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Commentary from the Mile High City
Sunday, July 25, 2004
With yesterday's edition, the Denver Post editorial staff has officially crossed the line into Constitutional illiteracy. Its opinion on the unfortnately-named "court stripping" bill (now there are some visuals you just don't want) demonstrates an ideologically-driven willful ignorance of Constitutional provisions that should disqualify them from further comment on the document, until further notice.
Yes, a "make-believe bill." Presumably the make-believe vote on this make-believe bill will be referenced in the Congressional Record, a journal not exactly given to parliamentary flights of fancy. This bill was actually quite real, although it may become a fairy tale once Tom Daschle gets a hold of it.
Note the scare quotes around activist judges. Just because Colorado isn't in the 9th Circus is no reason not to have heard of it. Does the Post really believe that federal judges, even this Supreme Court, are above this sort of thing? Maybe they believe that activist judges are similarly make-believe. Personally, it looks to me as though judicial restraint has passed into myth and legend.
That system of government is called "Constitutional Republicanism." Now, the editors of thePost may have heard of one or both of those terms, but let me refresh their memory. This comes from Article III, Section 2 of the "Constitution:"
Findlaw, a terrific site, includes some judicial and legislative history on this point. It says, without much fanfare or controversy on the general issues, that Congress has the explicit right to do just what the Republican leadership wants to do. At first, there was question as to whether the Courts required explicit permission to decide a case, but since the Courts were doing the deciding, that issue was settled pretty quickly. The editors of the Post might want to read this sometime. Preferably before they write their next editorial on the subject.
Memo to the Post editors: read the Constitution before invoking it. You might be surprised what's in there.
Alarmingly for a US Congressman, Mr. McGovern doesn't know the Constitution any better than the Post, but he certainly knows what side of the aisle he's on. Using Project Vote Smart, you can find out the most amazing things about voting records...