Thoughts on Halloween politicians

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How fitting and ironic it is that as we approach the Halloween season we see some area politicians preparing their bag of political “tricks or treats” for us. Each Presidential Election cycle, we see politicians rushing around posturing by switching parties. In the past few weeks, we have seen Alabama State Senator Jerry Fielding go public to deny he was switching to the Republican Party only to read the very next day, that he had done just that! So much for the integrity of this retired Circuit Judge who gladly accepts Democratic support all his political life only to throw his party under the bus. What does this say about a public servant who knowingly lies to the voters? Or accept funds and support form one party and goes over to join the opposition at the drop of a hat? Of course, as is always the case, he had to be concerned about the lack of support for Democrat President Obama and the potential danger that imposed. I also recall another Talladega County Jurist who switched from the Republican Party to the Democrats in 1994-a terrible move since that was the year that Republican Newt Gingrich and his organization seized control of the Congress!

Is it unreasonable to demand more character and integrity from our elected officials? Shouldn’t we be able to take a politician for what he appears? Sometimes it would almost seem that our elected officials have a closet with two wardrobes: Democratic and Republican, applicable to which way the political wind is blowing that day-pledges and loyalty oaths notwithstanding.

Please on Election Day, closely scrutinize the candidate’s personal integrity. How much does his word really count?

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James W. Anderson



Checks and balances

exist on Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has the responsibility to determine the constitutionality of a LAW. Only Congress has the power and right to make Law!

Congress has the power to place check and balances on the Supreme Court by the means listed below:

How Congress Checks the Supreme Court:

• Senate approves federal judges, including Supreme Court justices

(Advise and Consent Clause)

• Impeachment power (House)

• Trial of impeachments (Senate)

• Power to initiate constitutional amendments (to undo supreme court decisions)

• Power to set courts inferior to the Supreme Court

• Power to set jurisdiction of courts (they can tell a court that they can not hear a case on a certain topic, which includes changing the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court)

• Power to alter the size of the Supreme Court (if the size is drastically increased the President may select all the new justices and change the sway of power)

More Information

Congress can check the power of the Supreme Court through the process of Constitutional Amendment. While the Supreme Court can rule that a particular law is unconstitutional, it cannot rule that the Constitution itself is unconstitutional.

If the Congress (and 3/4 of the state legislatures) approve a constitutional amendment, it becomes the supreme law of the land, and the Supreme Court cannot overrule the Constitution.

Here is a typical example of how the Congress overcomes the rulings of the Supreme Court:

The 18th amendment was passed by Congress and ratified by the states.

That made it illegal to manufacture, sell, or transport alcohol. The SC had no choice but to rule in favor of any law that specified penalties for manufacturing, selling, or transport of alcohol.

Many people over the years (1919-1933) went to jail for violating those laws, based upon their constitutionality in light of the 18th amendment.

In 1933, the Congress simply repealed the 18th amendment with the 21st amendment, and the states ratified that amendment.

The SC since then has had to rule against any blanket law that prohibits the manufacture, sale, or transport of alcohol.

Several times, the SC has struck down laws that prohibit desecration of the American flag.

Their rulings are always based upon the 1st amendment which protects individuals’ rights to express themselves, even when that expression is offensive to many, even most other citizens.

If Congress were to pass an amendment that prohibited desecration of the American flag, and it were to be ratified by the majority of the states, the SC would likely have to uphold any laws that provided penalties for said desecration.

Amending the Constitution is a difficult and time-consuming process. It was designed to be that way, so that people could not easily alter our form of government on a whim of the moment.

Kenneth Kirkland