15 November 2007

Thomas Jefferson on the judiciocracy

You seem to consider the federal judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions, a very dangerous doctrine, indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have with others the same passions for the party, for power and the privilege of the corps. Their power is the more dangerous, as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves.

Since the contents of a letter he once wrote have foisted the tired old "separation of church and state" meme upon us, can we get rid of the judiciocracy imposed by the likes of Hugo Black, Warren Berger, and Oliver Wendell Holmes based on another letter Jefferson wrote?

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