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Cruz amendment makes Supreme Courtsubject to elections

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

Declaring that America’s Founding Fathers “did not anticipate judicial tyranny on this scale,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, says he is proposing an amendment to the Constitution that would subject the nine U.S. Supreme Court justices to judicial retention elections every eight years.

Cruz’s announcement, which came on the same day the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, appeared in an op-ed published by the National Review Friday evening.

Cruz – who served as a law clerk to Chief Justice William Rehnquist and spent more than a decade litigating before the Supreme Court – blasted the court not only for the same-sex marriage and Obamacare decisions this week, but also for “a long line of judicial assaults on our Constitution and the common-sense values that have made America great.”

“During the past 50 years, the Court has condemned millions of innocent unborn children to death, banished God from our schools and public squares, extended constitutional protections to prisoners of war on foreign soil, authorized the confiscation of property from one private owner to transfer it to another, and has now required all Americans to purchase a specific product, and to accept the redefinition of an institution ordained by God and long predating the formation of the Court,” he wrote.

Cruz said America’s Framers “underestimated the justices’ craving for legislative power, and they overestimated the Congress’s backbone to curb it,” adding that the remedy of impeachment “is not remedy at all” since the Senate can’t muster the 67 votes to impeach a justice.

“The time has come, therefore, to recognize that the problem lies not with the lawless rulings of individual lawless justices, but with the lawlessness of the Court itself,” he wrote. “The decisions that have deformed our constitutional order and have debased our culture are but symptoms of the disease of liberal judicial activism that has infected our judiciary. A remedy is needed that will restore health to the sick man in our constitutional system.”

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That remedy, he said, should render justices directly accountable to the people.

“Twenty states have now adopted some form of judicial retention elections, and the experience of these states demonstrates that giving the people the regular, periodic power to pass judgment on the judgments of their judges strikes a proper balance between judicial independence and judicial accountability,” he wrote.

“It also restores respect for the rule of law to courts that have systematically imposed their personal moral values in the guise of constitutional rulings. The courts in these states have not been politicized by this check on their power, nor have judges been removed indiscriminately or wholesale. Americans are a patient, forgiving people. We do not pass judgment rashly.”

Cruz’s amendment would make it so every justice – beginning with the second national election after his or her appointment – is subject to a retention election every eight years.

“Those justices deemed unfit for retention by both a majority of the American people as a whole and by majorities of the electorates in at least half of the 50 states will be removed from office and disqualified from future service on the Court,” he explained.

And if Congress doesn’t pass Cruz’s amendment, he said, “then the movement from the people for an Article V Convention of the States – to propose the amendments directly – will grow stronger and stronger.”

Cruz concluded:

“As we prepare to celebrate next week the 239th anniversary of the birth of our country, our Constitution finds itself under sustained attack from an arrogant judicial elite. Yet the words of Daniel Webster ring as true today as they did over 150 years ago: ‘Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.’ We must hold fast to the miracle that is our Constitution and our republic; we must not submit our constitutional freedoms, and the promise of our nation, to judicial tyranny.”

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Related columns:

The consequences of the marriage ruling by Joseph Farah

The Roberts Court — harbinger to revolution? by Larry Klayman

‘Gay marriage’ ruling: Evil with a silver lining by Matt Barber

I fear judgment befalling America by James Dobson

Good intentions along the road to hell by Craige McMillan