The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a ruling in February establishing new congressional voting districts for the state’s residents. That ruling abolished the voting districts established by the state legislature in 2011.
Why? The justices felt the 2011 districts were political gerrymandering and discriminated against Democrats. Of course, the elected Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices are mostly Democrats.
This usurpation of a legislative function should be considered dangerous, regardless of one’s political affiliation. It was a concern of the Founding Fathers.
Ironically, it was Elbridge Gerry—after whom the word “gerrymandering” was created and who was a Massachusetts delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787—who warned about judicial imposition. He voiced his concern about the “sophistry of the judges.”
Federalist 78 warned that judges might exercise their will instead of their judgment in their interpretation of laws. Federalist 81 declared that allowing the judiciary to construe the law would enable it to mold its own laws.
This has occurred more and more as judges at state and federal levels expropriate power assigned to the other two branches of government.
Federal judges attempted to usurp executive branch authority in terrorist detainee cases during the Bush administration and again most recently in the case of President Donald Trump’s lawful orders to restrict those wishing to enter the United States from nations where terrorists take refuge from the law.
But this commandeering of government is not a recent practice. Over the years, judges have demonstrated a desire to intercede in nonjusticiable affairs—just as was predicted in Federalist 78.
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