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Need to Rein in Federal Judiciary

Location: Washington, DC

NEED TO REIN IN FEDERAL JUDICIARY -- (House of Representatives - April 05, 2005)

(Mr. PITTS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, the President signed into law a bill ordering courts to take a new look, a de novo look, at the Terri Schiavo case. In legal terms, this means that a court must approach a case as if they have no prior knowledge of the facts. In a death penalty case, a de novo order reopens the entire case, and the judge issues a stay on the execution.
Instead, in Terri's case, they took a cursory look at the case, did not issue a stay and affirmed her death sentence.

The problem here is not Congress; it is the courts. These judges abandoned Terri's humanity on a technicality, and they blatantly ignored the law that Congress passed.

Since when do judges get to ignore the laws of the land? The fact is that they have been doing it for a long time, in ways that should concern both sides of the aisle in this body.

When judges are viewed as above the law, as immune from accountability, we have ceased to be ruled by the consent of the governed, the people. We need to get courts under control before we slip further towards a Nation ruled by judicial fiat.

The problem is that though judges are the arbiters of legal disputes, they have become lawmakers just like us. We do not live in a land governed by judges. We live in a land governed by the people; and if we continue to ignore that, we have only ourselves to blame.

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