Thursday, April 14, 2005

Doing away with federal courts

There's been some rumbles among the rightwingers about going beyond yanking jurisdiction from federal courts over particular issues to actually getting rid of or re-constituting the district court system. I intended to write a longer post on this issue (and I will soon), but for the time being, I'll let you mull over the portions of the Constitution that may or may not grant Congress that power. The question is, given the power to "ordain and establish", do they have the power to destroy as well?

Article I, Sect. 8: [Congress shall have the power] to constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court.

Article III, Sect. 1: The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.

Sect. 2: 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.