We Need More Federal Government!


Did you hear that? That was the sound of my jaw dropping and hitting the floor all the way across the country from where you live. I just read this piece at National Review Online and in addition to my sore jaw, I fell out of my chair and damaged my entire psyche. I am, what is the cool phrase hip writers use? Gobsmacked? I am gobsmacked. At first I thought it had to be”The Onion”, but alas, it was “National Review”. A sign of the times, you might say.

“To truly have an effect on the judicial branch, the Republican Congress needs to appropriate funds to increase the size of the lower federal courts. Our suggestion, spelled out more fully in our new paper, would be to boost the total number of judges by roughly 33 percent, as President Jimmy Carter and a Democratic Congress did in the 1970s.”

These brilliant thinkers either never read Leviathan, are Big Government Socialists, true believers in practicing the definition of insanity, or all three.

“Steven G. Calabresi is the Clayton J. & Henry R. Barber Professor at the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Shams Hirji received his J.D. cum laude from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law this past May.”

They cry and whine about the backlog of cases in the federal court system, but rather than getting to the root of the problem, which is that there are way too many federal cases in the first place, their solution, which is actually an invitation for more of the same, is to hire a whole boatload of more federal judges, and the cast of thousands that goes along with them.

I have written about the malignancy that is our federal judiciary a few times in the past, including here.

“…there are 864 federal judges in the United States. Eight hundred and sixty four. Counting the appeals courts and the district courts and of course the Supremes, there are as many federal judges with jurisdiction over Indiana as there are members of the Indiana State Senate.”

And we need 250 more? Lawyers gotta lawyer, I guess. To be fair, the authors recommend cutting funding for so-called “administrative law judges” ensconced in the bureaucracies, and replacing them with actual members of the federal judiciary, with life tenure. But once again, That’s not getting to the root of the problem. The problem is that everything is a federal case these days. We rant and rave all day long about the government meddling in our health care and our education systems and every other aspect of our lives. We sometimes go so far as to say the Departments of HHS and Education, and Energy and a few others, and scores of “agencies” and “commissions should be abolished. Why? Because many, if not most, social and day-to-day living issues are not only not delegated to the federal government to weigh in on, they are not mentioned at all. I’m pretty sure the Founders never in their wildest dreams envisioned Judge Diane Sykes would have to go through all of the drama, paperwork and grief to jettison a lawsuit over the venues and time and place and appropriate temperatures for selling beer. From my above-linked piece:

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a state law that prohibits convenience stores, gas stations and other retailers from selling beer cold in the state. A three-judge panel ruled unanimously in a decision announced Monday.

In a 13-page opinion written by Judge Diane Sykes, the court found IPCA failed to carry its burden in showing why the state’s cold-beer statute is unconstitutional.”

Wait a minute….the authors recommend vastly expanding the federal judiciary like Jimmy Carter and the Democrats did in the 70’s and Diane Sykes is frustrated because she has to moderate debates about beer. As I recall, Jimmy Carter’s brother Billy took advantage of his brother’s fame and marketed his own beer, “Billy Beer” back in the day. It was about this time that America went to hell in a handbasket. Let’s not relive the 70’s, okay guys?

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vassar bushmills
November 19, 2017 8:57 am

Generational, Bob, and your friend Victor Davis knows it.

November 23, 2017 1:02 am

It’s not surprising that the authors are two law professors who thing that the solution to an increasingly tyrannical federal government is a strictly tactical ploy of adding more conservative judges to counterbalance the previous spate of leftist judges. In other words, escalate a judicial arms race that will have the useful consequence of increasing the demand for law students to keep the authors employed. Meanwhile, they miss what you so clear point out is the problem: too many federal laws enacted by an overbearing federal government through the agency of a Congress and executive branch, many which are passed… Read more »

Jaded ByPolitics
Jaded ByPolitics
November 24, 2017 11:32 am

Hey Bob get over to Instapundit bunch of “conservatives and libertarians” are super excited about a large judiciary. https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/281590/#respond

I carried your wriiteup over there but some of em are gonna need a smack about the head brother.

November 25, 2017 5:32 am

Pritzker Chicago money.

Pritzker School of Law, that’s the name of a billionaire family (Hyatt hotels) in Illinois. In fact, the name, Penny Pritzker might ring a bell – met up with Barack Obama in the early 90’s – about the same time as those neighborhood “cookouts” with Bill Ayers, and her money aided Mr. Obama along his political career path. She served as his Secretary of the Treasury.

No surprise at what would come out of that “Law School” – or any Chicago institution of “higher learning.”