I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

More on judicial independence

Some of us are old enough to remember the billboards that said, "Impeach Earl Warren." Now there is a sudden new widespread interest in the issue of judicial independence, as evidenced by articles here, here, and here. This sudden new interest in this issue could not have come along at a better time for Judge John E. "I am not a lousy judge" Jones III, the judge who wrote the infamous Kitzmiller v. Dover decision. It now appears that the "judicial independence" argument is his sole defense of the decision. A few days ago he gave a speech about judicial independence at Kansas University, and according to Thoughts from Kansas he agreed to come to KU only on condition that he would not discuss the contents of his ruling or the process of the trial. At least once before he made an attempt to address an issue directly concerning the case, when he made the following asinine statement in a commencement speech at his alma mater, Dickinson College:

.....we see the Founders' ideals quite clearly, among many places, in the Establishment Clause within the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. This of course was the clause that I determined the school board had violated in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case. While legal scholars will continue to debate the appropriate application of that clause to particular facts in individual cases, this much is very clear. The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry. At bottom then, this core set of beliefs led the Founders, who constantly engaged and questioned things, to secure their idea of religious freedom by barring any alliance between church and state. (emphasis added)

And while speaking those words, Judge Jones was standing behind a lectern that had the college seal in front. The college seal -- designed by the founding fathers who started the college -- has a picture of an open bible and the Latin college motto which means, "Religion and learning, the bulwark of liberty."

I guess that Judge Jones decided that his above statement went over like a lead balloon.

Judge Jones' paranoid claims that he is a victim of threats to judicial independence trivialize the real threats to judicial independence. One of these real threats is so-called "jurisdiction stripping" -- legislative acts which attempt to remove the powers of the courts to hear certain kinds of cases. I consider federal court jurisdiction over all constitutional cases to be one of the foundations of our systems of checks and balances. The counterbalances of this judicial power are the power of Congress and the states to amend the Constitution and -- in extreme cases -- the power of Congress to impeach judges and remove them from office. Though the Constitution expressly gives Congress the power to limit the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, IMO there is nothing in the Constitution that explicitly or implicitly gives Congress the power to limit the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts, though it is widely believed that Congress has such power. A lot of judges and other public officials just make up rules that have no basis in the letter or the spirit of the Constitution.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

Larry(?) sez:
< ... IMO there is nothing in the Constitution that explicitly or implicitly gives Congress the power to limit the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts ... >

Article III. - The Judicial Branch

Section 1 - Judicial powers


"The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."

In other words, Congress creates the lower courts, and can even abolish them as it sees fit. This may result in "limiting their jurisdiction" :-).

Sunday, October 08, 2006 1:12:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Fake Dave said,

>>>>>"The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."

In other words, Congress creates the lower courts, and can even abolish them as it sees fit. This may result in "limiting their jurisdiction" :-). <<<<<<

Yes, but Congress cannot abolish the Supreme Court, because that court is required by the Constitution. So would it make sense to have a federal judiciary consisting of just the Supreme Court? Then the SC's only appellate jurisdiction would be to review decisions of the state courts.

As it is, the SC accepts just a tiny fraction of the cases submitted to it for review, so if the SC had to accept all federal cases, it would quickly become overloaded.

Also, Congress couldn't simply fire all those federal judges, because they have tenure. Congress would have to find other federal judgeships for them. This actually happened when a particular federal court was abolished -- the displaced judges were placed in other federal courts. ;-)

Sunday, October 08, 2006 2:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

Fake Larry(?) sez:

> It now appears that the "judicial independence" argument is his sole defense of the decision. <

More irrationality on your part. The fact that he mentions the current attacks on judicial independence is not a defense of the decision at all. It has no relation to the validity of the decision, just to his authority to make it.

> he agreed to come to KU only on condition that he would not discuss the contents of his ruling or the process of the trial. <

Any responsible judge would make such a stipulation.

> And while speaking those words, Judge Jones was standing behind a lectern that had the college seal in front. The college seal -- designed by the founding fathers who started the college -- has a picture of an open bible and the Latin college motto which means, "Religion and learning, the bulwark of liberty." <

A motto quite consistent with Judge Jones' decision.

> I guess that Judge Jones decided that his above statement went over like a lead balloon. <

You give no evidence of this. Where did you get that? Your failure to answer will be taken as an inability to do so.

> Judge Jones' paranoid claims that he is a victim of threats to judicial independence trivialize the real threats to judicial independence. <

Which paranoid claims? You have referred only to his valid claims.

> IMO there is nothing in the Constitution that explicitly or implicitly gives Congress the power to limit the jurisdiction of the lower federal courts <

I guess you didn't understand, or read, your brother's coments.

Real Dave seems to know quite a lot more about law than you do. I don't believe that he has spent as much time as you have studying it. Perhaps it is just an inate ability that you don't share.

