Saturday, September 16, 2006
Steeplechase, Horsemanship, and Horsey Judges...
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Thomas Jefferson once said that George Washington was the finest horseman of his day (or age). One would presume that one of the fine horsemanship skills that Washington possessed was the ability to take his horse over jumps, over obstacles, over bars.
Encyclopedia Americana, 1972 edition, volume 25, page 608, says “Steeplechasing” is “Racing by a number of horsemen over a course obstructed by such obstacles as are met with in cross-country riding – hedges, walls, ditches, fences, steep banks, and the like. Considerable danger is involved. The idea originated from the cross-country contests between hunters who made a distant church steeple or some such landmark their goal.”
Very few riders are likely to mount a horse a first time, ride it, and clear every obstacle in a steeplechase course, even with a thoroughbred horse; one or more obstacles will be hit. Only by much practice, by repeatedly going over the course, will all the steeplechase obstacles be successfully hurdled.
Ironically, this concept of riding a thoroughbred over a steeplechase obstacle course relates to a major crisis in the Constitutional system of American government.
How so? The judicial branch, the ‘supreme’ Court and the lower courts, has set about as a goal landmark lawsuit decisions chasing church with its steeples and its peoples from any central role in our government. The obstacles and bars are legal, more so than physical. And in Landmark v. Virginia, the extra-Constitutional JIRC agency designed to discipline judges tried to discipline the Press when it wrote words about their work.
Where racial segregation was banished from our society since the 1960’s with its discriminatory “Poll Taxes” and “back of the bus” treatment, anti-Christian segregation has been enthroned as an aspect of our legal system due to ‘supreme’ Court and lower court rulings during the same time frame of America’s “forty years in the wilderness”.
In 1789, Thomas Jefferson warned that the judiciary, if given too much power might ruin our Republic, and destroy our rights. That fear is tragically becoming true in America. The First Amendment Right of “free exercise” of religion in the public square is being denied.
In 1820, Jefferson wrote, “The Judiciary of the United States is a subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working under ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric.”
In 1821, Jefferson also wrote, “…the Federal Judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scarecrow), working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little to-day and a little to-morrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief…”
“We, the People” must follow the “Yellow Brick Road” of our God-given Constitution and make the “scarcely a scarecrow” Impeachment action Jefferson lamented into a being a tool that “scares straight” judges. How? By adding a brain, by adding to our brain knowledge of our Constitution and its provisions on the proper use of the power of Impeachment. And adding a heart, a heart for Equal Justice for all, including judges.
“The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action, but for the legislative and executive also in their spheres, would make the judiciary a despotic branch.”
In America today, we have a Judicial Tyranny, the judiciary is now “a despotic branch”.
Jefferson gave wise advice in yesteryear, that Americans must begin to implement today:
“…judges should be withdrawn from the bench
whose erroneous biases are leading us to dissolution.
It may, indeed, injure them in fame or fortune,
but it saves the Republic…”
To “save the Republic”, Americans must begin to act to have biased judges “withdrawn from the bench”, that is to say “We, the People” must IMPEACH, judges.
In Article II, Section 1, the Constitution’s stipulates an Oath or Affirmation for the Executive, and similar Oaths are required for elected members of Congress and for selected judges and justices as that stipulated for the President that reads:
-- “ I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and will, to the best of my ability,
preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution for the United States.”
The Constitution Oath does NOT say, “presume, project, and extend” the Constitution as the whim of the judge wishes as too many out of control judges have done for far too long.
Our Constitution in Article III, Section 1 reads,
“The Judges, both of the supreme and the inferior Courts,
shall hold their offices during good behavior…”
What can be worse behavior in our Republic than a judge undermining the Rights of the Citizens?
Article III pertains to the Judiciary. Article III, Section 2 reads,
“The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury; …”
Impeachment by the House of Representatives is not limited to only the President like Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, both Impeached by the House, though neither were convicted in the Senate.
Impeachment is only half of the process, Conviction in a trial by the Senate is the other essential half. To the Senate is reserved the power to try and convict an errant judge or government appointee; because Impeachment is for any officer of the government, including judicial officers, that is to say, judges and justices whose conduct is not “good behavior”. In essence, the House of Representatives is the Grand Jury that votes to Impeach, equivalent to an Indictment of a citizen. The Senate is the Trial Jury.
Article I, Section 2 reads,
“The House of Representatives … shall have the sole power of impeachment.
Article I, Section 3 reads, “The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.”
