Saturday, April 09, 2005
The Know-Nothing Congress
Here are some variant emotions, first from Tom DeLay, quoted in the NY Times:
QUOTE:"Judicial independence does not equal judicial supremacy," Mr. DeLay said in a videotaped speech delivered to a conservative conference in Washington entitled "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith." ..."The failure is to a great degree Congress's," Mr. DeLay said. "The response of the legislative branch has mostly been to complain. There is another way, ladies and gentlemen, and that is to reassert our constitutional authority over the courts." ...
The organizers of the conference and Congressional staff members who spoke there called for several specific steps: impeaching judges deemed to have ignored the will of Congress or to have followed foreign laws; passing bills to remove court jurisdiction from certain social issues or the place of God in public life; changing Senate rules that allow the Democratic minority to filibuster Mr. Bush's appeals court nominees; and using Congress's authority over court budgets to punish judges whom it considers to have overstepped their authority.END QUOTE.
Cornyn Remarks, please note the presence of the Sovereignty as License Ethic
QUOTE: Secondly, the Court said: We will also look to our own decisions, our own judgment over the propriety of this law. In other words, they are going to decide because they can, because basically their decisions are not appealable, and there is nowhere else to go if they decide this law is unconstitutional. ... this is the end of the line. END QUOTE.
QUOTE:There is a serious risk, however, that the Court will ignore Texas law, will ignore U.S. law, will reverse itself, and decide in effect that the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court can be overruled by the International Court of Justice.
I won't dwell on this any longer, but suffice it to say there are other examples and other decisions where we see Supreme Court Justices citing legal opinions from foreign courts across the globe as part of the justification for their decisions interpreting the U.S. Constitution. These decisions, these legal opinions from foreign courts range from countries such as India, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, and the list goes on and on. END QUOTE.
The examples he gives, India, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, are just buzzwords for black, impoverished, and non-Christian. He's a frightened racist.
QUOTE: I am concerned about this trend. Step by step, with each case where this occurs, the American people may be losing their ability to determine what their laws should be, losing control in part due to the opinions of foreign courts and foreign governments. If this happens to criminal law, it can also spread to other areas of our Government and our sovereignty. END QUOTE.
An obvious tenet of the sovereignty as license argument.
The American people are "losing their ability" not because of foreign influences or international law, but because of the poverty of the education Americans are given. Here we have another bait and switch. Look at international law as the blight, not the twenty-year plague of social neglect that the neoconservatives made fashionable in Reagan's time, an imperative in this time.
QUOTE: Most Americans would be disturbed if we gave foreign governments the power to tell us what our Constitution means. Our Founding Fathers fought the Revolutionary War precisely to stop foreign governments -- in this case, Great Britain -- from telling us what our laws should be or what the rules should be by which we would be governed. In fact, ending foreign control over American law was one of the very reasons given for our War of Independence. END QUOTE
The point is that you haven't. Foreign governments have never had that kind of power and this man knows it. He is just trying to create the hysteria he feels. He does not want you to think logically about this. He wants you to see demons in the outside world and to run from them. He wants you to despise the things you don't know and to retreat further from learning.
QUOTE: The Declaration of Independence itself specifically complains that the American Revolution was justified in part because King George "has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution and unacknowledged by our laws."
After a long and bloody revolution, we earned the right at last to be free of such foreign control. Rather, it was we the people of the United States who then ordained and established a Constitution of the United States and our predecessors, our forefathers, specifically included a mechanism by which we the people of the United States could change it by amendment, if necessary. END QUOTE.
I will explain later the fallacy of this line of reasoning in relation to the Declaration of Independence and its intent and context.
QUOTE: Of course, every judge who serves on a Federal court swears to an oath to "faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me...under the Constitution and laws of the United States, so help me God." END QUOTE.
Yes, and soon, we will deal with "so help me God." The mention of God perverts the oath and violates the reality that we live in a culturally and religiously pluralistic nation. If you want the Christian Sharia, implement it beyond the shores of North America.
