Quick quiz: What do we call a system of government in which an unelected cadre of self-professed wise men make decisions for a nation of millions, all the while insulting those millions as ignoramuses?
We used to call it tyranny. Now, apparently, we call it an "independent judiciary."
At least that's the way the left sees it. The role of the judiciary in this country, according to liberals, is to act as a sort of super-Senate, qadis on the hill who decide based on whim and fancy how the rest of us should live. The American people are benighted morons; the judiciary is full of brilliant moral thinkers. They must rule us.
This perspective, of course, would have sickened the Founding Fathers, who established an independent judiciary in order to adjudicate legal disputes, not to rewrite laws at will. In fact, the founders recognized the threat of judicial omnipotence, which is why they wrote the Constitution so as to limit the judiciary: The judiciary cannot control its own purse strings, nor can it even define its own jurisdiction. Under Article III of the Constitution, Congress' power over the judiciary doesn't end with up-or-down judicial nominee votes -- Congress actually has the power to take whole areas of law away from the judiciary completely.
Congress can create inferior courts, which means it can eliminate them, too. As to the jurisdiction of those courts, Congress can define it. Congress can even define the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court: "In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make." In other words, Congress can carve out exceptions and regulations taking full swaths of judicial oversight away from the judiciary.
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