Article I, Section 5 imposes a similar two-thirds requirement to expel, or remove, a disorderly member of the Legislative branch of the government as for the executive branch, both who are servants of the people, where it reads:
“Each house may…, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and,
with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.”
Logically, therefore, the Judicial branch deviant judge would be Convicted by a two-thirds vote of the Senate on an Impeachment Charge of “other than ‘good behavior’” passed by the House, in the same way the Constitution establishes a two-thirds vote for both the Legislative and Executive..
By our Bill of Rights, is the First Amendment Right of “right of the people”… “to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” “We, the People” have the right, yes even the duty for our children and our children’s children’s children, to “posterity”, to Petition the Congress to initiate a Bill of Impeachment against an errant federal judge.
Impeachment is the “thoroughbred” provided by the Constitution to jump the obstacles to our Liberty erected by our federal judiciary.
Conviction in the Senate is the Steeplechase course of obstacles necessary to remove an errant judge, or other government servant.
We must learn to ride this “thoroughbred”, to jump the obstacles to our continued exercise of our blessed rights and Liberties. It is too much to expect to jump all obstacles successfully the first time we mount the “Impeachment” horse and race to Conviction.
We must try time -- time -- and time again -- to impeach and convict wayward judges.
Eventually “We, the People” will develop the ability to mount the thoroughbred named “Impeachment” given us by our Constitution. By trial and error, where we try and try again, we will learn how to impeach wayward judges, learn how to convict them, learn how to remove them from the bench when they try to steal away our rights.
Citizens MUST DEMAND our elected servants, not “elected leaders” or “elected representatives” but “elected servants”, men and women “hired” to do the will of “We, the People” to serve us in the Congress, to judge the ‘jaundiced judges and jester justices’.
“We, the People” must begin to demand Impeachment against the errant judges like those “crazies” in San Francisco’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and frankly, even to impeach some ‘supreme’ Court justices, on both the federal and state levels.
Only in this way, Impeaching and Convicting judges, will judges be forced to behave and truly serve the People by strict interpretation of our Constitution, not liberal, expansive, and exaggerated interpretation of this Constitution, which ultimately undermines the freedoms enshrined in this Constitution.
Deriving sovereignty from God, this Constitution and the People are supreme, NOT the justices of the ‘supreme’ Court, and certainly not judges of lower federal and state courts.
On the state level, errant judges can be removed by direct citizen vote in some states, and in other states by indirect vote through our elected servants in the legislature through Courts of Justice Committees, or equivalents.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “The people are the masters of both Congress and courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it.”
So both President Jefferson and President Lincoln say that men who pervert the Constitution, such as too many of the judiciary of America today, jaundiced by ego and self-pride must be “overthrown” as Lincoln writes, or as Jefferson writes must be “withdrawn from the bench”, as the Constitution provides must be IMPEACHED.
And remember that a third member of the four on Mount Rushmore, Theodore Roosevelt when he was 13 years old watched a Presbyterian pastor named Parkhurst rally the people to “vote out the bums” in the executive and legislative branches of the local government, and the newly elected servants of the people brought charges and impeachment actions against many corrupt local judges. These “bad behavior” judges were tried, convicted, removed from the bench, and many sent to jail where rightly they belonged.
Nine years later, Teddy returned from Harvard College, planning to attend law school at Columbia University. However, at age 22, Teddy was drafted by the local Republican Party to run for the State Assembly, and he won.
Once in the capital of Albany, young Roosevelt led the charge to Impeach the Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court, and succeeded!
Where today is a great patriot and pastor like Rev. Charles Parkhurst, or like legislator and patriot, later President, Teddy Roosevelt who has the courage to go against the odds to clean out the corruption of the courts on the local level or the state level?
And what about George Washington, the best of the bunch? He too had trouble for much of his two terms with the Judiciary, trouble finding qualified individuals to serve. In reality, how much different is that today? Are we served by the best and brightest, who also like George Washington did, consider themselves “humble and obedient servants”?
Below are some selections of the wise words of Washington to the Congress regarding matters of the Judiciary, so clearly Washington knew it was the DUTY of Congress to regulate, repair, and reform any aspect of the Judiciary that was found wanting.
The same rigorous sense of duty that saw him through the Revolutionary War compelled the fifty-seven-year-old Washington to take the presidential oath of office on 30 April 1789 in the new federal capital of New York City. Dignity, common sense, political acumen gained from twenty years experience, and a keen judgment of men's characters and abilities were his chief assets in dealing with the new Senate and House of Representatives, establishing general precedent, and making appointments. He had a difficult time in finding qualified individuals to serve in the new federal judiciary, but the heads of the executive departments of war, state, and the Treasury, were men of talent, integrity, and even brilliance.
