God save the United States and this Honorable Court !
The number of Justices on the Supreme Court has been constant since 1869 a period of 151 years. It is the opinion of the Patriot Pen that this should not be changed and that ALL Justices confirmed to the Supreme Court should be Orignalists. Our Founding Fathers envisioned the Supreme Court as the guardians of the Constitution. Their job, as one of the co-equal branches of the federal government, is to ensure that the Congress and the President do NOT pass laws or perform acts through executive fiat that are contrary to the spirit and letter of our Constitution.
These “guardians” of our divinely inspired Constitution should be the most conservative body of individuals in the land. They should be individuals steeped in knowledge concerning the writings of the Founding Fathers on the Constitution and those whom our Founding Fathers studied that gave us our Constitution. They should be individuals steeped in the Judeo-Christian Ethic, as articulated in the Holy Bible, which is the basis for most of what was written into our divinely inspired Constitution, as well as, the basis for most of the common and codified law of the several States and the United States.
There is often talk during confirmation hearings of “litmus tests.” If any litmus test should be applied to the selection of Justices of the Supreme Court or judges for the federal bench, it should be the litmus test of the Founding Fathers. A litmus test to determine if the prospective justice or judge would support “Constitutional Supremacy” over “Judicial Supremacy.” Judicial Supremacy is defined as legislating through activism from the Bench, usurping the responsibility of the Congress, as opposed to determining if the cause before them conforms to our Constitution.
Constitutional Supremacy allows for only one “yardstick” with which to measure any cause before the Supreme Court and the Circuit Courts; that is, our 1787 Constitution as amended. A Constitution which supports the principles of freedom that maintain the rights and privileges of We the People, as citizens individually and as a nation collectively, without regards to race, color, creed, gender, or previous condition of servitude. A Constitution which should be a template for all nations, kindred, tongues and peoples throughout the world because it protects the inalienable rights of man granted to them by the Creator to Life, Liberty and Property. A Constitution that establishes We the People as the rulers and our elected representatives as our servants.
Judicial Supremacy began with the Administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (D, 1933-1945). Our Presidents from that time forward have forgotten the purpose of our Supreme Court to be guardians of the Constitution. They began to nominate to the Court Justices, activist Justices who supported the President’s views with little interest in their Constitutional understanding. There was little desire to preserve the spirit and letter of our divinely inspired Constitution. There was only a desire to have personal Presidential views and objectives sustained by the Supreme Court. This action contravenes and destroys the desires of the Founding Fathers to have checks and balances through three co-equal branches of the federal government. It also destroys the admonition of Thomas Jefferson that our elected leaders and Justices are to be bound down “by the chains of the Constitution.” It instead seeks to bind the prospective Justice with the “Chains of Personal Presidential or Party Ideology” of the President granting the nomination.
In 1951, We the People ratified the Twenty-second Amendment limiting the President to two elected terms in office and no more than ten years if they have completed the previous elected President’s term in office. This followed the tradition and norm established by our First President, George Washington, who retired after two terms. A tradition that was followed until Franklin D. Roosevelt (D, 1933-1945) was elected.
Prior to 1959 average tenure of service on the Supreme Court was 13.7 years. After 1959 average tenure has been around 25 years. Perhaps it is time for We the People to establish a term limit for the Justices of the Supreme Court. To that end, the Patriot Pen suggests amending Article III. Section 1. of our Constitution to read:
“The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court composed of eight Justices and a Chief Justice for a total of nine members, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices for a period of eighteen years, during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office. Nominations to the Supreme Court shall not be permitted by the sitting President during the period from July 1 of the calendar year of a presidential election through Inauguration Day for the newly elected President.“
Emphasis in the preceding are the proposed added modifications to the current wording of Article III. Section 1. This proposed Amendment to our Constitution, when ratified, would permanently limit the number of Justices on the Supreme Court to nine following our 151 year tradition, create a term limit of eighteen years for a sitting Justice and prohibit any nomination to the court by a sitting President during the months just preceding a presidential election.
In addition to this proposed amendment, the Senate Rules need to be modified to reinstate the filibuster for the full Senate confirmation process and reinstate the home-state Senator veto privilege for federal Circuit Court nominees. The reinstatement of these two rules will help in removing the acrimony, borking and politicalization of the current selection process.
In regards to the nomination process, We the People, as a nation, need to:
- Remember that the Judicial Branch of our federal government is to be a co-equal Branch with the Congress and the President.
- Realize that it does NOT take a law degree to understand the Constitution. In fact some of the better Constitutionalists have never been to law school.
- Require the President to nominate and the Senate to confirm prospective Justices to the Supreme Court and Judges to the Circuit Courts based upon their ability to be an Originalist and sustain both the letter and the spirit of our divinely inspired Constitution.
- Ensure that neither the President’s personal nor the Party in control of the Senate ideology is ever allowed to again creep into the selection process for this most conservative of all bodies of our Constitutional Republic.
It is only by this that We the People can restore the Judicial Branch of our federal government to its intended purpose as envisioned by our Founding Fathers to be the “guardians” of our divinely inspired Constitution, preserve our Constitutional Republic and “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”
May God Bless and Save the United States of America —
Our Constitutional Republic !