The Court’s Proper Role

Judge's Gavel on American FlagThe US government is broken down into three separate branches, respectively the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches. Each have separate duties and mandates in order to provide for checks and balances to the power of the other branches. By this means it was envisioned by our Founders that America could stay the creep of tyranny and maintain our Constitutional liberties.

Ironically freedom requires restraint.

Nowhere in America’s government are the restraints upon the proper roles and activities by members of that branch of government stricter than within the Judicial branch. Nor is there any other branch where more restraint is needed, for neither of the other two branches of America’s government can do the lasting harm that our Courts and their rulings and opinions can cause.

It is therefor cause for hope and joy when it’s proven that a judge, especially US Federal Judge, understands the Court’s proper role. Judge Roger Vinson, senior federal judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, is one who understands this.

An excerpt from Senior United States District Judge, Roger Vinson ruling on the Obama Regime’s attempt to dismiss Florida v. US Dept. of Health and Human Services:

For purposes of this case, it matters not whether the Act is wise or unwise, or whether it will positively or negatively impact healthcare and the economy. Nor (except to the limited extent noted in Part III.A(7) infra) am I concerned with the manner in which it was passed into law. My review of the statute is not to question or second guess the wisdom, motives, or methods of Congress. I am only charged with deciding if the Act is Constitutional. If it is, the legislation must be upheld — even if it is a bad law. United States v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1, 79, 56 S. Ct. 312, 80 L. Ed. 477 (1936) (For the removal of unwise laws from the statute books appeal lies, not to the courts, but to the ballot and to the processes of democratic government) (Stone, J., dissenting). Conversely, if it is unconstitutional, the legislation must be struck down — even if it is a good law. Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co. (Child Labor Tax Case), 259 U.S. 20, 37, 42 S. Ct. 449, 66 L. Ed. 817 (1922) (reviewing court must strike down unconstitutional law even though that law is designed to promote the highest good. The good sought in unconstitutional legislation is an insidious feature, because it leads citizens and legislators of good purpose to promote it, without thought of the serious breach it will make in the ark of our covenant, or the harm which will come from breaking down recognized standards.).

— Judge Roger Vinson
Florida v. US Dept. of Health and Human Services, pp 2-3

That is a perfect example of a judge constraining himself to only the proper role set forth for his position and limiting himself to exercise only that authority that is rightfully his to exercise. It is not the place of any judge to engage in judicial activism and thereby violate the Separation of Powers. It’s obvious that Judge Vinson knows this.

Judge Vinson’s citations to previous cases in the above excerpt bear repeating and expansion upon:

“For the removal of unwise laws from the statute books appeal lies, not to the courts, but to the ballot and to the processes of democratic government

The power of courts to declare a statute unconstitutional is subject to two guiding principles of decision which ought never to be absent from judicial consciousness. One is that courts are concerned only with the power to enact statutes, not with their wisdom. The other is that, while unconstitutional exercise of power [p79] by the executive and legislative branches of the government is subject to judicial restraint, the only check upon our own exercise of power is our own sense of self-restraint. For the removal of unwise laws from the statute books appeal lies not to the courts, but to the ballot and to the processes of democratic government.

— STONE, J., Dissenting Opinion
United States v. Butler (297 U.S. 1), January 6, 1936

~*~

“Reviewing court must strike down unconstitutional law even though that law is designed to promote the highest good. The good sought in unconstitutional legislation is an insidious feature, because it leads citizens and legislators of good purpose to promote it, without thought of the serious breach it will make in the ark of our covenant, or the harm which will come from breaking down recognized standards.

It is the high duty and function of this court in cases regularly brought to its bar to decline to recognize or enforce seeming laws of Congress, dealing with subjects not entrusted to Congress, but left or committed by the supreme law of the land to the control of the States. We cannot avoid the duty even though it require us to refuse to give effect to legislation designed to promote the highest good. The good sought in unconstitutional legislation is an insidious feature because it leads citizens and legislators of good purpose to promote it without thought of the serious breach it will make in the ark of our covenant or the harm which will come from breaking down recognized standards. In the maintenance of local self-government, on the one hand, and the national power, on the other, our country has been able to endure and prosper for near a century and a half.

Out of a proper respect for the acts of a coordinate branch of the Government, this court has gone far to sustain taxing acts as such, even though there has been ground for suspecting from the weight of the tax it was intended to destroy its subject. But, in the act before us, the presumption of validity cannot prevail, because the proof of the contrary is found on the very face of its provisions. Grant the validity of this law, and all that Congress would need to do, hereafter, in seeking to take over to its control anyone of the great number of subjects of public interest, jurisdiction of which the States have never parted with, and which are reserved to them by the Tenth Amendment, would be to enact a detailed measure of complete regulation of the subject and enforce it by a so-called tax upon departures from it. To give such magic to the word “tax” would be to break down all constitutional limitation of the powers of Congress and completely wipe out the sovereignty of the States.

— US SCOTUS Opinion,
Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co., (259 U.S. 20), May 15, 1922

Yes, the members of the Judicial branch must, as Judge Vinson has done, exercise self-restraint and avoid judicial activism because to do otherwise would be a gross corruption of the Courts and cause lasting harm to America.

If nothing else, Judge Vinson’s use of 1922’s Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co. and 1936’s United States v. Butler show us the ramification of court decisions and opinions of record have effects that span decades and generations.

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One Response to “The Court’s Proper Role”

  1. It's Unconstitutional! | Reflections From a Murky Pond Says:

    […] is not an unexpected verdict. Judge Roger Vinson had foreshadowed this ruling in his response to Obama’s legal myrmidons’ earlier attempts at dismissing […]

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