Destroying the system of checks and balances

May 15th, 2005 – 2:48 pm
Tagged as: Politics

In case the other problems with REAL ID weren’t bad enough, there’s also some language buried in there that may be a test of whether or not Congress can effectively neuter the judiciary whenever it so chooses:

You can read more on the tinfoil hat implications of this here if you’re interested, but I’ll sum it up for you: Congress has crafted a completely unprecedented provision that guts the principle of judicial review by granting the DHS secretary complete and total immunity from the courts when it comes to the construction of “barriers and roads” in this one specific geographical region, and they’ve buried this provision inside a national ID card act which is itself attached to a large military appropriations bill that no Congressperson in their right mind would vote against (money for the troops and all that).

Obviously, if this passes, it’ll set a precedent. First, some obscure border region outside of San Diego, and then on to bigger and better things? As the present bill stands, if DHS built a road through an endangered wetland and committed four murders in the process, nobody could take the government to court over it. Is this the kind of unchecked power that we want Congress to have? The sky’s the limit, once the A3S2 can of worms is opened tomorrow.

The Republicans (and the Democrats who couldn’t be bothered to make a real effort to take them to task on all of this) are treading on some dangerous ground here. There’s no way this was an accident on the part of the ruling party, so the only question is what sort of lunacy they’re planning if this actually works.

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