March 17, 2017

Are The Three Branches of Government Really "Co-Equal?"

Dana Mathewson, with a hat tip to David Dickinson

We're constantly told that we have three equal branches of government: Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary. But is the Judiciary really equal to the others? I mean, in the way it is set up? True, the Supreme Court supposedly is, but how about all the other courts, including the courts that have just been shooting down the President's "Travel Bans?"

Michael Walsh has a great article in Pajamas Media that sheds a lot of light on the situation, and suggests a remedy.

Once again, a lawful executive order on "immigration" has been blocked by a couple of federal judges. To the Left, of course, this is a triumph of "representative democracy" but to the rest of us it's anything but. The idea that a single federal judge, anywhere, can -- for any reason, or no reason at all -- frustrate the legitimate functioning of the Executive branch makes absolutely no sense, except in the political sense.

So this battle over Trump's "Muslim ban" offers us a handy occasion to school the federal judiciary in the constitution, and to remind it that it's skating on very thin ice indeed if it continues down its partisan path. Because, far from being a "co-equal" branch of government, almost the entirety of the federal court system is a creature of Congress, and can be restructured or abolished at any time. Don't believe me? Take a look at Article III, here presented in its entirety.

Section 1.

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.

"As the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." Pretty clear, no? And that's really all you need to know about this "co-equal" branch of government. But, just for fun, let's take a look at the next bit:

Section 2.

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.

In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be 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.

The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; and such trial shall be held in the state where the said crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any state, the trial shall be at such place or places as the Congress may by law have directed.

So the purview of the Supreme Court is remarkably limited constitutionally -- and still subject to Congressional regulation and oversight. Congress, in fact, can strip the court of any of its non-constitutionally arrogated jurisdictions.

Section 3.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.

And that's it. Doesn't sound very "co-equal," does it?

There's more. Read the whole thing at


Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 03:54 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
Post contains 715 words, total size 6 kb.

What colour is a green orange?

18kb generated in CPU 0.01, elapsed 0.1107 seconds.
35 queries taking 0.1024 seconds, 86 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.