Repairing the Judicial System

While attention was focused on so many critical issues in the State of the Union speech last night, one area President Bush addressed seems to be getting little notice or press coverage. Major problems exist within our Judicial system. It’s high time an administration dealt with them proactively.

Frankly, I can’t understand why more politicians and the general public aren’t more concerned. Our political system is based on three branches of government. One of these is in obvious need of repair. The Judicial system has become misused, overused and subverted for both political and pecuniary gains. It is the job — the duty — of the other two branches to correct the imperfections and strengthen the system.

GWB outlined a comprehensive plan for overhauling the Judicial system:

  • Terminate legislation from the bench;
  • Enact major tort reform, including frivolous lawsuits, class action suits,and medical malpractice;
  • Expand the use of DNA evidence to prevent wrongful conviction in death penalty cases;
  • Create a special fund to provide competent lawyers for low-income defendants.
  • While the last two may seem like entitlement issues to some, they are not. They go to the core philosophy of our judicial system: equal justice for all under the law. We have increasingly become a country where the affluent get a better form of justice than the indigent. This was clearly not the intent of the crafters of our Constitution.

    With Social Security reform and Iraq in the foreground, Judicial reform may not be considered a high-profile topic — even though its condition is so vital to our democracy and economy. So, I applaud GWB for acknowledging these issues and making them an important part of his agenda. Hopefully, Congress will share his desire to fix that which is broken.



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    2 Responses to “Repairing the Judicial System”

    1. Dave says:

      Very good points and well said. If there is a real crisis in these United States, it is the crisis that exists in the judicial system. The reason is simple: in these times, all of the other so called crises will, in one way or another, have their details worked out in the courts. Immigration, medicare, social security, all of them. Proponents and opponents will take their causes to courts and win or lose based not on law, but on the leanings of the particular judge in the case.

      You were right, we have three branches of government. The problem is that the executive and judicial branches are afraid of the judicial branch (probably more correctly, afraid of the political ‘fallout’ were they to openly challenge a judicial decision). Our constitution does not state that the judiciary has the final say in anything. I seem to recall a story about Abraham Lincoln and the Supreme Court. Apparently the court had ruled against some Lincoln policy or another. President Lincoln supposedly said “Yes, they have made their decision, now let’s see them enforce it”. While I will stand corrected if someone more knowledgable than I can disprove the veracity of the story, it still holds a germ of what should be the truth. The President and congress certainly cannot run rough shod over the court system, but it is high time for them to stop the court system from running rough shod over them – and us.

      The answer is not more laws which can and will be corrupted and abused by lawyers and the court system. And as long as the congress continues to show their gutlessness and dedication to their own political (and financial?) well being exhibited in the Clinton impeachment, the situation cannot improve. It’s up to the people; you and me! The judges will not, and don’t have to, listen to us. We have to get our congress critters to make them listen. Vote for them in part based on their determination to impeach activist judges. Encourage them to ‘shoot down’ judicial appointments based not on whether or not they are favorable to a given issue or not, but on whether or not they are qualified and have exhibited a sound record of following the law, not making it up. It will not be easy. But, as the saying goes, nothing worthwhile ever is.

    2. Surfside says:

      Dave — Thanks for the feedback. Legislation from the bench is an obvious attempt to obtain more power than that alotted judges under the law — whether it be Constitutional or state based. In essence, these judges are undermining the very system they have sworn to uphold. Hopefully, it has reached a point where it can no longer be ignored.

      I agree with you that judicial appointment are also a matter of concern. Congress needs to deal with them professionally, instead of interjecting partisan politics into the mix.