In his previous Justia column, Illinois Law dean and professor Vikram David Amar wrote about how a recent ruling in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court invalidated congressional districting lines. The decision angered some legislators, resulting in calls for impeachment of the justices who rendered the ruling. He wrote:
"To be sure, when the attacks on judicial independence move from seeking to limit jurisdiction or undo particular rulings to attempting to remove jurists themselves, the stakes have been raised. (Indeed, many of us who sometimes defend ambitious state court rulings against the charge of 'judicial activism' do so on the ground that lofty and forward-looking interpretations of state constitutions are more defensible when there are relatively uncumbersome processes for fixing judicial 'mistakes' by changing the state constitutional document itself.) But removal of state jurists is also not unprecedented; voters in a number of states have used retention elections and the recall device to oust high court judges, seemingly in direct response to controversial rulings. (California and Iowa come to mind over the last several decades.) And so what we are seeing today is a trend that builds on some populist precedents.
"Are any of these (increasingly) 'hardball' tactics (as many analysts might call them) by legislatures and the electorate to push back against rulings with which they disagree themselves illegal under state law? After all, if the controversial judicial rulings are designed (as many are) to redress unfair treatment of political or demographic minorities at the hands of the majority, isn’t it odd that the same political majority can, either through the elected legislature or by a direct vote by the people, impose its will on them yet again?"
Full post at verdict.justia.com.