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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Judicial Independence Still OK

Regardless of what many on the right continually contend, the vast majority of Americans do not favor elected officials constraining judicial authority. A recent CNN poll found that 67% of the people polled feel that “federal judges -- and the decisions they make -- should not be subject to more control.” The poll suggests that most Americans dislike proposals that aim at strong-arming judges and influencing their decisions. Recent proposals of this ilk include: doing away with judicial immunity and allowing judges to be sued for making unpopular decisions, imposing term limits on judges, allowing recall or impeachment of judges for any reason (including the rulings they make), and barring judges from considering certain legal issues (as Congress just did when it stripped the federal courts of their authority to hear habeas corpus petitions from individuals the president detains as enemy combatants).

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