August 24, 2005

Back down to earth...

Charlene and I both noticed this paragraph in Edward Whelan's Bench Memos blog at NRO. It was written by Judge Roberts...

...“It is argued, however, that divesting the Supreme Court of jurisdiction over a particular class of cases would undermine the constitutional role of the Court as the ultimate arbiter of constitutional questions. The Constitution, however, does not accord such a role to the Court. The authority of the Court to interpret the Constitution derives from the necessity of its doing so in the course of discharging its judicial responsibility to decide those cases and controversies properly presented to it. [Lengthy quotation from Marbury.] If the necessity of interpreting the Constitution is removed, as it would be if the Court were divested of jurisdiction, the basis for the Court’s role as final arbiter of the Constitution is removed.”...

This really brings the judicial branch back down to the realm of the sensible and sane. Judges decide cases. If there are no cases, then judges have nothing to do.

The Supreme court, and other courts, do not "interpret the Constitution." They decide cases. If Congress passed a Bill of Attainder against me, and locked me up for web-logical turpitude, the Supreme Court could say or do nothing about even so obviously unconstitutional a law...unless a case was brought before them.

Posted by John Weidner at August 24, 2005 4:44 PM
Weblog by John Weidner