The myth of judicial equality


America’s Founding Fathers believed the judiciary should be the weakest branch of government. One reader has charged “inaccuracies” simply because this writer, in a previous article, did not identify the fact that judges were appointed by the King.

Four times in the Declaration of Independence the Founders identified judicial abuse or misuse of jurisprudence—regardless of how the judges were appointed. No inaccuracies here.

Like most Founding Fathers, Chief Justice John Marshall understood the importance of perpetuating the biblical republican principles (Lutz, American Constitutionalism) that shaped America.

As an officer in the American Sunday School Union, he helped to influence generations of Americans with the Christian faith. But, Marbury v. Madison was a mess of Marshall’s making.

William Marbury had sued incoming Secretary of State James Madison, for not receiving his judicial appointment credentials because outgoing Secretary of State John Marshall, failed to deliver them. To clean up the mess, Marshall, who had been appointed chief justice and should have recused himself in this case, instead argued for judicial review.

This is one novice who would like to know, “Where is judicial review in the four organic laws of America?”

And, we must ask, “Did Marbury ever receive the necessary credentials from Madison to become a judge?”

The answer is, “No!” No inaccuracies here.

In Dred Scott v. Sanford, a Democratically controlled Supreme Court ruled slaves were property: “Now, ... the right of property in a slave is distinctly and expressly affirmed in the Constitution.” The one leveling the charge of inaccuracy does so on the basis of citizenry, which neither have I ever attempted to address. Indeed, Mr. Lincoln — like Mr. Madison — dismisses the ruling of the court in the Emancipation Proclamation, and slaveholders are deprived of their “property” thanks to Mr. Lincoln. No inaccuracies here, except on the part of the one leveling the charge.

When the city of Washington, D.C., was planned, a building was erected to support the service of each branch of government deemed to be prominent. But, no Supreme Court building was constructed until 1935.

It took nearly 150 years before the Supreme Court was given its own building and no longer had to bounce around the Capitol.

And, simply look at the Constitution.

“We the people” or Congress is given the bulk of the duties of government, followed by the executive branch. And the branch charged with the least amount of responsibilities is the judiciary.

Is it not true that Congress sets the number of courts and details related to their maintenance and not vice-versa?

Is the Exceptions Clause still in the Constitution (Art. III #2) to grant Congress the power to eliminate any judicial review in determined matters? And, the Federalist Papers that helped persuade America to approve the Constitution, what do they say…”[T]he judiciary is, beyond comparison, the weakest of the three departments of power…” (#78; cf. #51).

Years ago, staff at the Courier appended “Dr” before my name and “PhD.” after. I requested that only one or none of the degrees be shown.

My guess is that such matters help to identify writers for the reader. It appears that such academic credentials are distasteful to the “No PhD. history and government teacher,” and for this, I am sorry. However, it does seem a bit unusual that someone in education should hold education up to apparent ridicule.

Stephen Flick

Christian Heritage Fellowship, Inc.