Sunday, October 09, 2005

Of lawyers, judges and Justices

The nomination of Harriet Miers, to the position of Justice of the SCOUS, is raising quite a stir within the Republican party and among Conservatives in general.

We have charges of cronyism and betrayal on one side and counter charges of elitism and sexism on the other. Meanwhile the the "loyal" opposition seems rather self satisfied, in hope of a "meltdown", while their point-men and self-aggrandizing agents spout their seeming support for the nomination of, Ms Miers, with all the believability and sincerity of a used car salesman.

There is just one point I would like to address.

In this instance, are we not all guilty of elitism?

Why do we put so much faith in the legal profession, why should a Justice of the Supreme Court be required judicial experience, why should a law degree be of paramount importance for this position? I could understand if the SOCUS performed only its Constitutional duties, but it has usurped the roll of arbiter of the Constitutional and performs little of its original roll.

Originally, the Supreme Court was solely the court of final appeal and you cannot find anything in the Constitution that gives it the power to interpret the Constitution outside of its roll as final court of recourse.

Section. 2.

Clause 1: The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;--between a State and Citizens of another State;--between Citizens of different States, --between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

Clause 2: In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

Clause 3: The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

If you read, "Clause 2" (above), you will see that it is subject to the exceptions and regulations of Congress. I can only assume the Supreme court has usurped its present "authority" with the tacit approval of Congress. In effect we have a new branch of government as it seems to hear cases of Constitutional "importance".

I find this troublesome. We have, in effect, a branch of government, created by lawyers. A group that makes its living seeking to "bend" the law and rules for monetary consideration and notoriety.

If the SOCUS is the final "interpretor" of the Constitution, then may only lawyers be capable of understanding it?

Somehow, I don't believe that to be the case. I know that was not the intent of the founders. They meant for the Constitution to be understandable to any moderately intelligent person. A wealth of information about the thought that went into the Constitution can be read in the Anti-Federalist and Federalist papers.

Some important points to ponder:

The Constitution, by its nature, is a conservative document. It is not meant to be easily changed.

The meaning of the Constitution can be derived by historical context and examination, that context is available and readily understandable.


beakerkin said...

I would prefer a Bork type instead of mystery nominees. Some of these arguments were used in the Thomas hearing but were swept away by Anita Hill. Thomas has done well but I would love to see them renominate Bork but it will never happen.

beakerkin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
samwich said...

Judges are required by Article Six to obey the Constitution.
The textual meaning of each amendment has been "translated" for it's plain english.
If judges obeyed the Constitution lawyers would go broke.
Lawyers write laws to make business for lawyers.
lawyers donate campaign money to get laws passed so the lawyers make more money.

Australia has one law about handguns that is unarguable:
"No firearm shall have a barrel shorter than ten inches".

Lawyers haven't made much money from that one.

Have you ever been in front of a judge with out being represented by a lawyer or money for your own lawyer?

The Scribers and Pharasies were the lawyers in Christ's day.

Warren said...

Samwich said:
Have you ever been in front of a judge with out being represented by a lawyer or money for your own lawyer?

Yes, I have.

But it was small in claims court.

I was suing the local gas and electric Corp (SIGECO). They were represented by lawyers. I subpoenaed witnesses, (an electrician and a neighbor).

SIGECO's, lawyers got a postponement, I argued against it and asked for a summary judgement and was refused.

The judge pulled me aside and told me that it was his policy to grant each side a postponement, (I think he was lying), if requested.

Two weeks later, we met in court and I cleaned their clock when I cross examined their "witness".

I sued for the maximum amount allowable under Indiana "small claims" law but didn't get it. But I have to admit, in the end I was satisfied that I had cost them more than they had cost me. It would have cost them much less if they had simply paid for the damages they had done instead of offering a bull headed refusal to settle and the old run-a-round.

But I do get your point and I would definitely hire a lawyer if I were the one in jeopardy.

For a blue collar jerk like me, there is no headier feeling than kicking a lawyers ass in court! (unless it was the time I took on the local school Corp!)


Warren said...

I re-read my last post and I didn't make it clear. I won the case but wasn't awarded the full amount of damages.

Esther said...

You GO, Warren! That must have felt awesome!

Esther said...

Well, not as good as getting the full amount would have but still... :)

samwich said...

Warren, in 1980 a King County Washington Prosecuting Attorney's office staff attorney named Christofer Melly threatened to bankrupt me with attorney fees over (quote) "child support arrears in the amount of $0.00 (zero dollars and zero cents)". My ex had gone on welfare with her boyfriend's child.
It cost me $24,000.

From 1988 to 1996 I cost his boss, Norm Maleng $20,000,000.00 (twenty million dollars).

I am an ADVERTISING copywriter.

Maleng ran for governor in 88, State attorney General in 92, and Governor again in 96.
In 88 he lost the primary.
In 92 he lost the general election.
In 96 I just picked up the phone, called the King, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane county's and Washington State Republican party headquarters, told them who I was, and that every penny they gave the two time loser would be wasted.

Maleng got no party money for his 96 bid for governor and had to pay off a $5,000,000.00 campaign debt.
Yeah he got me and has spent the rest of his pitiful lawyer life sorry.

Wanna succeed in politics???


I've done few others too!

This next election, 2006, we are going to tip Washington back to the repugnantcons by dumping Cantwell and again in 2008 by dumping Gregoire.

I AM A SWING VOTER!!!and worth a hell of a lot more than one vote.

A Chief Federal Justice I had cooked for before I got drafted for Vietnam told me to do this after I got home from Nam. He liked me!

S...for sneaky!

Warren said...

Esther said:
" Well, not as good as getting the full amount would have but still... :)


I 'do' savor lifes small victories

Warren said...

Samwich, remind me to not piss you off!

I don't know if you would consider me a swing voter, I seldom vote for Democrats. Before 9/11, I was a Libertarian conservative, after, I guess you could say I became a Conservative libertarian.

Janice Rodgers Brown, would have been my pick for the SCOTUS.

samwich said...

Warren, lots of people piss me off simply because they know it does piss me off. I can't do squat about it.

Slurp at the public trough trash IS someone I can do something about and I need healthy outlets to vent.

Maleng Lost 3 times.

Warren said...

Samwich, well... I'm not planing on running for public office anytime this millenium, so I guess I'm safe. :^)

When I intententionally piss someone off its just part of a larger goal, (to make them have a stroke).


You might say, I have a knack for verbal confrontation.

BigBubba said...

You know Big Bubba has been to court. One small claims court win, one state court hand slap, and one Federal Magistrate's court win. The Fed case was for running a stop sign with two MP "witnesses." My Uncle, a Houston attorney, advised me to plead guilty and get over it. He was traumatized by losing a Harrisburg, Tx stoplight case with my Aunt and Grandmother as his witnesses. I didn't listen, pled not guilty and I won my case.

Warren said...

Hi, Big Bubba!
How did you beat the ticket?

I've argued my way out of one, (a MP), and had a spurious ticket dropped with a phone call, but I think it would be hard to win against two MPs.

Those MP tickets could cost you an article 15 when I argued my way out of that one.