"The law does not expect a man to be prepared to defend every act of his life which may be suddenly and without notice alleged against him."
Chief Justice John Marshall
Acting as judge in Thomas Jefferson's phony treason trial of Vice President Aaron Burr.
Republican presidential candidate Governor Rick Perry had another "oops" moment when he flubbed the name of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor during a meeting with the Des Moines Register newspaper.
He then went on to rip the "eight unelected and frankly unaccountable judges" who should not be making legislative decisions telling Americans how to live, reports the New York Daily News. But nine justices sit on the Supreme Court; they are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.
|Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase|
In an attempt to intimidate an independent
judiciary Thomas Jefferson had Justice
Chase impeached by his lackeys in Congress.
Perry has made a big point of being a supporter of the Constitution and the vision of the Founders. That didn't last long.
Now in an attempt to get votes Perry has made the Supreme Court operations a cornerstone of his "Uproot and Overhaul Washington" plan. In it, he calls for changing the life-long terms of Supreme Court justices to 18 years.
Our Federalist Founding Fathers
Human nature never changes. From the founding of the Republic one politician and party after another have attacked the independent and un-elected Federal judiciary set up by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution.
Through history greedy and power hungry men scheme to build personal power. The Founders knew this and divided the power of the government as much as they could.
No sooner was the Republic established did you have President Thomas Jefferson himself working to undermine and intimidate a judiciary filled with appointees from the opposition Federalist Party. Jefferson attacked judges with the Judiciary Act of 1801 which abolished the lower courts created by the legislation and terminated their Federalist judges despite lifetime appointments.
Then in a direct attack on the Supreme Court itself Jefferson's party lackeys in Congress impeached Federalist Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase.
The trial in the Senate was presided over by Vice President Aaron Burr. By all accounts Burr went out of his way to conduct a fair trial which is not want Jefferson wanted. The result was the acquittal of Chase and ensuring the precedent of the independent judiciary.
Later out of revenge, Jefferson had Burr arrested for treason on a Presidential order. Federalist Chief Justice John Marshall very fairly presided over Burr's political show-trail making rulings in favor of the defense. Perhaps that was payback for Burr's fairness to Justice Chase and the Federalists.
Andrew Jackson's land grab of Cherokee nation, Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus, and FDR's court packing are only the more obvious attacks on the courts. But the challenges to liberty never end.
|The great John Marshall put the other two branches of government in their places.|
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