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Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States reads:

“The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.”

A new poll, discussed in numerous publications, taken by the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, claims (somehow) one in three Americans are willing to entertain the notion of abolishing the Supreme Court or diminishing the court’s jurisdiction.

I question the validity of any polls these days. Gone are the calls on landlines at 7 p.m. by cheerful people who seek “advice” in the form of poll questions. If you have a landline, you do not answer these days. There are no cellphone “books.” There are no actual email address compilations. Whatever methodology has been utilized to come up with the 1,008 participants claimed by the Annenberg people, there simply cannot be much “science” involved. Are there people who “invite” pollsters to contact them? We know there are pollsters who “push” to obtain a desired result.

If, in fact, there is some grass-roots movement to force “change” upon the Supreme Court and the federal judicial system, it must be rooted in partisan politics. Donald Trump constantly attacked the Supreme Court at least until he had two appointees confirmed.

The leftists were even more political in their zealous opposition to Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

They demonstrated, screamed, acted the fool, and engaged in an egregious fashion. Compare how Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s “blackface” picture from college was eventually swept under the rug. Nobody swept anything involving Kavanaugh under any rug, even though his judicial credentials were impeccable.

The Annenberg poll found that 34% of “respondents” told the pollsters “it might be better to do away with the court altogether” if it started making rulings that most Americans disagreed with. Let’s think about that for a minute: How many Americans actually applauded the Warren court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education: Separate but equal could not stand.

I would bet a dollar a majority of whites, certainly in the segregated South, were opposed to the Brown decision. So, should Article III have been abolished in 1954? Do we remove one of the three branches of government because a ruling is “unpopular”? That smacks of the Romans: Thumbs up or down.

According to Paul A. Freund in his book, “On Law and Justice,” “efforts to curb the court are as old as the Union itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to “pack” the court by increasing the number of justices so he could appoint Democrats who would uphold all aspects of the New Deal. Fortunately, that scheme did not pan out.

The liberal establishment never protested the makeup of the court for as long as there was a majority of Democrats on the big bench. But years of Republican presidents, who happened to be in office when vacancies occurred, has changed the makeup of the court for now.

Things will turn around down the road. The AOCs of the world will just have to sit on their hands. We simply cannot eliminate the concept of separation of powers because Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer do not like the current makeup of the court.

The other factor that generally goes unnoticed is that judicial leanings tend to change. This is not a hard-and-fast rule. Justices William Brennan and Clarence Thomas never changed. Others have become more liberal or conservative, as the case may be: And I do mean by the case.

An article by John Anderer in USA Today quotes a Gallup poll that the Supreme Court’s approval rating in September 2021 dipped to a new low of 40% after coming in at 49% in July 2021. My friends, anybody with any sense would never make a decision to abolish a branch of government on the basis of a popularity contest. You want pornography, that is pornographic.

The whole “abolish the Supreme Court” movement is the product of Facebook- and Twitter-induced little minds whose preferences and opinions change like the winds on the Outer Banks.

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Bill Bovender practices law in Kingsport. Email him at bovender@hsdlaw.com.