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The Liberals’ Dirty Little Word: Impeachment
by David N. Bass
29 October 2003

Liberals have ingrained a lie within the fabric of our nation that guards their judicial monopoly: the courts are always right and never accountable to anyone but themselves.

Impeachment has become a dirty word to liberals. The judiciary can display in-your-face defiance of both the Constitution and the people’s will, but if conservatives are audacious enough to suggest impeachment, the Left’s outcry is deafening. In the playbook of liberalism, impeachment is almost akin to holding people accountable for their moral choices – you just don’t do it.

Why should they? The judiciary, from the smallest county courthouse to the Supreme Court, has become the Left’s most sought-after prize. Most liberal victories over the last half-century, whether it be Roe vs. Wade or Engle vs. Vitale, have come through the courts. Liberals have transformed the judiciary from the weakest of the three branches of government into the most powerful. That didn’t happen by accident. Long ago the Left realized their socialistic agenda couldn’t flourish in America without the help of un-elected officials. Those un-elected officials are the judges and justices of our nation’s courts. 

Liberals may be many things, but they aren’t stupid. They’ve ingrained a lie within the fabric of our nation that guards their judicial monopoly: the courts are always right and never accountable to anyone but themselves. Justice Antonin Scalia has asked: “What secret knowledge, one must wonder, is breathed into lawyers when they become Justices of this Court? Day by day, case by case, [the Court] is busy designing a Constitution for a country I do not recognize.”

By and large our nation has whole-heartedly swallowed the lie that judges can do no wrong.

But if you take a look at unrevised American history, you’ll unearth that the Founding Fathers had a vastly different view. To them impeachment was not a word to be shunned or a process to be used sparingly. They considered impeachment a necessary component of the judiciary.

The Founders' original grounds for impeachment were broad and unforgiving. In total contrast to liberal interpretations, the first goal of impeachment was to hold judges accountable for non-criminal offenses. In other words, political motivation was the number one reason for impeachment.

To the Founding Fathers, the very presence of political bias in the judiciary was reason for impeachment. George Mason, the father of the Bill of Rights, echoed this in claiming that impeachment was for “attempts to subvert the Constitution,” and not only for criminal conduct. That rubs liberals the wrong way. For decades their bread and butter has come from judges adjudicating their own political inclinations from the bench. To liberals, the notion of returning to judicial restraint is out of the question. 

The Constitution clearly gives lawmaking power to Congress (Article I Section I). But due mainly to our hands-off attitude towards impeachment, the courts have become our predominant policy-making branch, not only ignoring the will of the people in many instances, but also the will of Congress. Why shouldn’t they? When there’s little if any consequence for the court’s actions, why shouldn’t they ignore majority opinion?

A snapshot of our modern Supreme Court should be enough to convince us that political motivation has kicked aside the Constitution, the people, and the Congress and has effectively taken a front seat. Apparently, the Left doesn’t consider this grounds for impeachment. But the architects of our Constitution did. And so should we.

We don’t hesitate for a minute when it comes to voting out Presidents or members of Congress on the basis of political opinion, and yet even though judges continually spit in the face of the people and the legislative branch, we act sheepish on the rare occasion a judge is impeached.

There should be nothing sheepish about it. Impeachment is the people’s power to restrain an overactive judiciary, just as voting is the people’s power to restrain members of Congress. Our founding documents prescribed impeachment in order to protect a fundamental American value: the consent of the governed. George Washington summarized this in saying that the fundamental principle of our Constitution “enjoins that the will of the majority shall prevail.” Impeachment enforces the will of the majority.  

Clearly, under-use of impeachment is not our problem today. The judiciary can only return to a healthy state of being when we Americans can get away from the liberal idea that impeachment is a dirty thing and hold our courts accountable.

Unfortunately, most of the blame for today’s rampant runaway courts lies with us as American citizens. Subversions of the Constitution are common nowadays precisely because we’ve allowed them to become common. By not staying informed of current judicial cases, by not petitioning our elected representatives when we see an abuse of power in the judiciary, we’re collectively throwing away the Constitutional right to impeachment.

But change is possible. The events in Florida over the last week showed proof of that. We saw an innocent woman saved from court ordered starvation by an overwhelming demand of the people. Our judiciary can be held accountable if we want them to be held accountable. The Constitution outlines that right. The judiciary will only see the light when it once again hears the outcry of the people’s voice.

David N. Bass writes for World Newspaper Publishing and has a regular column at AmericanDaily.com, ARationalAdvocate.com, and RenewAmerica.us

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