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Marbury v. Madison

Discussion in 'Historical Events & Figures' started by Libsmasher, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. Libsmasher

    Libsmasher New Member

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    Ask any lib poly sci prof (like there is any other kind :rolleyes:), or any lawyer, what he thinks of this USSC decision, and his eyes will glow, he'll get practically orgasmic. This is the decision by which the USSC usurped an imaginary power of "judicial review", an ability to strike down laws passed by congress. This alleged power appears nowhere in the constitution, and such a sweeping and paramount power certainly would have been explicitly stated by the Founders if any such thing were intended.

    Libs love it, because they are growing ever more fascistic and anti-democratic as the years go by, they are authoritarians at heart, and they just LOVE it when they only have to get the approval of lib judges to wipe away the will of the people.

    The decision itself is probably the worst USSC decision in history, other than Roe v. Wade. Here are criticisms from wiki

     
  2. dahermit

    dahermit New Member

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    Not only do the Libs love it, but people like me love it when they rule in favor of a personal right when it comes to the Second Amendment. So it seems that most people have no quarrel with the Supreme Court as long as they support the views of those same people. I doubt if you would be so unhappy with the court if they had ruled the other way in Row v. Wade.
     
  3. Libsmasher

    Libsmasher New Member

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    Uh, you're wrong. Almost by definition, rulings conservatives like will adhere to the plain meaning of the constitution - the Washington DC gun law ruling recently was a simple upholding of a crystal clear right. Roe v. Wade on the other hand, was one of the most convuluted unconvincing intellectual exercizes that has ever occurred. First, they imagined an unprecedented right to privacy, and then they said that implies a right to abortion, and with an entirely arbitrary cutoff for the right, that wasn't grounded in any fact, law, ethics or even reason. If you've never read the whole decision, you should do it - it's amazing.

    But in any case, i will take my chances with a democratically elected legislature, instead of an unelected court-for-life - geez that'spretty close to the definition of king.
     
  4. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    The Supreme Court have made some pretty crappy decisions. No one who's heard of Dred Scott would dispute that.

    Still, people not only tolerate it's existence, but attempts to "subvert" it in the past have been met with violent resistance. Recall the Judiciary Reorganization Bill of 1937 - the piece of legislation that even the people of the day referred to as FDR "going too far." The Supreme Court of the earlier 30s had been pretty hostile towards Roosevelt, striking down a number of New Deal programs (those New Deal programs were, by the way, enacted by a democratically-elected legislature - one that you would have been proud of, Libsmasher?). Roosevelt attempted to pass legislation that would have given him the ability to appoint new Supreme Court justices as he saw fit - in essence, allowing him to pack the court. The people and the legislature were overwhelmingly opposed to it - they didn't want to see anyone subverting the Court, even if the Court was striking down the legislation that they voted people into office for.

    My question is: What would you like to do about the Supreme Court?
     
  5. Libsmasher

    Libsmasher New Member

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    Nor Plessy v. Ferguson, nor Bush v. Gore, nor Kelo v. City of New London, nor many more.

    They need to have their consciousnesses raised. :rolleyes:

    Sure - FDR's attempt at packing the court was a brazen power grab, but that doesn't mean people won't understand the unacceptability of the USSC's 200 year old power grab when/if it is explained to them.

    Those USSC decisions were justified, and I'm MUCH happier with the decisions of an elected body that sometimes makes bad decisions, even occasionally very bad ones, since new members come all the time and mistakes aren't written in stone. Compare that with the justices whose decisions are worshipped as the manifest "law of the land", like tablets handed down to Moses.

    Simple. they go back to their constitutional mandate of deciding cases with two parties that rise to their level. The review power is removed. All previous striking down of laws remains in effect, until and unless they are reinstated.

    Also, terms are established for justices not exceeding ten years. Maybe 15.
     
  6. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    Timing is a key factor. Marbury vs. Madison was decided in 1803, when the Constitution was almost sixteen years old. Most of the founding fathers, Washington of course excluded, were still around in 1803. I can't help but think that if Marshall's judicial review had violated what had been intended by the Constitution, the founders would have raised holy hell. I've never read anything by any of them commenting on judicial review. Have you?

    No Supreme Court decision is "written in stone." Furthermore, which branch of the government is hero-worshipped by the people is subjective, relative to the popularity of their decisions. During the early half of the nineteenth century, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, and Daniel Webster were all members of Congress, beloved by the public for their ability to keep the country out of war. In retrospect we see that their abilities only delayed the war, but that's immaterial; the people of the day tended to like the three of them a lot. There was outrage when Clay's Missouri Compromise was struck down by the introduction of popular sovereignty in the Kansas-Nebraska Act. (I do hope I have all those right - I'm quoting from memory, only a couple minutes before class starts).

    Basically, if you dislike which branch of government is approved of by the public, just wait a little while for the wind to shift. It always does.

    Who, then, would you say deserves the power to review laws? Congress? Congress already does things at the relative speed of a disabled, undermotivated snail.

    Or would you simply do away with the concept of review altogether?
     
  7. Libsmasher

    Libsmasher New Member

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    Sure. In 1804 John Adams (in France) wrote to Abigail Adams: "[T]he opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are Constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action, but for the legislature and executive also in their spheres, would make the judiciary a despotic branch."

    More generally, Hamilton wrote about the judiciary branch of the federal government in Federalist 78 "[the judiciary] will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the constitution, because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them." and "[the judiciary] is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of government; that it can never attack with success either of the other two"

    Boy, would HE be surprised if he saw how things turned out.

    Yeah, it can overturn itself (very rare). And it can be overturned with a constitutional amendment - extremely difficult and how often does it happen? Plessy v. Ferguson lasted 58 years.

    I should change my comment to mean worshipped by the establishment, not ordinary people. How often has one heard or read some liberal pompously reminding everyone that pro-choice abortion is the "law of the land", in a tone that suggests it's the equivalent of the Magna Carta? :)

    Waiting for the USSC to "shift" is not "waiting a little" - eg it's been predominately liberal for almost 70 years.

    Do away with it completely - review isn't appropriate to legislation in a democracy - only disputes between parties, resolveable with the existing law, not overturning the law. Do we live in a democracy, or don't we? The USSC is a handful of people who, experience has shown, can twist the constitution to get whatever result they want. They aren't elected and can stay there for decades.

    Side note: Their periphenalia is offensive to me. They're called "justices", not judges, as if they physically incorporate justice, as if they were gods. The USSC building is also made to loke like a temple. They wear robes like priests, and sit on a high dais, a throwback to monarchical practices. The federal government ought to move them to space in an office building, and turn their building into a museum.
     
  8. Mr. Carpenter

    Mr. Carpenter New Member

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    I seemed to recall having read of some rather interesting objections while I was in college, by none other than Jefferson himself.

    Jefferson already answered that question.

    Article 3 of the Constitution describes the powers granted to the judiciary, and as Justice Marshall himself noted, the court lacked the original jurisdiction to even hear the case, which renders any ruling in the case moot.
     
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