The Proboscis
Wednesday, September 24, 2003


James Joyner links to some very interesting information about the 9th Circuit, including the following:
[...] [O]n the whole, the 9th Circuit's rulings accounted for more reversals this past term than all the state courts across the country combined and represented nearly half of the overturned judgments (45%) of the federal appellate courts. [emphasis mine]
Yup. The most reversed court in the land.

I seem to recall hearing Ted Kennedy -- perhaps during the Ashcroft confirmation hearings -- holler about the importance of American "mainstream" thinking, and how anyone outside that "mainstream" was on the fringe of American life. More and more, we are seeing that the American people can't be lumped into convenient little boxes, and what some folks consider "mainstream" others consider off the wall. It is unprecedented for a court to order the cancellation or postponment of an election -- an election that technically had already started, because of the thousands of absentee ballots already mailed in -- on the basis that some voters might be disenfranchised. It would be a whole other matter if the suit had been brought after the election on the basis that some voters had in fact been disenfranchised.

We have a judicial system that is becoming more and more politically active:
[...] These continuing negative trends are certainly not reflective of the competency of the 9th Circuit's entire bench, which includes some of the most respected appellate judges in the country. It is, however, indicative of a judicial philosophy to which some 9th Circuit judges adhere. Specifically, in pursuing political and policy preferences at the expense of established precedent and textual commands, some 9th Circuit judges seem to invite review and reversal by the U.S. Supreme Court. [...] [emphasis mine]
I think we are in danger of ceding unthinkable political power to our judicial system, a kind of power that the Framers never intended. I am not smart enough to know what the answer is. Anyone out there care to weigh in and educate me? 
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