Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Do you feel that US Supreme court is
America's Debate > Archive > Policy Debate Archive > [A] Domestic Policy
Google
Juber3
The Terry Schivo case brought this topic to my mind when the courts demanded that the feeding tube be removed. However, Governor Jub Bush (or what ever his name is) was saying that he has no power any more. Do you feel the the courts are too powerful?
Google
lederuvdapac
Well, the Supreme Court is the MOST powerful court in the world. No other court in any other country has the same power. Some are similar but there is no comparison. I thnik the SC is very powerful even though it was never meant to be. The FFs always thought of it to be the weakest branch when forming the Constitution. CJ John Marshall changed this with Marbury v. Madison and the decision that courts had judicial review.

But when you think about it...all branches have tremendous power. The American Legislation (House and Senate) are probably just as powerful as any other legislature in the world as it has numerous checks and powers. Same for the president. The only other president of a democratic nation who may exceed the US in power is France.

So as we can see...all branches have immense powers and checks on the other. Some checks however are more practical than others. For instance, vetos, votes, exc...are all practical actions. Chaning the Constitution with an amendment is very difficult as it should be...but it is the ONLY check on the judiciary. So the only possible leverage the other two branches have against the SC is changing the Constitution...the hardest check to implement. This is why some people want more checks on that power.

The judges aren't elected by the people so some come to wonder why they have to give ultimate legitimacy over matters that are not listed in the Constitution. Most people on the SC know this...and would rather leave such issues to the states or the legislatures...which is why they deny certain cases. They want to maintain the status quo as much as possible. Because if they kept changing decisions...the entire basis of our legal system would collapse.

Courts have a lot of power. IMO they have the potential for weilding the most power if they so choose. Perhaps another check would be good...but i dont know what to do.
DaffyGrl
Do you feel the the courts are too powerful?

Please, Juber, you must be kidding. Poor Jeb feels he doesn't have any power? wacko.gif He should never have been involved in the first place. He should not have the power to make a decision for someone not in his family. The courts are there to make sure the law is followed, which is what they did. And the Supreme Court not becoming involved is lawful.

Just because some politicians want to do an end run around the laws to make a name for themselves does not mean the courts are "too powerful".

Edited typo.

This columnist said it much more eloquently than I did:
QUOTE
CONGRESS AND President Bush earned the disdain of Americans with their clumsy attempt to intervene in the case of Terri Schiavo. One branch of government -- the judiciary -- fulfilled its role in a government of checks and balances by standing up for the decision of the judge who actually heard the evidence. Americans should keep this example of principled independence in mind in coming weeks as the Bush administration tries again to foist upon the country federal judges whose records display not independence but slavish adherence to ideology. Boston Globe
Juber3
No, it is not about the case. It is about something way more powerful. I know that there are certain limitations to the courts. But do you think that they have too much power even for a supreme court for a state. I mean it makes Jeb Buss believe that he has no power, when he should be able to do something to overrule the court therefor creating a check and balance on that court.

QUOTE
It frequently mystifies me that just five judges can overturn laws that are supported by heavy majorities of the American people and we have little or no recourse. Given the Supreme Court's growing reliance on international law over our Constitution, the judiciary is gaining more power than ever. Judges have been constrained by the Constitution in the past, but now it seems they are beginning to justify their opinions in other ways. Excerpt:


It involves We The People reasserting our authority over a runaway Court. Our Constitution creates a framework for the judiciary, but Congress has the authority to fill in the blanks...an authority they've largely ceded. The first step therefore becomes getting our elected representatives to take their responsibility seriously and protect us all from judicial overreach. They have to set limits on the jurisdiction of the Court. The structure of the lower courts can stand to be reviewed, Congress should be given the power to veto Court decisions, and in my opinion the granting of lifetime terms can also stand a little "Congressional review." We need to get back to the idea of representative government, so if a Court decision comes forth that is so repugnant to us there is recourse, instead of the dictat of five lawyers wearing black robes. The bottom line is there's an imbalance that exists between the Court and the other two branches of government, and it needs to be rectified.


http://homepage.mac.com/bryansmith/iblog/B...279/E676270905/
Hugo
It is the federal government that is too powerful. This includes all three branches of government. Your Jeb Bush example is not in align with the title of this debate so I am not sure where to go it. We do have a precedent for governor's acting in the cause of an individual and overruling the courts and that is clemency granted to prisoners. This has to be allowed in the state constitution which is usually capable of being amended by the state legislature. Legislatures do, usually, have the power to override a court decision through legislation though this varies by state. Some states require certain constitutional changes to be voted on directly.

