WHEN JUDGES LEGISLATE FROM THE BENCH…

by Tim Condon

Watch the video of New Jersey Chris Christie below. He’s speaking about a common problem, that of judges “legislating from the bench.” But if they want to be legislators, Christie points out, they should run for the legislature and get elected. Christie could just as well be talking about the New Hampshire state supreme court, where five black-robed justices have repeatedly ordered the State Legislature to create a statewide funding scheme for education in New Hampshire. The multiple “Claremont decisions” are essentially commands to the state legislature to raise taxes and take money from some towns so it can be given to other towns. The decisions are all supposedly based upon the wording of the New Hampshire state Constitution. The problem is, any literate person can read our state constitution, and it doesn’t have any such requirement in it. In other words, under the state constitution which was adopted in 1783, there is no basis for the state supreme court to be giving orders to the state legislature about education. The supreme court “Claremont decisions” addressing state education funding…are themselves clearly “unconstitutional” under the state constitution. Not only because the state constitution has no requirement for statewide funding of education…not only because the state constitution has always said the same thing about education since it was adopted in 1783…but because the New Hampshire state supreme court has repeated gone outside its constitutionally granted powers to set itself up as a “super legisature.” The five judges are presuming to give orders to the state legislature that they have no legal or constitutional right to give. Enter Gov. Christie speaking about the problem of the New Jersey state supreme court. If the New Hampshire state supreme court has come to see itself not as a co-equal branch of state government, but superior to the elected representatives of the people, there is a way to address the problem. State Supreme Court justices in New Hampshire may hold office only on “good behavior,” and may be removed by a governor for “reasonable cause” upon agreement by the Executive Council and by addressing both houses of the state legislature. See the second part of our state constitution, Article 73. So the question is this: Does “reasonable cause” include making decisions that are not reasonably based upon the powers given in the state constitution? Does “reasonable cause” include making decisions that order the state legislature to raise taxes? Does “reasonable cause” include making decisions that order the state to take money from some towns and give it to other towns? And does “reasonable cause” include making decisions that set up the state supreme court as superior to the elected representatives of the people of the state of New Hampshire? Watch the video below. See what Gov. Christie has to say about the judicial problem in New Jersey. Then consider the same problem as it exists in New Hampshire.

Leave a Comment

  • John

    Why do so many republican party folks have such chubby cheeks. They all look like they haven’t missed too many meal lately.

  • Nice to see that’s all you have left, John.

  • John

    Thanks Randy!

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