Reminder: Congress can strip courts of jurisdiction over matters like marriage policy

Reminder: Congress can strip courts of jurisdiction over matters like marriage policy
Focus of evil in the modern world? (Image: AP, J. Scott Applewhite via Yahoo!)

[Ed. – Mark Levin has made this point a number of times.  I don’t know that it’s as clear-cut as Carson suggests, but he makes an important point, and one that demands a response from Congress.]

Instead of wailing and bemoaning the imperial edicts issued this past week by the Supreme Court on Obamacare, housing discrimination, and gay marriage, the Republican-controlled Congress would do better to exercise its constitutional authority and fight back. …

Few powers given to the Congress are more clearly defined, and yet more rarely exercised, than its power to strip the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, of jurisdiction over almost any subject matter Congress chooses. …

Article III, section 2 of the U.S. Constitution expressly states (emphasis [Carson’s]):

In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.

This means exactly what it says: the Supreme Court (and by implication, the lesser federal courts) can be stripped from hearing and deciding any issue at all, save only those few issues granted to its original jurisdiction in the language above. …

Court-stripping isn’t some sort of exotic legal theorem that would provoke a constitutional crisis. …

Nor is court-stripping some quaint 19th-century archaism.  Justice Felix Frankfurter’s opinion in the case of National Insurance Co. v. Tidewater Co., 337 U.S. 582 (1949) again conceded that Congress not only has the right to refuse appellate jurisdiction, but may withdraw it “once conferred.”

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