There was a collective sigh of relief when Vice President Joe Biden announced he would not seek the office of President; and now we know why. Biden; like Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton and most of the other presidential candidates; will resort to hyperbole, duplicity and any other device imaginable to try and garner support for their view.
Biden not only demonstrates that the only reason he is vice president is because he ran with the nation’s first Black President; his recent comments beg the question why he was ever on the judiciary committee, much less chairman; especially inasmuch as he now disclaims positions he espoused while serving on that committee because his current agenda is better served by a diametric perspective.
Biden speaks of the “dysfunction of Washington” seemingly oblivious to the part he and President Obama played in perpetuating congressional dysfunction as members of that body.
Still Biden’s incompetence is most evident when he warns of the inability of an evenly divided court to “set a nationwide precedent in major cases”.
It is not a function of the court to set “nationwide” anything. Article III of the US Constitution vests judicial power to decide “cases”; not set precedent; and precedent does not establish law under the US Constitution.
Article I clearly prescribes the only procedure for enacting law, and it vests “all” power to do so in congress; not the judiciary.
Moreover, Article III of the US Constitution expressly limits court jurisdiction to cases arising under the US Constitution and the laws of the United States; which means if there is no law upon which to adjudicate the court has no jurisdiction. The court is not empowered to contrive laws, where none exists, in order to render a decision.
Court decisions which effectively establish law where none existed are not founded on valid law and are therefore invalid. Further, the US Constitution neither expresses or implies a remedy in the event the court is of the opinion that a law is repugnant to the US Constitution; it does not empower the court to amend, repeal, invalidate or otherwise alter any duly enacted legislation. Such conflicts must be addressed by the respective legislature and the court is obliged to continue to decide “each” case on “its merit” in accordance with existing law
Nothing in the US Constitution or the Judiciary Act empowers any jury or court to render collective or categorical verdicts under any circumstances. Even co-defendants charged with the same crimes must be individually convicted and sentenced on the merits of the state’s case against each; and the punishment warranted by each conviction.
The Judiciary Act; which is the legislation the US Constitution empowered congress to write establishing the structure and jurisdictions of the judicial branch, provided for one chief justice and five associate justices for a total of six members which even then was considered an even number. For Joe Biden to say that eight members today cannot accomplish what six did; before cars, phones and the internet; is absurd. It also explains how so many corrupt judges got confirmed to the court; Biden’s criteria for confirmation had nothing to do with a nominee’s knowledge of or adherence to the law.