Saturday, September 20, 2003

Is The California Recall Ruling A Symptom Of Constitutional Cancer?

Here is what James Lileks said on Wednesday about the Ninth Circuit ruling on the recall:
I wrote my weekly column about the California recall / 9th circuit thang, so I’m not going to write about it here. Except to say this: imagine you’ve been asked to complete the sentence “I’m pleased that that the courts have canceled the election before it took place, because . . .”

I wouldn’t know what to say. And I’m fascinated by those who leap to finish the sentence. They’re perfectly comfortable with the courts calling off a vote in advance. Wow: jaw, meet Mr. Floor.

04 is going to be bloody, and it’ll be bloodier still after that. This is the sort of stuff that infects the body politic to the point where people demand that we saw off a limb, because the smell is too horrid. This is the stuff that leads to Constitutional Conventions. I’m always slightly chilled when I read a paper from the Center of the American Experiment, because the name reminds you that this is, historically, just that. And as any scientist will tell you: experiments fail.
The best argument that I have heard against the ruling is that it falsely posits that the new voting machines will be more reliable than the old ones. I implement new systems for a living, and the new systems generally are more reliable than the old ones, but not the first time.

This attitude by judges that they can interpret the Constitution as they please without regard for its original meaning, because they are more modern and therefore know better has got to stop. It takes two-thirds of Congress and two-thirds of the state legislatures to overrule the Supreme Court when it decides to change the Constitution like this. Republicans should be against this because it violates the the principle of seperation of powers of the three branches of government. Democrats should be against it because it is rather autocratic, not Democratic at all. The people should be against it because it is tyranny.