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If You Were President.

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Old 02-16-2007, 01:40 PM   #46
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Re: If You Were President.

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Originally Posted by 12thMan View Post
Very impressive post. My only thing with the Justices serving lifetime tenures is if the majority of them are very conservative, then their tendacies to vote may consistently lean in that direction.

So while they are indeed insulated from policy and political pressure, they are not totally impervious to it.
First, thanks. I'm not the smartest or most literate guy, but I've talked about Constitutional/Political issues ad naseum in law school. So, more than anything else, I'm just parroting what others have said.

Second, I definately agree that conservatives that get appointed to the Supreme Court tend to consistently vote as conservatives and liberals tend to vote as liberals. But, I still think that it's good that they are not beholden to a particular constituency. Moreover, conservatives that are appointed the bench oftentimes become more moderate. For example, Justices Kennedy and O'Connor were appointed with the expectation that they would vote as conservatives, but they tended to be much more even-handed than expected. Justice Stevens, the most liberal Justice on the court, was appointed by President Ford (a republican).
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Old 02-16-2007, 02:33 PM   #47
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Re: If You Were President.

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Originally Posted by Sheriff Gonna Getcha View Post
#1. The problem with that is that the Executive Branch is supposed to act as one body. The President acts through his subordinates (e.g., the SecDef) and derives much of his power through the Cabinet. When you elect a President, you also "elect" his policies as executed by his subordinates. If you strip the President of his authority to appoint Cabinet members, then you strip him of the ability to act as an Executive. It would be like telling a CEO to act as chief executive and then telling him he can't fire anyone and his subordinates do not have to listen to his policy initiatives.
You make a good point. I think a good solution would be to put the entire Cabinet on the ticket with the President.

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As for Justices being elected, I am so glad that they are not. When Justices are appointed with lifetime tenures, they are insulated from political pressures and (relatively speaking) vote according to what they think is the legally correct answer. I would be scared if Justices were voting not according to what they thought was right, but according to what they thought would make for a good 30-second soundbite on the news.
I don't think Justices would be swayed by popular opinion if they have no chance for re-election. Also, whether they are elected or appointed, they are selected by people. That means that no matter what, they are going to be thinking about how their rulings will affect their image in the eyes of the people who select them -- whether it's the President/House/Senate or their constituents.

The original reason for the appointment process was because the Founders thought the people are too fickle, and they could not handle such a responsibility. However, today the Senate is not as wise as the Founders envisioned, and they are swayed by big interests. I'd rather have the people in charge. Maybe we could do an electoral college, rather than straight up elections. I consider most of this a moot point, because the states should have the power -- not the federal gov't. We shouldn't be at the mercy of the federal gov't.

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#3 The Constitution is intentionally ambiguous - it is not a laundry list of crimes, rules, etc. It has survived so long because it is ambiguous and capable of adapting to changing environments. I think the Founders were wise to make it ambiguous and capable of adapting to change.
I believe that every citizen has the right to say whatever they want. As soon as you allow the federal gov't to impose ANY restrictions on speech, you have given them too much power. Why does that have to be ambiguous? Times change, but that should not. I think of the Constitution as something that transcends society. Just because society changes, I do not think the Constitution should be interpreted differently. I agree that the Constitution shouldn't be used as a laundry list of rules. It should only be used for those VERY FEW instances where an ABSOLUTE law is necessary, to protect the people from the gov't -- like free speech. All other laws should be derived from state statutes.

I knew I could count on you for a good response.
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Old 02-16-2007, 02:58 PM   #48
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Re: If You Were President.

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I believe that every citizen has the right to say whatever they want. As soon as you allow the federal gov't to impose ANY restrictions on speech, you have given them too much power. Why does that have to be ambiguous? Times change, but that should not. I think of the Constitution as something that transcends society. Just because society changes, I do not think the Constitution should be interpreted differently. I agree that the Constitution shouldn't be used as a laundry list of rules. It should only be used for those VERY FEW instances where an ABSOLUTE law is necessary, to protect the people from the gov't -- like free speech. All other laws should be derived from state statutes.
Certain rights (e.g., the freedom of speech and freedom of the press) do in fact almost rise to the level of absolute rights. But, even they are and should be subject to limitations. For example, the freedom of speech does not protect people who scream "Fire" in a crowded theater (unless there is a fire) and cause others to be trampled to death. The right to bear arms is also limited. For example, "arms" do not include nuclear weapons, tanks, heavy machine-guns, etc.

Good fun......I love how we can disagree and respect each other's opinions. It's so nice to talk with smart people that can debate things without getting into yelling matches. So thanks GDAS.
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Old 02-16-2007, 04:18 PM   #49
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Re: If You Were President.

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Originally Posted by GhettoDogAllStars View Post
You make a good point. I think a good solution would be to put the entire Cabinet on the ticket with the President.



I don't think Justices would be swayed by popular opinion if they have no chance for re-election. Also, whether they are elected or appointed, they are selected by people. That means that no matter what, they are going to be thinking about how their rulings will affect their image in the eyes of the people who select them -- whether it's the President/House/Senate or their constituents.

The original reason for the appointment process was because the Founders thought the people are too fickle, and they could not handle such a responsibility. However, today the Senate is not as wise as the Founders envisioned, and they are swayed by big interests. I'd rather have the people in charge. Maybe we could do an electoral college, rather than straight up elections. I consider most of this a moot point, because the states should have the power -- not the federal gov't. We shouldn't be at the mercy of the federal gov't.



I believe that every citizen has the right to say whatever they want. As soon as you allow the federal gov't to impose ANY restrictions on speech, you have given them too much power. Why does that have to be ambiguous? Times change, but that should not. I think of the Constitution as something that transcends society. Just because society changes, I do not think the Constitution should be interpreted differently. I agree that the Constitution shouldn't be used as a laundry list of rules. It should only be used for those VERY FEW instances where an ABSOLUTE law is necessary, to protect the people from the gov't -- like free speech. All other laws should be derived from state statutes.

I knew I could count on you for a good response.
The problem with having elections for judges as I posted earlier is that they would run on a platform on how they would rule. That would but them in ruling based on their beliefes and not by the constitution as they should. They then would only represent the people who voted for them as a whole. The way its set up now is its kind of a balance of power and we get judges who have a history of voting closer to the constitution than by belief. As someone else stated that some of the conservitive judges vote more down the middle than to the right and I feel it is because of the process more than anything else.
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