QUOTE:There is an important role for international law to play in our system, but it is a role that belongs to the American people through the political branches -- the Congress and the President -- to decide what that role should be and indeed what that law should be; it is not a role given to our courts. Article I of the U.S. Constitution gives the Congress, not the courts, the authority to enact laws punishing "Offenses against the Law of Nations," and article II of the Constitution gives the President the power to ratify treaties, subject to the advice and consent and the approval of two-thirds of the Senate. Yet our courts appear to be, in some instances, overruling U.S. law by citing foreign law decisions in which the U.S. Congress had no role and citing treaties that the President and the U.S. Senate have refused to approve END QUOTE.
International standards of conduct frighten this man and his friends. They think it is all right to violate them with impunity in the name of sovereignty. It is just an excuse for imperialism, war crimes, and licentiousness.
QUOTE: Even more disconcerting than the distrust of our constitutional democracy is the distrust of America itself. END QUOTE.
The distrust of our constitutional democracy sprung up like a springtime daffodil when GW Bush usurped the presidency in the year 2000 by way of the Supreme Court.
QUOTE:Well, let me conclude by saying I find this attitude and these expressions of support for foreign laws and treaties that we have not ratified disturbing, particularly when they are used to interpret what the U.S. Constitution means END QUOTE.
Note that Cornyn has quoted the Declaration of Independence and used it to support the sovereignty as license ethic. What he does not realize is that the delcaration arose out of a context of revolution and conflict between an imperial power and colonies. There is no greater threat to the sovereignty of nations or would-be nations than imperialism. The foreignness of foreign nations does not threaten anyone's sovereignty.
This is just stupid, Know-Nothing, nativist hysteria.
The powers of Congress are:
From Article IQUOTE:Section 8 - Powers of CongressThe Congress shall have the power
1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States:
2. To borrow money on the credit of the United States:
3. To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states,and with the Indian tribes:
4. To establish an uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States:
5. To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures:
6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States:
7. To establish post-offices and post-roads:
8. To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries:
9. To constitute tribunals inferior to the supreme court:
10. To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations:
11. To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water:
12. To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years:
13. To provide and maintain a navy:
14. To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces:
15. To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions:
16. To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress:
17. To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings: And,
18. To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof. END, SECTION 8, END QUOTE.
The powers of the judiciary are:
ARTICLE III, Sections 1 & 2.QUOTE:Section 1- Judicial powers. Tenure. Compensation.The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may, from time to time, ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.
Section 2 - Judicial power; to what cases it extends. Original jurisdiction of Supreme Court Appellate. Trial by Jury, etc. Trial, where1. 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.
2. In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be a 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. END, SECTION 2, END QUOTE.
Cornyn mentions what he calls the Law of Nations.
Notice that he capitalizes it, acts as if it were formal, already agreed to and brought down with a sledgehammer. Because of where this phrase occurs, I am assuming that this law of nations (uncapitalized in the Constitution itself and unagreed upon by most nations at the time) applies to maritime commerce and naval affairs rather than to international law as we know it. No Law of Nations existed in the 18th century.
The Constitution says that the Congress will "enact" laws and "define" violations and punishments, but Congress will not determine finally whether or not laws are constitutional or worthy of remaining on the books. Congress has power, but not jurisdiction. This function belongs to the judiciary.
I also notice that Cornyn is complaining loudly about the International Criminal Court. No one fears a court more than a criminal, and no government fears an international court more than one belonging to a nation contemplating or carrying out criminal activity as we speak. In their hatred of the ICC and the judiciary, the neoconservatives reveal their licentious, immoral, and sociopathic nature.
Two men from Texas believe that they know more about judicial review than all of our judges combined. And all this because judges do not tell them what they want to hear. They are the sorest of losers, and the people most worthy of ridicule.