Chief Justice Roberts

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Darkwind, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. Darkwind
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    Darkwind Gold Member

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    With regard to his majority opinion on the Affordable Healthcare Act, the Chief Justice wrote that “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequence of their actions.”

    I found such a comment coming from a Supreme Court Justice remarkable given that the SCOTUS has bitterly held within the power grab that occurred in Marbury v Madison. Since that ruling, it has been the purpose of the Supreme Court to act as a check against the abuses of the other two branches of government.

    I have been wondering how it is then, that the Chief Justice can reconcile his position?

    Consider the structure of our country. We are not a democracy, and though we use a democratic process to elect our Representatives, we are still a Representative Republic. This means that with no exceptions, we elect people to perform duties for society as outlined by our Constitution and established laws. With very few exceptions, there is little option on removing an elected official from office short of waiting for his or her term to end. This means that they hold some extraordinary power. This power can be easily corrupted. Enter the Supreme Court and the Executive Branch. Both these branches of the government act as a check to curb corruption and power grabs by the Congress. In light of this information, the Chief justices written opinion begins to approach absurdity.

    If a Congress were elected that decided to repeal the 13th amendment to the Constitution, would it be the job of the Supreme Court to allow this to happen; because it is not their job to protect the people from the consequences of their actions?

    If Congress decided to pass a law that invalidated Brown vs. The Board of Education, the Supreme Court would, and then have nothing say the matter; they cannot protect the people from the consequences of electing leaders who will write legislation to negate the ruling.

    In Marbury vs. Madison, the Supreme Court took the reins of judicial review as its power against the Congress.

    “Original jurisdiction -- the power to bring cases directly to the Supreme Court -- was the only jurisdictional matter dealt with by the Constitution itself. According to Article III, it applied only to cases "affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls" and to cases "in which the state shall be party." By extending the Court's original jurisdiction to include cases like Marbury's, Congress had exceeded it authority. And when an act of Congress is in conflict with the Constitution, it is, Marshall said, the obligation of the Court to uphold the Constitution because, by Article VI, it is the "supreme law of the land."” (THE SUPREME COURT, 2006)

    Since it is universally agreed upon that the Supreme Court does indeed have the authority to act in protection of the Constitution, Chief Justice Roberts assertion can only be interpreted as wrong.

    I realize that there are a number of people on the Conservative side trying to put as positive a spin as possible on this ruling, but the facts cannot be denied. The Chief Justice was incorrect in his assertion that it is not the job of the Supreme Court to protect the people from a power hungry, abusive Congress. His correct assessment that the mandate is un-Constitutional because the Commerce Clause does not give the Congress power to penalize economic inactivity, and this legislation is clearly an abuse of power by the Congress. Furthermore, the Supreme Court does not have the authority to rewrite the law so that it can pass the smell test of Constitutionality. At best, the most that they could have done was send it back to Congress and tell them to rewrite it.

    Do not allow the possibility that there is now a solid political point that can be used against the President to cloud your judgment on this. The Chief Justice is clearly wrong and showed a level of incompetence, if not outright activism, in his ruling.

    THE SUPREME COURT. (2006). Landmark Cases. The Supreme Court . The Court and Democracy . Landmark Cases . Marbury v. Madison (1803) | PBS
     
  2. NYcarbineer
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    NYcarbineer Diamond Member

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    The majority identified the mandate tax as what it was, regardless of what it was called.
     
  3. C_Clayton_Jones
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    C_Clayton_Jones Diamond Member

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  4. Darkwind
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    Darkwind Gold Member

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    I have no confusion regarding the Chief Justices poorly thought out opinion. There was only one threat of a stain of partisanship with regard to this ruling. That stems from the fact that a Supreme had to actually rewrite the law (A legislative function) in order to protect the power grab of the Congress. This flies directly in the face of the Marbury decision and the purpose of the SCOTUS. In 169 instances, the SCOTUS had overturned, broad and overreaching legislation in order to protect the country and the people from their own shortsightedness.

    Yet in each case, it WAS the job of the court to check the abuse of power from the Congress, regardless of how they were elected.

    The assertion that the Courts is not in the business of protecting the peoel from the Congress is absurd on its face.
     
  5. NYcarbineer
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    NYcarbineer Diamond Member

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    You're misrepresenting the majority opinion; you did so when you conveniently took Roberts' quote out of context.

    With relevant context:

    “Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

    Put another way, what he's saying is,

    if a law is stupid BUT constitutional, it's not the role of the Supreme Court to overturn it.
     

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