Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pombo’s War On The Constitution

CNN is airing a series this week entitled Broken Government. The introductory segment was aired last Thursday and has been rerun frequently since then.


New episodes will air every evening this week. In assessing the terrible condition that our country finds itself in, CNN has spread the blame across most branches of government but has reserved special scorn for the Republican-led Congress. This broadcasting event is not going to help Republicans anywhere in the country. But when I saw Richard Pombo being featured prominently in an ad for this series, I snapped to attention.

From the video-clip quote that CNN used, I’m guessing Pombo will be featured in this Thursday’s episode, which focuses on attacks by the Republican-led Congress on the Supreme Court and their attempts to usurp the powers of the judiciary. I’m also guessing, from what I’ve seen, that former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is going to have a prominent role in Thursday night’s piece.

Now, some of you may remember that Sandra Day O’Connor spoke out very strongly upon her retirement about Congressional attacks on the Constitutional powers of the judiciary:
Sandra Day O'Connor, a Republican-appointed judge who retired last month after 24 years on the Supreme Court, has said the US is in danger of edging towards dictatorship if the party's rightwingers continue to attack the judiciary.

In a strongly worded speech at Georgetown University, reported by National Public Radio and the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Ms. O'Connor took aim at Republican leaders whose repeated denunciations of the courts for alleged liberal bias could, she said, be contributing to a climate of violence against judges.

Ms. O'Connor, nominated by Ronald Reagan as the first woman Supreme Court justice, declared: "We must be ever-vigilant against those who would strong-arm the judiciary."
And who are these “rightwingers… who would strong-arm the judiciary”? Well, again, I’m only guessing as to why Pombo would be featured on this particular CNN episode. But I would imagine that it might have something to do with a piece of legislation that he sponsored back in 2004 that would have given Congress the ability to overrule Supreme Court decisions. That’s right. Richard Pombo proposed throwing our Constitution — and its underpinning of “three branches of government” with “checks and balances” — right out the window with H.R. 3920, reproduced here in its chilling entirety:
108th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 3920


To allow Congress to reverse the judgments of the United States Supreme Court.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 9, 2004


Mr. LEWIS of Kentucky (for himself, Mr. DEMINT, Mr. EVERETT, Mr. POMBO, Mr. COBLE, Mr. COLLINS, Mr. GOODE, Mr. PITTS, Mr. FRANKS of Arizona, Mr. HEFLEY, Mr. DOOLITTLE, and Mr. KINGSTON) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Rules, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To allow Congress to reverse the judgments of the United States Supreme Court.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Congressional Accountability for Judicial Activism Act of 2004'.

SEC. 2. CONGRESSIONAL REVERSAL OF SUPREME COURT JUDGMENTS.

The Congress may, if two thirds of each House agree, reverse a judgment of the United States Supreme Court —

  1. if that judgment is handed down after the date of the enactment of this Act; and

  2. to the extent that judgment concerns the constitutionality of an Act of Congress.

SEC. 3. PROCEDURE.

The procedure for reversing a judgment under section 2 shall be, as near as may be and consistent with the authority of each House of Congress to adopt its own rules of proceeding, the same as that used for considering whether or not to override a veto of legislation by the President.

SEC. 4. BASIS FOR ENACTMENT.

This Act is enacted pursuant to the power of Congress under article III, section 2, of the Constitution of the United States.
So in a single naked power grab, Pombo proposed overthrowing 200 years of Constitutional law dating back to Marbury v. Madison, and giving ultimate power to himself and his cronies in the House at that time — Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham and Bob Ney. Hardly the actions of a mainline Republican.

I don’t know about you, but I’ll definitely be watching this CNN series (8:00 p.m., re-aired at 11:00 p.m.) with interest.

4 Comments:

Blogger Delta said...

Thanks for posting this, Babaloo. It had been covered at PomboWatch back in late March, but we need a reminder.

As for the righteousness of Pombo, I note that he is getting elesiastical. His letter to the San Francisco Chronicle accused them of "heresy". (1st Sentence). That is either arrogance or sloppy proofreading by a overworked PR staff.

2:46 PM, October 22, 2006  
Blogger 911 Bill of Rights said...

This is awsome!
I hope the word gets out to Republicans. I'll tell my GOP friends that their hero will be featured on CNN.
(I won't tell them why)

Dennis

5:09 PM, October 22, 2006  
Blogger MorganHill Yahoo said...

Pombo's going postal. At the conclusion of his rambling, disconnected note, he refers to the (R) after his name and the (D) after Jerry McNerney's and offers the claim that party label drove the Chronicle's endorsement. Sounds like not only did Pombo "not expect" to garner their endorsement, he obviously does not read the paper either, for the Chron also endorsed a bigger (R) than Mr. Pombo--Governor Arnold.

12:46 AM, October 23, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stunning. The "judicial activism" claim is getting more and more play, along with "signing statements" and actions like PERA, it just goes to show how power leads to arrogance. I look forward to getting gridlock re-established as soon as possible.

10:37 AM, October 24, 2006  

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