Marxist IQ: The judiciary and the question of impeachment

BY:Communist Party USA| December 11, 2019
Marxist IQ: The judiciary and the question of impeachment


While the country continues to focus on the impeachment crisis, the GOP-dominated Senate continues to appoint extreme rightists to the federal judiciary, creating a barrier to advance progressive social legislation, civil rights, and civil liberties in the future. This Marxist IQ is dedicated to the role of the judiciary and the question of impeachment.

1. The U.S. Constitution

a. gave the Supreme Court the right to review and repeal laws passed by local, state, and federal governments;
b. gave the Supreme Court the right to initiate legislation;
c. did not give the Supreme Court the specific right of judicial review of laws passed by local, state, and federal governments;
d. called for elected Supreme Court justices.

2. Grounds for impeachment of Executive and Judicial officials under the Constitution, while they are often interpreted very narrowly, fall into two broad categories which the authors of the Constitution fought against during the Revolution. These categories are

a. Atheism and support for universal suffrage;
b. Support for income taxes and gun control;
c. Tyranny and corruption;
d. Support for free trade with Czarist Russia and the Chinese empire.

3. Although “conservatives” denounced the Supreme Court for “judicial activism” because of its civil rights and civil liberties decisions after World War II

a. the court’s “judicial activism” before the Depression and in recent decades has been used mostly against labor and social welfare legislation;
b. the court’s “judicial activism” before the depression and in recent decades has been  used mostly against the regulation of corporations;
c. the court, whose members are appointed for life, is least amenable to mass democratic pressure;
b. All of the above.

4. Faced with a right-wing-dominated Supreme Court which threatened to repeal the National Labor Relations Act, Social Security, and Unemployment Insurance, and had already declared state minimum-wage laws unconstitutional, the Roosevelt administration

a. quietly accepted these decisions;
b. criticized the Court for these decisions;
c. sought behind-the-scenes compromises with the court;
d. launched a bold campaign to reorganize the Court by expanding the number of judges, a campaign which was defeated only after the Court upheld the National Labor Relations Act and Social Security.

5. From the late 1930s to the early 1970s, the federal judiciary, focusing on the General Welfare clause of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, increased both government’s power to regulate business and enact social legislation and the right of political minorities and minority groups, those whose rights most needed protection, to be protected from private and public infringements of their rights under the Bill of Rights. The present Supreme Court decisions

a. continue these pro social welfare, civil rights, civil liberties policies;
b. substitute corporations and the rich for trade unions and  political and ethnic minorities, in effect turning these policies upside down;
c. are a precedent for advancing civil liberties and civil rights for all;
d. call upon progressives to raise more money for elections, which will be good for the economy.

6. In the 1930s, CPUSA activists played a leading role in creating a mass organization of lawyers to both fight for the rights of the legal profession and serve as a center to defend the rights of the working class and oppressed minorities. This organization, which continues to exist, is

a. the American Bar Association;
b. the National Lawyers Guild;
c. the Federalist Society;
d. the Brookings Institution.

7. In a number of cities and states attempts to democratize the judiciary have included

a. election of judges to state supreme courts and other courts;
b. televised debates among judges concerning judicial decisions;
c. Civil Service examinations for judges;
d. All of the above.



  • A question for readers of this IQ. In the near future, after Trump and his supporters are defeated decisively, the people of the United States will quite possibly face a crisis over the ultra-right’s judicial power, even greater than the crisis of the 1930s. What policies do readers think that the CPUSA and the broad left should advance to create a progressive judicial system? Send your ideas to:




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