If you’re trying to court the wingnut vote, as every Republican candidate must now do, you can’t go wrong by attacking the courts as tyrants in black robes. But there’s something particularly ridiculous about doing that while simultaneously waxing eloquent about the wisdom of the founding fathers — the ones who deliberately made the judiciary independent and unaccountable to the voting public. Bachmann manages to do both:
Bachmann: I hold a biblical view of law. If you look at the original constitution and the founding documents of our country, it was clear that the founders wanted to separate power, they wanted to separate the presidency from the Supreme Court and from the Congress, because they thought that the Congress should be the most powerful of all the people’s voices because the people would have the ability to change out the members of the House every two years, originally the state legislatures would chose the Senators and they would have the state’s interest in mind, and the President was meant to execute the laws that Congress would put into place. The courts had a relatively minor function, it was to take current facts and apply it to the law that Congress had passed. So it was really a beautiful system that set up but it’s been distorted since then, and that’s what we need to do, get back to the original view of the Founders because it worked beautifully.
And the original view of the role of the judiciary remains intact today; it is Bachmann who wants to tear it down. As Hamilton made clear in Federalist 78, not only was the complete independence of the judiciary intentional, it was viewed as the key to maintaining a system that respects individual rights.
The complete independence of the courts of justice is peculiarly essential in a limited Constitution. By a limited Constitution, I understand one which contains certain specified exceptions to the legislative authority; such, for instance, as that it shall pass no bills of attainder, no ex-post-facto laws, and the like. Limitations of this kind can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing.
Like all wingnuts, Bachmann claims to venerate a document she doesn’t understand at all.
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