Power Grab

The separation of powers granted by the Constitution of the United States is a powerful means to ensure that no one branch of government becomes too powerful. Conservatives are trying everything in their power to reverse that.

In Florida, a constitutional amendment is being proposed that would limit the power of the courts to rule on laws laid down by the legislature. This is an underhanded undermining of the essence of American democratic rights and the Constitution.

In essence, the Florida senate wants the power to overrule a ruling of the court by a simple majority of both houses of the legislature. Currently, a majority of sixty percent of both legislative houses is required in order to overrule any judicial ruling. This ensures the independence of the judiciary in applying the law as laid down by the legislature, and signed into law by the governor.

Any state cannot operate effectively if there is uncertainty as to the laws applicable to the state. If laws had to pass through both legislative houses, and be signed by the governor, the law ought to be considered de facto law until the legislature overturns the law. We cannot have laws being judged by the legislature, rather than by those that were installed to adjudicate those laws.

If we allow this amendment to pass, the judiciary as a body would effectively cease to exist, since their rulings could be overruled at any time by a simple majority. Any ruling that the legislator did not like would thus be overturned, making it impossible for judges to perform their duties and introducing uncertainty to the judicial process.

The Florida senate also wants the ability to overrule gubernatorial judicial nominations, and once the nominee is rejected, he/she cannot be renominated. This ensures the installation of activist judges chosen not by the governor, by by the senate, another power grab by the legislature.

What this amounts to is the installation of a kangaroo court comprised of currently elected legislators. What we have is thus a judicial system run by unqualified legislators rather than people qualified for the position.

This nation needs at least three arms of government, without which it cannot operate effectively. We cannot have an anarchic system in which judicial rulings can be overturned without due process of law. Why these legislators believe that the United States Constitution is irrelevant to them is beyond belief.

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