Re: Lee Davis: Tennessee Legislature To Claim It Is The Supreme Court?
In response to your editorial dated Jan. 21, 2011, I would submit that Senator Mae Beavers has two advantages over lawyers such as yourself: 1) She is a non-lawyer and not encumbered with judicial misinformation and 2) She can read.
The Tennessee Constitution Art VI, Sec 2 (like Art III, Sec 2 of the U.S. Constitution) provides that the “jurisdiction of this Court shall be appellate only, under such restrictions and regulations as may from time to time be prescribed by law” (U.
S. Constitution: “the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make”).
The decision in Marbury v. Madison did not address that constitutional provision. While the Supreme Court does have the right to decide constitutional issues under the authority of that case and its progeny, it can do so until the Congress or the legislature deprives them of that responsibility. I respectfully suggest that if you read the Constitution which contains the foresaid provisions, then you will see that Senator Beavers knows what she is talking about and apparently you do not and unfortunately most lawyers do not.
The people of Tennessee are blessed to have Mae Beavers as the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee because she reads the Constitution and feels the responsibility to do what it says, including helping fulfill the legislature’s constitutionally-mandated role of judicial review. In addition, I applaud her for filing a bill with the goal of seeking to start a statewide conversation regarding the proper roles and power of the various branches of government.
John Jay Hooker
Friend of the Constitution