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Wednesday, January 24, 2007 

People Drive Me Insane

I was flipping through the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this morning and took a quick look at the letters to the editor. They're consistently pretty stupid. Basically, they are whatever talking points that political ideology X or Y is hammering on currently with some local goon's signature at the bottom. I shouldn't have been surprised when I saw this letter under the Iraq section, but it reminded me of an ugly truth...
Let's call on the court

With President Bush so wrong in establishing and running the Iraq war - and Congress a bit wishy-washy and certainly not unified - we should ask the Supreme Court to take hold of this terrible case, which has always been against the Constitution of the United States of America.

Irma Jo Sutton
West Allis
If you ever find yourself agreeing with this, punch yourself in the eyesocket over and over until you change your mind. Rarely can a single, solitary sentence be so devoid of thought. There are a few points that I would like to make.

First, you have to be crazy to think that the Supreme Court is the proper branch of government to dictate what should or should not be done with respect to Iraq. The power to authorize war is given to Congress, and the role of commander in chief is given to the president. The Supreme Court is given no war powers. The Court is made up of nine lawyers, lacking any notable foreign policy experience. In spite of the fact that they are all intelligent people, these are not the folks that you want formulating the war strategy.

Second, the Court is not accountable to the public. The president and the Congress are accountable to the public. Why would you want these two branches making the important military decisions for the nation? If you don't like the way the war is going, you can make your grievances known at the ballot box. And the voters did just that in November. If the new Democratic Congress doesn't have the will to cut off funding and end the war (if that is what you want), then you elected the wrong people.

Third, what "terrible case?" There is no case working its way through the DC Circuit called US v Iraq. How exactly is the Supreme Court supposed to get involved? Okay, I'm having a little fun here. I'll give Irma Jo the benefit of the doubt. Maybe her poorly written sentence was really trying to convey her belief that the war is unconstitutional. I think that's the thrust of her "against the Constitution" phrase. Good luck proving this one.

This person's view of the Court has probably been horribly warped by the past efforts of the Warren Court. A feel-good Court if there ever was one, the Warren Court made Constitutional rights out of good ideas or policies that the Justices liked. The ugly truth that I referred to at the beginning of this post is that many people think that the courts should act like this. They want judges to "fix" political messes created by the elected branches.

I'm sure that Irma Jo would be just tickled if the Supreme Court somehow declared the Iraq War unconstitutional and over. But that would take a hell of a lot of power to do. Maybe Irma Jo would be okay with that. But I'm sure that someday the Court would use this plenary power to do something that she would be absolutely against. Then she'd be up in arms. Unfortunately, there would be nothing that she could do. You can't vote the Supreme Court out of office. Maybe then she would think twice about wanting unelected branches of government to usurp power from the elected branches.

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About me

  • I'm Steve
  • From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
  • "There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." P.J. O'Rourke
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