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« Malpractice Suit Against McDermott Dismissed | Main | Business Roundtable Backs Regulation Transparency Bill »

August 05, 2013


Pat Coulston

Tom N and DF Lickiss are both mistaken; and need to read up on the Constitutional Power of Congress to Regulate the Supreme Court.
Here is a start, in plain English. Later they may want to actually try to read the Constitution.

"The chief justice has said that constitutional limits on congressional power to regulate the Supreme Court are largely untested. But the U.S. Constitution delegates to Congress the powers to regulate the court’s appellate jurisdiction and to make laws necessary and proper for 'carrying into execution' all powers vested by the Constitution in the government of the United States. Advocates of original intent might note that the founding generation interpreted those powers broadly to permit Congress to regulate the size of the Supreme Court, where, when and how often the court meets, how many justices constitute a quorum, and the duties of the justices themselves — including a duty to 'ride circuit' and hear cases as trial judges.
"Legislation requiring the court to write its own code of ethics falls well within this congressional power.
"[This bill] is rather an invitation. No rule is thrust on the justices. Under the Murphy bill, the justices are asked to start with the code governing other federal judges, but are then free to make 'any amendments or modifications' they deem 'appropriate.'
"A response that says, in effect, 'We won’t do it because you can’t make us' will hurt the court and the rule of law. So will ignoring the mandate."


Supreme courts typically function primarily as appellate courts, hearing appeals from decisions of lower trial courts, or from intermediate-level appellate courts.

DF Lickiss

Either Tom N is correct and these legislators skipped the training on separation of powers or they are trying to score points w/ some constituents by putting forth a law that has zero chance of passing (just as the GOP does w/ its votes to repeal the ACA).


This is a transparently political move by the libs to embarass and thus cower the Supreme Court's conservative members. It exposes the senators' ignorance, intolerance, and constitutional illiteracy.

Tom N

In the face of separation of powers, I am simply bumfuddled as to how the legislative branch would hope to impress its will upon the judicial branch. Is this the Supreme Court The last time I looked at Article III, it stated that the judicial power of the United States is vested in one supreme court.

It certainly seems to me that the lawyers in this cadre missed class the day they taught Constitutional Law in law school

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