Before the 14th Amendment the primary function of the USSC was to hold the executive and legislative branches of the federal government in line with the Constitution. Since the 14th Amendment, and particularly since FDR's attempt at packing the USSC, the Supreme Court has not fulfilled it's function of limiting abuse of federal power and instead has made a mockery of our Constitution. Since 1865 the USSC has aided and abetted the growth of an unconstitutional, and tyrannical, federal government both through judicial legislating and ignoring the encroachments of Congress on matters that constitutionally should be left to the states.
Jack22
QUOTE(Juber3 @ Apr 8 2005, 12:49 PM)
Do you feel the the courts are too powerful?
*



I'll reply with part of a sidebar response I just put in a different thread that addresses this issue as well. I know reproducing responses from one thread to another is not normally a good practice, but it was not the central topic of the debate in the other thread, only a supporting example.

I had asserted that benevolent dictatorships inevitably turn malevolent, while the other person in the debate mentioned some doubt that benevolent dictatorships could work even in the short term. I used the US judicial system as an example...

QUOTE(Jack22)
You and I might disagree about benevolent dictatorships working in the short term-- if the person or people dictating law are truly benevolent, they will very often (if not always) make the judgements that are in the best interest of the people and do not violate morals, ethics, or utilitarian concerns-- such benevolent dictators could arrive at decisions very quickly and could cut out all the expense and mess generated by representative democracies-- no expensive elections, no long debates, no campaign corruption, no political arguments that pit one half of the population against the other-- everywhere there is peace, harmony and efficiency. The only fly in the ointment is "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"-- benevolence plus power yields malevolence-- human nature has an ugly side. This was the central issue of the reformation, the enlightenment, and ultimately the American Revolution. But before that, history records some dictatorships temporarily being both effective and benevolent-- they were abolished only because people realized that the great catastrophes of malevolence were no longer an acceptible risk.

For an example, take the United States-- we are organized under Judicial Review and anti-constructionism as a judicial dictatorship that has a component of representative democracy-- but when the rubber meets the road, it is ultimately judges who dictate law. When the judicial dictators are benevolent, everything works fine-- but if they ever turn malevolent or capricious in overturning democratically-enacted laws of the land that do not specifically voilate (sic) the word or intent of the Constitution-- our benevolent judicial dictatorship has just become a malevolent judicial dictatorship. The only long-term solution I can see to this structural weakness is to check Judicial Review with a constitutional amendment giving Congress the same check on Judicial Review that it has on the Presidential Veto-- mustering a 2/3 majority in both houses of Congress is such a long shot that it is only presumed to happen when the other branch of government is really and truly wrong. Then, we would be structurally rebalanced into a representative democracy with an element of judicial dictatorship, rather than vice versa. Judicial Review is not in the Constitution-- it was orignially asserted by the principle of Silent Consent, that the People would pass an amendment to control it if it were to ever get out of hand. I believe that time has come.
CruisingRam
I do not think it is powerful enough- when you have a country tilting towards one party rule and wishing to start chipping away at civil liberties and individual freedom like this administration, and really every administration since Reagan, I think the ability of the USSC to say "huh uh, no way" saves the day. I totally reject the idea, and really propaganda by the right, of the notion of "activist judges"- in every case, they are the hero's that save the day from demagogues that rule the day today, but hopefully not forever. I think when we saw the Christian coalition start lobbying to stack the court in thier favor, it highlighted, for me more than ever, how independent of the lawmaking/executive branches they need to be.
Jack22
QUOTE(CruisingRam @ Apr 8 2005, 02:47 PM)
I do not think it is powerful enough- when you have a country tilting towards one party rule and wishing to start chipping away at civil liberties and individual freedom like this administration, and really every administration since Reagan, I think the ability of the USSC to say "huh uh, no way" saves the day. I totally reject the idea, and really propaganda by the right, of the notion of "activist judges"- in every case, they are the hero's that save the day from demagogues that rule the day today, but hopefully not forever. I think when we saw the Christian coalition start lobbying to stack the court in thier favor, it highlighted, for me more than ever, how independent of the lawmaking/executive branches they need to be.
*



What if the mid-term elections were to give Republicans control of 61 seats in the Senate, three non-constructionist Justices died or retired, and Bush successfully stacked the court with right-wingers who subsequently overruled Roe v. Wade and a host of other anti-democratic court-imposed laws that (had previously) supported liberalism. Would you change your mind about the Court having too much power?

I think both extremes are too dangerous to continue allowing. When Justices are practicing restraint, the system we have, a judicial dictatorship, works just fine because it is usually benevolent-- but we don't all agree what qualifies as benevolence, and such disagreements are best resolved at some point by the elected representatives of the people rather than appointed dictators having the final say, IMHO.

edited for clarity
Jaime

Topic closed...


Reason: Question to debate too vague. Questions asking "how do you feel..." will be closed.

Recommended action:
If you started this topic, please contact the staff member who closed it by clicking the PM button below this post with a clear question to debate.

Helpful links:
- Starting New Topics
- Survival Guide
- The Rules
- Staff Directory

Note: This is an automated response.

Google
This is a simplified version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2014 Invision Power Services, Inc.