. —R]

posted on April 3, 2005 1:21 PM




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