Alan Keyes speaks out on Terri
I often agree with Alan Keyes. He is clearly a very smart guy whom I have grown from in reading his columns and watching his speeches. His most recent post
is not one of those. In principle I do agree with him. Part of the balance of power at both the state and federal level is that the judiciary has no power to enforce its decisions without the cooperation of the executive branch. The use of this lack of power by the executive against the judiciary is something that the founders clearly anticipated. That said, it is an extreme remedy that will/can have severe reprocussions. Both President Bush and Governor Jeb Bush have the ability to override the decision of the courts. That is as it should be in our republic. Use of that authority should be recognised as extreme and not a reaction to simply a "bad decision" or a "bad outcome" or even a "personal tragedy". Use of that authority is a statement of a major breakdown in the constitutional process. If one of the Bush's is at fault it is clearly the President. Governor Bush is following the law in his state as interpretted legally (although I would argue poorly). It is arguable that the federal courts have ignored the authority bestowed upon the US Congress explicitely in the 14th ammendment to the US Constitution and implicitely in Article 3. It is much harder to argue the same for the governor. And even in that case of the President, action would create a constitutional showdown the likes of which we have not seen since the Civil War. I have stated before that I think the state appeals courts and the federal courts were wrong in not granting a de novo review of the finding of fact in this case. But if you think that the debate about the "consitutional" or "nuclear" option to change the US Senate rules to disallow the use of a fillibuster for circuit court judicial nominations (a clearly unconstitutional act) is a hot potato imagine the reaction of the mostly uninformed public to POTUS overriding both the judgement of a state high court and, by default of refusal to review, the US Supreme Court.