The Champion

June 2003 , Page 6 

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Who’s Afraid of the Federal Judiciary? Why Congress’ fear of judicial sentencing discretion may undermine a generation of reform

By Mark H. Allenbaugh

The great object of my fear is the federal judiciary. That body, like gravity, ever acting with noiseless foot & unalarming advance, [is] gaining ground step by step. . . . Let the eye of vigilance never be closed.
— Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Spencer Roane, Mar. 9, 1821, as quoted in James F. Simon,
What Kind of Nation 9 (2002).

If the hundreds of American judges who sit on criminal cases were polled as to what was the most trying facet of their jobs, the vast majority would almost certainly answer “Sentencing.” In no other judicial function is the judge more alone; no other act of his carries greater potentialities for good or evil than the determination of how society will treat its transgressors.
— Hon. Irving R. Kaufman, United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York, “Sentencing: The Judge’s Problem,” in The Atlantic Monthly (Jan. 1960).

In 1951, Judge Kaufman sentenced Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to death for espionage, which wer

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