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Republican lawmakers in two states are trying to give themselves power to overrule courts

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Two state legislatures are considering measures that would allow lawmakers to overrule decisions by Supreme Court majorities — and one Florida Republican wants to change the U.S. Constitution to allow Congress to do the same.

In Florida, state Rep. Julio Gonzalez (R-Venice) has filed two bills that would allow the state legislature or the U.S. Congress “to override or nullify court decisions.”

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House Joint Resolution 121 would allow lawmakers to undo any state court decision by a two-thirds vote for up to five years, and House Memorial 125 would permit Congress to propose a similar constitutional amendment to give themselves the power to nullify federal court decisions.

Gonzalez, an orthopedic surgeon, said the bills are necessary because judges are often unaccountable to voters and unable to decide cases without considering their practical or political impact.

“(The legislation) would curtail the tendency of activist judges to manipulate the law to suit their political views and agendas,” Gonzalez said. “Equally as important, this would force the people to engage the Legislature in enacting rectifications to current laws that they see as objectionable or flawed, restoring the natural relationship between the people and their legislative bodies. This would also force the electorate to more carefully look at their candidates and their actions during times of re-election.”

Washington is considering a similar measure that would allow lawmakers to “reject the determination of the court” by a simple majority on cases where the state’s Supreme Court rules an act unconstitutional.

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State Rep. John Koster (R-Arlington Heights), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said he supports the measure because he believes the court overstepped its authority in deciding a lawsuit on education funding.

“It’s a worthy effort to tap (judges) on the shoulder and remind them of separation of powers,” said Koster, who admits the bill might not pass.

Gonzalez identified rulings on public displays of religion — including holiday celebrations and school prayer — and laws against flag-burning as his justification for the bills.

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“The argument that the Legislature’s newly acquired authority would encroach upon the judiciary’s power actually turns reality upon its head, as, presently, it is the judiciary that is improperly encroaching upon the people and their legislatures, and it is that encroachment that this amendment is designed to correct,” Gonzalez said.

Meanwhile in Alabama, two lawmakers — one Democrat and one Republican — have proposed legislation that would prohibit judges from imposing the death penalty when juries recommend life imprisonment.

Alabama is the only state that allows judges to override a jury’s recommendation in death penalty cases after Delaware’s Supreme Court struck down its state law in August as unconstitutional.

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The Kansas Senate approved a bill last year that would have allowed Supreme Court justices to be impeached for discourteous conduct or “attempting to usurp” legislative power, but that measure died in a House committee.

New Jersey lawmakers have also considered measures in recent years that would have given them additional power over the judicial branch.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘Same lies, but she gets to sit’: Sarah Sanders roasted for taking Fox News job weeks after resigning as top Trump flack

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Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, whose dishonesty was so infamous that it even earned a mention in special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, is taking a job at Fox News.

According to journalist Yashar Ali, Sanders has been hired as a contributor and "she'll be making her debut September 6th on Fox & Friends."

NEWS: @SarahHuckabee is joining the Fox News Channel as a contributor.

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‘Hypocritical’ Republicans busted for disappearing now that Trump has exploded the deficit

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In a "Reality Check" segment on CNN on Thursday morning, contributor John Avlon called out GOP fiscal hawks who have suddenly disappeared from the public square now that a Republican president has exploded the national debt.

Introduced by host John Berman, who asked, "This morning new numbers from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirm it: The national debt and deficit are much worse than thought. So where is the party of fiscal responsibility in times like these?" Avlon broke it down.

"While President Trump was busy proclaiming himself 'the chosen one,' you might have missed more bad news in the form of data," Avlon smirked. "Brand new CBO numbers shows the budget deficit is skyrocketing, projected to rise 25 percent over last year and heading to over $1 trillion next year. Tax revenues are $430 billion below where they were expected to be before the Trump tax cuts while spending in is in drunken sailor territory adding $1.7 trillion in the next decade."

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Man claiming to be the messiah and ranting about mental illness arrested as potential mass shooter

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A Pennsylvania man ranting about being the second coming of Christ and mental health was arrested as a potential mass shooter just hours before President Donald Trump made similar claims from the White House.

Police said Edwin Leech walked into the Victory Family Church in Cranberry Township shortly after 6 a.m. during a special "21 Days of Prayer" service and sat down among the worshipers, who were alarmed by some of his questions, reported KDKA-TV.

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