WHO'S YOUR DADDY, JUDGE?
I find this a bit chilling:
Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Monday that the committee was considering the creation of an "office of inspector general for the federal judiciary" to watch over the courts....
To preserve the independence of the judiciary, Mr. Sensenbrenner said, Congress should not seek "to regulate judicial decision-making through such extreme measures as retroactively removing lifetime appointees through impeachment."
But he continued, "This does not mean that judges should not be punished in some capacity for behavior that does not rise to the level of impeachable conduct."
"The appropriate questions," he added, "are how do we punish and who does the punishing."...
Sensenbrenner mentioned this idea in a speech he gave last year to the Judicial Council, a group of federal judges. He cited violations of federal sentencing guidelines and leaking of classified information as the kinds of behavior over which Congress might want to have oversight. Then he tossed out this at the end of the speech:
"Before I conclude, I wish to touch briefly on a point that has generated significant scholarly debate and renewed urgency in light of recent Supreme Court decisions: the Court's increased reliance on foreign laws or judicial proceedings in the interpretation of American constitutional and statutory law. Article VI of the Constitution unambiguously states that the Constitution and federal statutes are the supreme law of the land. America’s sovereignty may be imperiled by a jurisprudence predicated upon laws and judicial decisions unfound in our Constitution and unincorporated by the Congress. Inappropriate judicial adherence to foreign laws or legal tribunals threatens American sovereignty, unsettles the separation of powers carefully crafted by our Founders, and threatens to undermine the legitimacy of the American judicial process. I anticipate Congressional examination of this issue in the coming months.
"Thanks again for the opportunity to speak before the conference today."
Now, what exactly did he mean by tacking this on to the end of a speech on congressional oversight of courts?
Was he saying -- without saying it directly -- that if those goldurn liberal judges keep talking about English common law, Congress will de-fund their courts?