A Protest Too Far

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 19, 2005 | Go to article overview

A Protest Too Far


Byline: David Davenport and Gordon Lloyd , SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

In his 19th and perhaps final year-end report on the federal judiciary, Chief Justice William Rehnquist warned that judges must be protected from political attacks.

Singling out members of Congress who have criticized activist judges and introduced bills to limit their jurisdiction, Chief Justice Rehnquist defended judicial independence from those who disagree with court decisions.

But the chief doth protest too much. The court is not under attack from political demagogues. No, the "mounting criticism" of the judiciary that disturbs Justice Rehnquist has developed because responsible people from across the political spectrum feel courts are making policy on matters beyond their purview.

And, of course, it doesn't help that courts are making decisions that overturn policies mandated by voters and their representatives.

Courts are not simply facing political threats from partisan legislators disappointed that courts disagree with them. More fundamentally, the critics raise legitimate questions about whether courts are exceeding their jurisdiction and, short of doing nothing or impeaching justices, they are asking, "What can be done to check the judiciary and return public policymaking to the legislative and executive branches?"

Rather than a congressional check to judicial activism, Chief Justice Rehnquist says we should rely on appeals to higher courts and the judicial nomination and appointment process. Having a higher court fox guard the lower court hen house is hardly a check on judicial power. And, even assuming new judges would have a different view of judicial activism, new nominees in a time of filibusters and delayed appointments would need decades to balance the bench.

In fact, the Constitution gives Congress far more power over the judiciary than Justice Rehnquist's report would allow. Who decides on the pay of judges, the size of the Supreme Court or what lower federal courts should exist or how they should operate? In each case, the correct answer is Congress.

Indeed, Article 3, Section 2 of the Constitution says the Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction shall fall under such regulations and with such exceptions as Congress shall make.

After lengthy explications of congressional and executive powers in Articles 1 and 2 of the Constitution, Article 3 concerning the judiciary is quite brief.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Protest Too Far
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.