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the first branch
Regenerating Congress
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  • CapitalHawk

    There is a reason Congress has ceded so much power to the Executive – The Supreme Court effectively prohibited Congress from keeping some of its powers in INS v. Chadha. Justice White, in his dissent, was in the right. INS v. Chadha is one of those little discussed, but very important limits that have been imposed on our political system.

  • WigWag

    The Federal Judiciary has become just as much of a monstrosity as the Congress has. Far too much law has been federalized. Fortunately, solving the problem is easy. First, the Justice Department needs to be cut down to size. Eliminate a third to a half of the U.S. Attorneys and reduce the total number of Assistant U.S. Attorneys by %25-%50. Appropriate cuts in support staff should also be made.

    After those budgetary reductions are implemented, its time to wield the budget cutting ax on the federal courts themselves. Each District Court Judge should have a maximum of one clerk and district court judges should have their typing done by a typing pool. Judges should need their own administrative assistants or schedulers. The same type of cuts should be made in the appellate courts; one clerk and access to a typing pool is all that these judges need.

    No branch of the Federal Judiciary is more underworked that the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice is entitled to have five clerks; the other Justices are entitled to four; this is nuts. Let the Justices do more of their own damn research and let them draft their own opinions. The Justices are over-pampered with all of the administrative support that they get as well. When he was on the Supreme Court, William O. Douglas used to complain how lazy the Court was; they’re lazier now than ever.

    By squeezing the Justice Department and the Federal Judiciary more cases would have to be decided at the State Court level.

    That would be a very good thing.

    • CapitalHawk

      This comment is comical in its display of ignorance.

  • Dhako


    Let me guess, this is another ideologically-driven GOP’s end-run around the executive authority of soon-to-be president Hillary. And, our bright light Walter, thinks, that is something, the Democratic house and Senate leadership are going to put their dancing shoes for it. Perhaps, instead of forever trying to “fix” other’s nations internal problem, which is the obsessive preoccupation of some Neo-Cans legions in the Belt-Way (like our Walter in here), it would have not come amiss for their best-and-the-brightest in which the US can master across the political divide to attend to mounting problem of US.

    And, that would be to start asking hard questions along the lines of why of all of the developed nations, the US, is unique position, of having its government periodically closed down, particularly the minute the GOPs and the DEMs, disagree as to how the budget should be appropriated it. Furthermore, some of the question they need to ask is why more and more Americans are heading towards the bright light of Senator Sanders with his Democratic Socialism on one hand? And why, Donald Trump, with his open xenophobia, is also the other end of the magnetic pull, which is hoovering up the enthusiasm of the GOP’s voters.

    These are some of the existential questions any nation suffering in the manner the US is suffering now would of have content itself with. But, apparently, the “distracting exercise” of thinking that you are the “law-giver” to other nations around the world; as well as the deludedly thinking that one is a “solution-provider” to any other nation’s internal politics, when in fact you are failing to provide any meaningful answers to blight of your citizens (be it in places like Ferguson, or even the destitute folks in the Rust-Belt) seems to be the alluring and the capturing reality in which the brightest and best of this nation could only amount to.

    Hence, the reason we behold the legions of articles in this place, all lecturing other’s nations short-coming; as well as offering as to what US should do about it, without even questioning whether the US has wherewithal to do much about any other nation’s internal politics, particularly in the light of the Iraqi’s fiasco as well as Afghanistan endless tragedy in which US has been at it for a better part of decade and half without having anything to show for it.

    Well, I suppose, when all else fail, such as, for instance, in not having any ideas of how to help bankrupt US’s municipal cities, then its sight to behold to see the easy way in which the best and the brightest in the US’s geopolitical establishment passing such an ignorant suggestion of how the likes of China should reform her cities; or even what China should do in-terms of her economical reform. And that is doubly more absurd when you consider the fact that the US’s economy, with its financial-heavy-sector, is not doing any better than those who took a different tack in-order to manage their economy, such as China, with its State-directed economy.

    In other words, where some US’s commentators are concern, one could borrow a biblical proverb just to show the teeth-grating absurdity in which some are forever indulging in. Hence, one could say:

    “……Why do they you look at the speck of sawdust in other’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in their own eye?….”

    • Tom

      Seeing as Mead voted for Obama twice, your screed is unfounded. Good day sir.

      • Dhako

        That Mead may have voted for Obama, is really irrelevant in here. For its irrelevant, if you consider the fact that, Walter has been relentlessly agitating a Neo-Con’s world view ever since one could remember. And such a world-view presuppose that the US has role (nay, a duty) to “fix” other nation’s political and social ills.

