Court-Packing II: Judgment Day
The talking heads, politicians, and subhuman pieces of shit* are taking to the airwaves to say that the root cause of Terri Schiavo’s death – indeed, the entire “culture of death” – was activist judges. Murder by judiciary. A judge “defying the will of congress.”
The Court in addition to the proper use of its judicial functions has improperly set itself up as a third house of the Congress – a super-legislature, as one of the justices has called it – reading into the Constitution words and implications which are not there, and which were never intended to be there.
We have, therefore, reached the point as a nation where we must take action to save the Constitution from the Court and the Court from itself. We must find a way to take an appeal from the Supreme Court to the Constitution itself. We want a Supreme Court which will do justice under the Constitution and not over it. In our courts we want a government of laws and not of men.
I want – as all Americans want – an independent judiciary as proposed by the framers of the Constitution. That means a Supreme Court that will enforce the Constitution as written, that will refuse to amend the Constitution by the arbitrary exercise of judicial power – in other words by judicial say-so. It does not mean a judiciary so independent that it can deny the existence of facts which are universally recognized.
Like all lawyers, like all Americans, I regret the necessity of this controversy. But the welfare of the United States, and indeed of the Constitution itself, is what we all must think about first. Our difficulty with the Court today rises not from the Court as an institution but from human beings within it. But we cannot yield our constitutional destiny to the personal judgment of a few men who, being fearful of the future, would deny us the necessary means of dealing with the present.
Yep. That was Franklin Delano Roosevelt on March 9, 1937 – a president who had just been re-elected with an increased majority of his party in Congress. He used his mandate to take on the courts and squandered most of his political capital, in time for Republicans to win back 81 House seats and eight Senate seats in the midterm elections.
I know some post-election commentary (including my own) speculated that the GOP would eventually run aground thanks to hubris, but if they’re going to do so by making the same mistake FDR did and attacking the courts – well, wow. Just wow.