Volume 4 covers the fall and early winter of 1789-90 and focuses on the problems facing the new administration. Many documents in this volume deal with the difficulties Washington encountered in his attempt to staff the federal Judiciary and his fears that failure to attract viable candidates for the Supreme Court and the federal courts would damage the reputation of the new government.
The address of the House of Representatives is dated 11 Dec. 1790 and was formally presented shortly after 2 P.M. on 13 Dec. 1790. The letter-book copy in the Washington Papers in the Library of Congress reads:
Having already concurred in establishing a Judiciary System, which opens the doors of Justice, without distinction of persons, it will be our disposition to incorporate every improvement which experience may suggest. And we shall consider in particular, how far the uniformity, which in other cases is found convenient in the Administration of the General Government throughout all the States, may be introduced into the forms and rules of executing sentences issuing from the Federal Courts.
Second Annual Message_United States [New York] December 8th 1790
The laws you have already passed for the establishment of a Judiciary system have opened the doors of Justice to all descriptions of persons. You will consider, in your wisdom, whether improvements in that system may yet be made; and particularly whether an uniform process of Execution on sentences issuing from the federal Courts be not desireable through all the States.
Fourth Annual Address_United States [Philadelphia] November 6th 1792
I cannot forbear to bring again into the view of the Legislature the subject of a Revision of the Judiciary System. A representation from the Judges of the Supreme Court, which will be laid before you, points out some of the inconveniences that are experienced. In the course of the execution of the laws, considerations arise out of the structure of that system, which, in some cases, tend to relax their efficacy. As connected with this subject, provisions to facilitate the taking of bail upon processes out of the Courts of the United States, and a supplementary definition of Offenses against the Constitution and laws of the Union, and of the punishment for such Offenses, will, it is presumed, be found worthy of particular attention.
It rests with the wisdom of Congress to correct, improve or enforce this plan of procedure; and it will probably be found expedient, to extend the legal code, and the Jurisdiction of the Courts of the United States, to many cases which, though dependent on principles, already recognized, demand some further provisions.
Where individuals shall, within the United States, array themselves in hostility against any of the powers at war; or enter upon Military expeditions, or enterprizes within the jurisdiction of the United States; or usurp and exercise judicial authority within the United States; or where the penalties on violations of the law of Nations may have been indistinctly marked, or are inadequate; these offences cannot receive too early and close an attention, and require prompt and decisive remedies.
Whatsoever those remedies may be, they will be well administered by the Judiciary, who possess a long established course of investigation, effectual process, and Officers in the habit of executing it.
In like manner; as several of the Courts have doubted, under particular circumstances, their power to liberate the vessels of a Nation at peace, and even of a citizen of the United States, although siezed under a false colour of being hostile property; and have denied their power to liberate certain captures within the protection of our territory; it would seem proper to regulate their jurisdiction in these points. But if the Executive is to be the resort in either of the two last-mentioned cases, it is hoped, that he will be authorized by law, to have facts ascertained by the Courts, when, for his own information, he shall request it.
Washington's Sixth Annual Message to Congress 19 November 1794, Philadelphia
On this call, momentous in the extreme, I sought and weighted what might best subdue the crisis. On the one hand the judiciary was pronounced to be stripped of its capacity to enforce the laws; crimes which reached the very existence of social order were perpetrated without control; the friends of Government were insulted, abused, and overawed into silence or an apparent acquiescence; and to yield to the treasonable fury of so small a portion of the United States would be to violate the fundamental principle of our Constitution, which enjoins that the will of the majority shall prevail.
So you see from a selection of the words and actions of the famous four of Mount Rushmore, that judges and the judiciary have been a source of concern since the founding of our Constitutional Republic. No where in these writings is the all too prevalent notion of “Independency of the Judiciary” described, or even much hinted at. In several cases, Washington is pleading with the Congress to act to control the judiciary, in the case two paragraphs above, President Washington is saying that if the Courts decline to exercise power to protect the rights and liberties of Americans, then as a resort, a last resort, he as the executive would accept that task, but still called on the Courts to be responsive to his request for information from investigation.
The current courts are far from submissive or subordinate to Congress or the President. The judges and justices have become haughty. Impeachment would be a cure for that.