        And, yet, the US with its teeming Rust-Belt denizens who are flogging, politically, to Blow-hard Trump on one hand, and Socialist Sanders, on the other hand, coupled with a stagnant wages as well as increasing and soul-destroying inequality, ought to be the “special candidate” of a nation, in which the brightest and the best in the US, should be burning the mid-night oil to fix it.

        Hence, its a tragedy borne out of a peculiar American delusion, particularly of the kind which suggest that US is a such an exceptional nation, which really necessitate the idea that says, that, Detroit may be a bankrupt, or the city of Flint may have a poison water to quench its thirst; but the best mind in the Beltway should really spend their day in chin-wagging how to resolve the social and political troubles of places like Aleppo of Syria or Mosul of Iraq with their political troubles by the bucket-load.

        Consequently, its really a deliberate and distracting exercise on the part of the Belt-way’s deep-thinkers to assume to know what is best for the likes of the Chinese, or the likes of the Iranians, the Syrians, the Iraqis; while at the same time not having anything that is a tangible solution for their own failing cities, other than saying: Let the market deal with these problem. Or even, it’s big-city political machine problem, as if that is all there is to say to the folks who are having to contend with a poison waters or failing school in their cities.

        So, as you can see from that argument, no other nations – other than US – would really assume the absurdity of thinking that it has a solutions for any other place in the world, if itself were to have confronted with a rolling-and-increasing problem the US is being confronted with it. But, then, I suppose, you would say, that what makes the US an exceptional country, eh Tom?

        • Tom

          No, more that I figured out a long time ago that you were a shill for China and anyone else who opposed the United States.
          And Neo-con? Ha.

  • Palinurus

    One of the problems is that for almost 100 years now, with the connivance if not outright assistance of its coordinate branches, Congress has been delegating broad swaths of its rule-making powers to various administrative agencies. The sloppiness, unintended results, and unsatisfactory outcomes — not to mention how repugnant the whole thing is to rule-of-law and democratic principles — are illustrated, writ large, in the affordable care act. You really do have to pass it to find out what’s in it; because it’s only after it’s been passed that the various agencies and other governmental entities will write the actual rules, in the code of federal regulations and elsewhere, the “enabling” authorities, that will govern behavior. A nice little sweetener is that in many instances, the same entity that writes the regulations also interprets them and enforces them. This is how Congress has sought to confront the national-scope and increased complexity of the economy and other areas of the law, to adapt a government conceived for an 18th Century world to a 20th Century one, and its tensions and contradictions are becoming unbearable.

    Another problem is that Congress is really, really bad at drafting laws. There are a lot of reasons for this. One of them, or one that might at least be amenable to some intervention, is a problem of legal education. Law schools typically educate students based on case law and the common law, even though more and more of the law is statutory. Unlike civil-code nations, most law schools do not teach and most legal occupations do not train lawyers to draft statutes.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Wrong, it isn’t the Legislative Branch that is the worst. It is the Supreme Court, which is suppose to protect the Authorities of the States and the People from the power hungry politicians of the Executive and Legislative Branches of the Government. And the reason for the failure of the Supreme Court to do its job, is that those same power hungry politicians get to pick the Justices, and they don’t pick anyone that will stand in their way of accumulating every more Power. A good example of this travesty would be if in a criminal trial, the Defense got to pick all the Jurors, and they had an unlimited pool of Jurors to pick from. This massive Flaw in the Constitution, has resulted in the Federal Government usurping ever more authority as time passes, and way beyond what is enumerated in the Constitution.
    There are now entire departments like Education, Energy, Labor, etc… which aren’t mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, and therefore the Federal Government has no authority over.
    All of this is in direct violation of the 9th and 10th Amendments, which the Supreme Court should be, but isn’t enforcing.
    Amendment 9 : The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
    Amendment 10: The power not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    • CapitalHawk

      OK, except the Federal Government is explicitly given the power to spend and regulate interstate commerce, and via amendment, the ability to tax incomes (without limit). Couple that with the desires of the American people, as expressed through their elected representatives in Congress and the President during the “New Deal”, and you get the leviathan of a government that we have today. You may not like it (and I don’t either), but it’s not because of the Supreme Court. It is because Congress and the President essentially bullied the Supreme Court to stop limiting the size of government as it had been doing during the early days of the New Deal. Google “The switch in time that saved the nine” and Lochner v. New York.

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