Florida Supreme Court's Abuse of Power Must Be Punished

By Roberts, Paul Craig | Insight on the News, December 25, 2000 | Go to article overview

Florida Supreme Court's Abuse of Power Must Be Punished


Roberts, Paul Craig, Insight on the News


The Florida Supreme Court must be severely punished for participating in vote fraud. Impeachment is too good for the Gang of Seven. Arrest, indictment and trial are the best response to the court's misuse of judicial office to facilitate the attempted theft of a presidential election.

Florida is a state where Republicans have been overwhelmingly elected to legislative and executive office. In a state where Republicans hold the balance of power, why would partisan Democratic justices so audaciously and confidently overstep their authority and ignore statutory law in order to help Democrats revote ballots to Al Gore's benefit?

The answer is that for almost a half-century -- ever since the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision of the U.S. Supreme Court -- the judiciary gradually has been appropriating the legislative role, adding the power of lawmaker to its assigned role of law interpreter.

Unlike the Florida Supreme Court's brazen decision to assist the Democrats in stealing a presidential election, the Brown v. Board of Education decision was in behalf of a noble cause -- desegregation of public schools.

The Brown decision remains sullied by the means through which it was obtained -- an unethical ex parte collaboration between a sitting justice, Felix Frankfurter, and a litigant, Justice Department official Philip Elman. The plot achieved its goal of abolishing segregation, but the means usurped legislative authority and created a precedent inimical to democracy. The judiciary learned that, whenever it can get away with claiming the moral high ground, it can legislate.

Other factors have contributed to the judiciary's rising power. The larger government grew, the more involved "special interests" became in politics in order to defend and advance their interests. In the public's mind, campaign contributions and interest-group politics gradually undermined the authority of the legislative branch. A tainted and sometimes stalemated legislature permitted the judiciary to make inroads into the legislative arena.

With legislatures seen as agents of special interests, the judiciary has successfully ignored the constitutional separation of powers and appropriated more and more power. The Florida Supreme Court now has claimed the power to void statutory election laws when its candidate loses. …

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