State Bills Could Grant Lawmakers The Power To Overrule Court Decisions
Feb 14, 2017 04:48 AM EST
State lawmakers who do not think along the same lines of court decisions are bringing about a new legislation to increase their power over courts. The legislation even enabled them to deny to enforce decision by the federal court.
According to Washington Post, the bills were introduced in a number of states and are intended to challenge courts that appear to be too activist. The publication reports, "In the past few years the political sentiment that courts need an extra check has come roaring back and found a home in an increasingly politically charged society."
The ABA Journal has more news regarding several of the bills in specific. A bill passed in Arizona states that lawmakers retain the power to halt any "commandeering" actions passed by the federal government. These are inclusive of actions by federal courts.
Similarly, an Idaho bill grants lawmakers with the power to deem federal and U.S. Supreme Court decisions invalid for contradicting original intent. It also bans state courts from enforcing the decisions after the legislature acts.
The "Balance of Powers Restoration Act" in Washington State grants permission to the legislature to ignore state appeals court decisions striking down laws. The court decisions, however, would be binding on both the parties. A possible popular referendum follow-up could override the legislature.
In Florida, a bill permits legislators to override "activist" court decisions by a two-thirds vote which would strike down laws.
The other bills grant lawmakers added power over the courts' makeup. An Oklahoma bill aims to set a retirement age which "would effectively wipe out most judges currently serving on the state's appeals court." Also a bill in Hawaii authorizes the Senate to vote on the reconfirmation of judges.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Alicia Bannon of the Brennan Center for Justice criticized the judicial override bills. She said that the idea of a legislature overriding court rulings was particularly radical.