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Thread: People have really gotten stupid...

  1. #1

    Default People have really gotten stupid...

    Republican Lawmakers Should Stop Enforcing Unconstitutional Supreme Court Decisions

    Wait, what? Since when are those decisions considered unconstitutional?

  2. #2

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    Since they started writing laws of their own...

    Congress makes law (legislators legislate!)
    Supreme Court interprets law (judicial = judges judging the law's validity & constitutionality)

    The current Obamination in the WH failed to pass Civics 101, and has attempted to use the SC to make laws, just as he uses illegal Executive Actions against the spirit of America. He's not long for the WH. Trump HOPEFULLY will FIX ALL OF THIS. God rest the soul of Antonin Scalia!

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnalogRTO View Post
    Republican Lawmakers Should Stop Enforcing Unconstitutional Supreme Court Decisions

    Wait, what? Since when are those decisions considered unconstitutional?
    Interpretation of the Constitution is a dicey thing. What the article is saying is that the author feels the Supreme Court is acting inappropriately in its constitutional role and therefore the executive branch (such as department of Justice, U.S. Marshalls, FBI, IRS, etc.) should just ignore some Supreme Court judgments.

    The article cites a few cases, which I'll address in a minute, but I want to get to the general point first. The basic framework here is that yes, it is in fact possible for a coordinated federal government to ignore the judgments of the federal courts. The reason that isn't done is that rule of law itself is considered extremely valuable. If the courts can be ignored, especially the Supreme Court, then what is the solution for people who are being mistreated? What if the federal government decided that it didn't like religious freedom anymore and now everyone needs to convert to Hinduism (religion selected because afaik nobody has any particular prejudice there)? Or what if the federal government decided that anyone who expressed certain political viewpoints was a criminal and should be put in jail? The courts protect people from tyranny, and by establishing rule of law that is consistently obeyed by the rest of the government, they check the abuses of the other branches. If you break that, the citizenry is suddenly faced with the possibility that armed resistance is the only way to protect their rights, and that is bad.

    How bad, *shrug* I dunno. As the article notes, President Jackson ignored the Supreme Court 150ish years ago and the nation didn't break down into Civil War. Or, well, it did, but probably not because of that. On the other hand, historians universally look back on that and condemn Andrew Jackson for ignoring the Court that way, and the fact that he was universally condemned for doing it has acted as a check on presidents since then. We can say, at the least, that ignoring the court system to get what you want poses a serious risk of violence depending on how often it would be done and in what cases.

    Now, let's look at the cases listed. I'll put this part in spoilers so not everyone needs a wall of text on Constitutional law (and this is the short version).








    Quote Originally Posted by Jamieboy View Post
    The current Obamination in the WH failed to pass Civics 101, and has attempted to use the SC to make laws, just as he uses illegal Executive Actions against the spirit of America. He's not long for the WH. Trump HOPEFULLY will FIX ALL OF THIS. God rest the soul of Antonin Scalia!
    So, I addressed several cases above, but I'd love to also address your point as well. Are there particular cases that you're thinking about. I actually can't think of a case where the Supreme Court made a law rather than interpreting the language in the Constitution and existing law. But if there's a particular case you're thinking about, or several, I'd be happy to go through them and figure out what happened there.

  4. #4

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    ArchieRoni, I read the article myself and had the same take on what the article was proposing versus what the title said. I understand people may have views that are at odds with the Constitution, and by said document, they are allowed to have those viewpoints and discuss them freely.

    What bothered me was that someone decided that Supreme Court decisions could be considered unconstitutional (by the definition in the document they cannot be), titled their article as such, AND it made it past an editor. While some may think it would work as bait to get people to read the article, I would think it would throw the whole article into question when titled as it was.

    Unfortunately, reading a lot of the comments, people are apparently now so poorly educated that they don't recognize this.

  5. #5

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    The crux of the argument is the feeling that, like under the Articles of Confederation, the states' enjoy an absolute right to determine for themselves what is and is not legal inside their borders. Like that issues hasn't ALREADY been decisively decided at least twice now: the Articles were replaced because that's no way to run a country, then that entire mess circa 1860-1865. The 10th Amendment does grant a limited degree of validity to the argument, reserving powers like it does. But, yeah, that entire rant relies on the concept of a static, unchanging social/political landscape against which a static, inflexible guide can be set.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnalogRTO View Post
    Republican Lawmakers Should Stop Enforcing Unconstitutional Supreme Court Decisions

    Wait, what? Since when are those decisions considered unconstitutional?
    I take the federalist with as many grains of salt as I do the Washington Post or Huffington-Puffington. They tend to be just as biased in the other direction. Failing to enforce a decision you consider questionable is wrong. Protest, opine, campaign to change laws, but you can't disregard it.

    As you say, by definition, the Supremes are the final arbiters. That doesn't prevent them from being wrong. The problem is, its much more difficult to correct their errors than it is to repeal and fix a bad law. Once something gets baked into precedent, its almost impossible to get rid of short of Constitutional Amendment. That's intentional, and that's why judicial appointments should be taken seriously, vetted and argued fiercely. Getting a justice with an agenda who doesn't take the original document seriously can unravel the system.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
    As you say, by definition, the Supremes are the final arbiters. That doesn't prevent them from being wrong. The problem is, its much more difficult to correct their errors than it is to repeal and fix a bad law. Once something gets baked into precedent, its almost impossible to get rid of short of Constitutional Amendment. That's intentional, and that's why judicial appointments should be taken seriously, vetted and argued fiercely. Getting a justice with an agenda who doesn't take the original document seriously can unravel the system.
    I actually think precedent is less strong than people give it credit for, going in both directions of the political spectrum. That is, the article in The Federalist complains about the Court overturning its own precedent in the name of a liberal agenda, but there are a number of cases (for example in the topic of gun rights or recent voting rights decisions) where liberals bemoan the court "overturning" its precedents too. In reality, the precedent in a legal case is only as strong as the facts that form the basis for the precedent. When the understanding of experts changes, or when the understanding of a whole society changes, so too do the opinions of the court.

    And this is intentional in the American Constitutional system. The protections guaranteed by the Constitution are broad and meant for interpretation. Freedom of Speech has evolved over time to mean different things and so the same legal rule can lead to different results. This kind of evolution is what got the Court to gay marriage. The decision wasn't "here's a new right." It was "this has been a right all along, but we didn't know it until now because we lacked knowledge and understanding about the experiences of homosexual individuals in society." The real challenge with that case is that the Court might have actually gotten a bit ahead of society at large on that one. That is, there is a serious debate about what marriage means and what kind of right marriage is, and if the Court did make a mistake (to be clear, I don't think they did, but others may disagree), it's not because they made up new law but rather that they thought society had decided that marriage was one of the things covered by the existing rights in the Constitution when actually not everyone agrees with that characterization of marriage.

  8. #8

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    Getting back to the article-at-large.

    It's an opinion piece written by a "political activist". I would have given it deeper thought had it been written by someone with actual credentials. About as insightful as The Donald Duck threatening NYT for libel.

    --sf

  9. #9

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    Nuked 13 posts as off-topic. Let's stick to the topic at hand, please. Comments on the courts are on-topic; arguing over whether or not same-sex marriage should be legal are not.

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