On Congressional Oversight of Lower Federal Courts

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Do Bing or Google search on “Federal Court Blocks President Trump . . . ,“ and you’ll find one lower federal court after another blocked the Trump administration from rescinding Obama’s illegal DACA, delaying the start of an EPA rule, cracking down on sanctuary cities, banning trannies from our military, and keeping dangerous jihadis out of the US.

If America had a congress as institutionally proud as our Framers intended, federal district courts wouldn’t stop President Trump at nearly every turn. Our system wasn’t designed for a complacent and neutered legislature that stands by and watches judicial usurpations and tyranny.1 On the contrary, the legislative power is the very essence of representative government and is in fact, superior in this sense to the other branches. When diminished, the executive (rule of one) or the judiciary (rule of the few) are sure to step in and fill the vacuum.

After eight years of Obama’s rule-by-decree, the corruption of our post-17th Amendment congress is just about complete. Where congress takes idealistic, energetic, ambitious young men and women and quickly turns them into whores for reelection, the judiciary turns old lawyers into virgins. And as if our judicial virgins were modern Oracles of Delphi, congress silently accepts their judicial ravings.

In his lead to a recent column at Townhall.com, Robert Knight wrote, “Federal judges sit on the bench for life and can either uphold the law or rule like tyrants.” He’s right. It is by interpreting statutes, federal/state constitutions, and executive orders that courts may fairly be said to rule America. Congress and the media want you to think that nothing can be done short of impeachment and removal.

Like medieval monarchs born to Divine Right, our judges of the law answer to no higher power despite congress’ authority in Article III to regulate them, limit their jurisdiction and in Article I to impeach and remove them. Although we’ve long been inured to loony 5-4 scotus decisions that upend and distort society, and are made without regard to history, tradition and Natural Law, a new problem recently popped up in the lower federal courts. It is a dangerous power-grab that may finally move the states off bottom dead center and clamor for an Article V COS that rejuvenates our moribund and corrupted congress to apply the same oversight authority it has over executive branch agencies to lower federal courts.

Why not? No, congress cannot haul in or subpoena the President or the Supreme Court because their authority derives directly from their constitutional offices and are not subject to checks outside those delineated in the Constitution.

But lower federal court are creations of congress just like the EPA, DOJ, Dept of State, etc.

Agencies established by congress are subject to congressional review and oversight.3 Why are lower federal courts immune from the same scrutiny, especially when their decisions read like political screeds from Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer? Where is the congressional outrage when one of a few hundred district court judges usurps the Constitutional duty of congress to “establish a(n) uniform rule of naturalization” and subsequently charges the President with keeping dangerous jihadis out of the US?

Pause for a moment and imagine the beneficial effect of knowing that a watchful congress stands ready to publicly question judges over their progressive, social justice decisions. Let the nation watch for themselves the lower court justification for blocking President Trump’s travel ban. Do this, and the nation will see what lawyers see: how judges’ feelings and personal sense of secular “morality” affects their rulings. Sure, radical democrat Senators will put on theatrics and shout and bluster at conservative judges just like they do at confirmation hearings, but so what?

The potential authority of congress over the federal judiciary is enormous; it is long past time to use it. Congress could theoretically reduce the entire federal court system to Chief Justice John Roberts. Seat him at a folding card table. Give him a candle. It would be Constitutional. That is the extent of power congress has over our unnecessarily unaccountable judiciary.

It is one thing for a district court to rule on the constitutionality of a federal or state law and apply it to the case at hand; it is another when one of these bozos cross the line of separation of powers and prevents the President from doing his duties as Commander in Chief and executor of federal law. If the corruption continues, any one of almost 700 district judges may exercise an ex-post absolute veto of not just law, but of legitimate presidential executive orders. Taken to its logical conclusion, congress will continue to sit on its collective hands while left-friendly federal courts determine who can and who cannot enter the US, and who may serve in the military, etc.

The problem is that since the 17th Amendment and its attendant growth of administrative and judicial rule, there is no personal, electoral “upside” for congressmen to examine lower federal court decisions. Quite the opposite. The rot runs so deep, the perception is that it is electorally foolish to even criticize a social justice court decision. Ask your congressional delegation their views of the lower court decisions which culminated in Obergefell v. Hodges, which found a 14th Amendment right to homosexual marriage. Watch them squirm.

No, I do not expect congress to conduct proper oversight of political, hack, lower court judges. A GOP congress too frightened to impeach a thoroughly corrupt and criminal John Koskinen for lying to congress and destroying subpoenaed evidence will never consider the greater good and expose tyrannical judges for what they are.4

1. John Locke defined usurpation as the exercise of power entitled to another; tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, to which no one is entitled.

2. President Trump seated thirty judges, including Justice Gorsuch. There are sixty-one nominees in the pipeline and another ninety vacancies on top of that.

3. Except, of course, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Scotus found this Soviet Union-like politburo to be Constitutional.

4. Appointed by Obama, Koskinen claimed to have lost 30,000 Lois Lerner emails.