There is no power above them [the Courts] to control any of their decisions. There is no authority that can remove them, and they cannot be controlled by the laws of the legislature. In short, they are independent of the people, of the legislature, and of every power under heaven. Men placed in this situation will generally soon feel themselves independent of heaven itself.
You seem to consider the judges the ultimate arbiter of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our Judges and their power are the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and are not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. When the legislative or executive functionaries act unconstitutionally, they are responsible to the people in their elective capacity. The exemption of judges from that is quite dangerous.
Scarcely any political question arises in the United States that is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question.
The President, who exercises a limited power, may err without causing great mischief in the state. Congress may decide amiss without destroying the union, because the electoral body may cause it to retract its decision. But if the Supreme Court is ever composed of imprudent or bad men, the Union may be plunged into anarchy or civil war.
- Limit the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court per Article III, Section2, Clause 2 of the Constitution, which explicitly grants Congress the authority to regulate and limit the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Even the first Chief Justice, John Marshall, acknowledged that the court has no jurisdiction other than what Congress grants it (except for a few spheres of original jurisdiction per Article III).
- Abolish or severely curtail judicial review for the lower courts as the Congress created and can break, divide, or regulate them at will. Per Article 1, Section 8 and the judicial vesting clause of Article III, Section1, the legislative branch has full authority over the creation of all courts below the Supreme Court.
- Defund enforcement of unconstitutional court decisions. As noted above in Federalist 78, Hamilton was unconcerned that the Courts would become all-powerful as they had no means of enforcing their decisions. Therefore, the executive branch could simply refuse to enforce their edicts and the Congress could cut off funding for enforcement in reaction to the court’s absurd behavior.
- Congress can redraw and change the boundaries of the circuit courts or even eliminate them entirely if they care to and create new ones with new judges.
Nonetheless, the framers of the Constitution gave the citizenry one last opportunity to rein in a runaway Judiciary. A Constitutional Convention to amend the Constitution can be convened by the States per Article V. A convention to consider pre-agreed to amendments can be called by 34 states and any amendments adopted by the convention must then be ratified by 37 states.
Mark Levin in his seminal book The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic calls for such a convention to consider two amendments to rein in the Judiciary. The first, limit the terms of all federal judges to 12 years; and the second, Congress can overturn court decisions with the vote of 3/5 of both houses of Congress or 3/5 of the states (30) can vote to overturn judicial decisions.
Since Marbury v. Madison in 1803, the Federal Courts have been gradually aggregating more power to themselves than what the founders originally envisioned. However, over the past 50 years the Judiciary has become an out of control and unaccountable bludgeon beholden to the statists bent on transforming the nation.
In every electoral cycle an overwhelming majority of the populace is entirely focused on the entertainment aspect of the winner-take-all feature in elections while ignoring the unfettered role of the Federal Judiciary as a whole. It matters only on the margins whether it is a Donald Trump, a Ted Cruz or any constitutional conservative who may win the presidency, as any of their actions or policies the statists disagree with can be thwarted or interminably delayed by unending filings, appeals and judgements in the Courts. Unless and until the Congress acts or a Convention of the States is convened, America will continue to be held hostage by the Federal Judiciary as they proceed apace seizing the authority delegated to the President and Congress as these past few weeks have amply displayed.