2
   

Justice Ginsburg: Congress's Watchdog Plan "Scary"

 
 
Reply Thu 4 May, 2006 07:36 am
Ginsburg: Congress's Watchdog Plan "Scary"
The Associated Press
Tuesday 02 May 2006

Washington - Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Tuesday that a Republican proposal in Congress to set up a watchdog over the federal courts is a "really scary idea."

Ginsburg told a gathering of the American Bar Association that lawyers should stick up for judges when they are criticized by congressional leaders.

"My sense now is that the judiciary is under assault in a way that I haven't seen before," she said.

As an example, she mentioned proposals by senior Republicans who want an inspector general to police judges' acceptance of free trips or their possible financial interests with groups that could appear before them.

"It sounds to me very much like the Soviet Union was ... That's a really scary idea," said Ginsburg, who was put on the court by President Clinton and is one of its liberal members.

Ginsburg said her confirmation hearings in 1993, and those the following year for Justice Stephen Breyer, were long but friendly. "That bipartisan spirit has broken down," she said.

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said last week that the judiciary wasn't doing enough policing of itself. His plan would create an inspector general to oversee federal courts including the Supreme Court. The inspector general would be directed to report any judicial misconduct to the Justice Department.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., has proposed a separate plan to cover lower federal courts only.

Ginsburg said her concerns were about the legislative branch setting up a so-called guardian for the judicial branch. She also said there have been discussions in Congress about limiting the scope of courts.

American Bar Association President Michael Greco asked Ginsburg what lawyers could do. She said attorneys can speak up and "say these efforts are wrong." Judges, she said, cannot lobby on their own behalf.
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,996 • Replies: 4
No top replies

 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 May, 2006 08:01 am
Congress has the power to create such inferior courts as it thinks are necessary--so the power to create and appoint an Inspector General could be implied. Congress has no authority, however, over the Supreme Court.

Article I, Section 8 reads, in part:

(Congress shall have the power) To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 May, 2006 08:13 am
Setanta
"Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said last week that the judiciary wasn't doing enough policing of itself. His plan would create an inspector general to oversee federal courts including the Supreme Court. The inspector general would be directed to report any judicial misconduct to the Justice Department."

Setanta, obviously, Republican Senator Grassley needs to carry a copy of the Constitution in his pocket and read it every day.

BBB
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 May, 2006 05:18 pm
Setanta wrote:
Congress has no authority, however, over the Supreme Court.



No Authority?

Article III , Section 1 of that Constitution reads in part "The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behaviour...".

Since SC Justices, can under this section be removed from their seat if they don't maintain good behavior someone has the authority to deterime if good behavior is being maintained or not.

Article I, Section 2 grants that authority to the Congress "The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment." (As was exercised against Justice Samual Chase.)

An Inspector General to investigate claims and make recomendations to the Congress on whether or not they should use their authority would seem to fall within the provisions laid out in the Constitution. (I don't agree that one is necessary but I'd disagree that Congress doens't have the authority to create such an office.)
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 May, 2006 08:13 am
fishin' wrote:
An Inspector General to investigate claims and make recomendations to the Congress on whether or not they should use their authority would seem to fall within the provisions laid out in the Constitution. (I don't agree that one is necessary but I'd disagree that Congress doens't have the authority to create such an office.)

I think that's correct. If the IG's job is only to make reports and recommendations to congress, then there should be no separation of powers problem. If the IG is intended to exercise some kind of actual authority over the courts, then that would, I think, intrude upon the third branch's exclusive jurisdiction.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Justice Ginsburg: Congress's Watchdog Plan "Scary"
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 12/07/2021 at 06:07:11