Your continued reference to him as "Fake Dave" only makes you look like an ass. You may as well continue, however. Nearly everything that you do makes you look like an ass.

Sunday, October 08, 2006 8:15:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

VIW groaned --

>>>>> The fact that he mentions the current attacks on judicial independence is not a defense of the decision at all. It has no relation to the validity of the decision, just to his authority to make it. <<<<<<

There can be judicial authority without judicial independence, and even vice-versa.

>>>>> he agreed to come to KU only on condition that he would not discuss the contents of his ruling or the process of the trial. <

Any responsible judge would make such a stipulation. <<<<<<

For starters, Jones is not a responsible judge.

Jones had already attempted to defend his Dover decision by means of his "true religion" statement in his Dickinson College commencement speech. SC Justice Stevens gave a speech trying to defend the unpopular Kelo v. New London eminent domain decision by saying that states and local governments could defeat the decision by banning eminent domain that is purely for private economic development.

>>>>>The college seal -- designed by the founding fathers who started the college -- has a picture of an open bible and the Latin college motto which means, "Religion and learning, the bulwark of liberty."

A motto quite consistent with Judge Jones' decision. <<<<<<

The picture of the bible on the seal was certainly not consistent with Jones' statement about "true religion."

>>>>> I guess that Judge Jones decided that his above statement went over like a lead balloon.

You give no evidence of this. Where did you get that? Your failure to answer will be taken as an inability to do so. <<<<<<

It was just a guess -- no evidence is necessary.

>>>>>> Judge Jones' paranoid claims that he is a victim of threats to judicial independence trivialize the real threats to judicial independence.

Which paranoid claims? You have referred only to his valid claims. <<<<<<

There is some validity to his claims -- I just called them "paranoid" for effect. It was inevitable that some responses to the case would be opposed to judicial independence. He is taking advantage of those responses by using them to try to discredit legitimate criticism of the decision.

>>>>> Real Dave seems to know quite a lot more about law than you do. I don't believe that he has spent as much time as you have studying it. Perhaps it is just an inate ability that you don't share. <<<<<<

A psychology professor, in noting that well-educated people tend to do better on intelligence tests than uneducated people, astutely observed, "you can't be a genius if you don't know anything."

>>>>>> Your continued reference to him as "Fake Dave" only makes you look like an ass. <<<<<

I strongly suspect that "Fake Dave" is really Ed Brayton.

Anyway, VIW, I have again shown your comments to be completely ridiculous.

Sunday, October 08, 2006 1:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

I said...

>>>>> The fact that he mentions the current attacks on judicial independence is not a defense of the decision at all. It has no relation to the validity of the decision, just to his authority to make it. <<<<<<

To which the idiot responded...

> There can be judicial authority without judicial independence, and even vice-versa. <

As usual you missed the point. Try to read what I posted again and see if your response has anything at all to do with it.

>>>>>> Any responsible judge would make such a stipulation. <<<<<<

> For starters, Jones is not a responsible judge. <

He has acted responsibly. He has interpreted the law responsibly. What is irresponsible is to try to vandalize Wikipedia and some of the other childish stunts that you have recently tried.

> Jones had already attempted to defend his Dover decision by means of his "true religion" statement in his Dickinson College commencement speech. <

Which makes a great deal of sense. Of course you have continued to misinterpret it.

> eminent domain <

Nothing you said about that was relevant to the subject at hand.

> The picture of the bible on the seal was certainly not consistent with Jones' statement about "true religion." <

It seems quite consistent. In what way is it not?

> It was just a guess -- no evidence is necessary. <

Your guesses are usually wrong. It seems that I was right in guessing that you couldn't answer.

>>>>>> Which paranoid claims? You have referred only to his valid claims. <<<<<<

> There is some validity to his claims -- I just called them "paranoid" for effect. <

You make false statements for effect? What a dunce. No wonder it is so easy to kick your butt.

> He is taking advantage of those responses by using them to try to discredit legitimate criticism of the decision. <

He is responding to those who make that absurd argument. Perhaps if there had been any legitimate criticism of the decision he would respond to that too. Of course that is a moot point.

> "you can't be a genius if you don't know anything." <

You have explained why your brother knows so much more about so many subjects: You don't know anything.

> I strongly suspect that "Fake Dave" is really Ed Brayton. <

Then why do you call him at your brother's phone number and demand that he stop posting on your blog. Wouldn't you do better calling Ed Brayton's number? Why do you try to get your mother to get him to stop? What influence does your mother have over Ed Brayton?

On Panda's Thumb it was definitely proved which Dave Fafarman posts were actually from him and which were your pathetic attempts to impersonate him. When you are in a hole, stop digging.

> Anyway, VIW, I have again shown your comments to be completely ridiculous. <

So far you have only shown your own comments to be ridiculous. Please continue. You and your "cry room" are a million laughs.

Sunday, October 08, 2006 6:50:00 PM  

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