Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Marbury v. Madison Day!

Today is Tuesday, 24 February 2009.

Golly, is it already that time again? Yes, indeed. On this date in 1803, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its ruling in Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137.

From the opinion: “It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is.” This ruling established the principle of judicial oversight of the Executive and Legislative Departments (or branches, as we now call them), including the responsibility and duty to annul unconstitutional acts.

This anniversary complements nicely my arguments of yesterday. Absent judicial review, the Executive and/or Legislature might indefinitely imprison any non-citizen (and, by logical extension, any citizen) by merely deeming them an “enemy combatant”, thus reducing them from persons with human rights, to the status of nullities at the complete mercy of the State.

That the Obama regime would endorse such action, joining such proponents as W. Bush and Joseph Stalin, is an abomination whose stench rises to heaven.


Anonymous ranting and raving said...

To keep you apprised of what your State Legislature thinks of the judicial branch (and I apologize in advance for the length of this comment):

Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, alleging that the Oklahoma Bar Association has lobbied against tort reform and for abortion, is pressing SB997 which would make membership in the OBA voluntary for Oklahoma attorneys. Never mind that the OBA was created in 1939 by order of the Oklahoma Supreme Court and is part of the third branch of government. (Who cares about constitutionality?) Never mind that the dues paid by Oklahoma attorneys pay for things that the Legislature would doubtless still require (e.g., attorney discipline, continuing education).

An aside: the "lobbying" for tort reform was pointing out U.S. Constitutional issues; the lobbying for abortion is an outright lie.

Our Republican representatives are also pressing for a state constitutional amendment to require the OBA to submit all rules for approval of the Legislature, including professional conduct, Supreme Court Rules, District Court Rules and Rules of Judicial Conduct. Another constitutional amendment would require all judicial appointments to be subject to the consent of the Oklahoma Senate. I can't wait to see the results of those amendments, our legislature is already such an efficient and effective body.

Do you think the Legislative Branch wants to eliminate the Judicial? It's fairly clear they want to eliminate lawyers. There are numerous other bills pending that affect the legal profession and the rights of citizens in the judicial system.

While most people I know would rail at their compensation for egregious injury being arbitrarily limited, and would loudly proclaim their rights to an attorney in a criminal proceeding, it's so popular to hate all lawyers that I fear few will even make a peep about the proposed bills in the legislature. And when lawyers object, the majority of Oklahomans will sneer at "trial lawyers" and applaud the efforts of Coffee and his cohorts.

I really don't understand how our elected law-makers have so little respect for the law and those who make the legal profession their lives' work. And while I don't think being a lawyer should be a requirement for being a legislator, our laws would be less convoluted and more sensible (not to mention just) if there were a few more legislators who actually understood the law and its consequences, and weren't just pushing their own agendas.

I will be contacting my Senator and Representative in an attempt to reason with and educate them. I know I'm out of step, foolishly admiring, say, Thurgood Marshall, the ultimate trial lawyer before he became a Supreme Court Justice.

Hope you don't mind my use of your blog for a little rant and rave. Anyone who would celebrate Marbury v. Madison day (besides being a scholar) must have an appreciation for the law.

4:44 PM  

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