Monday, May 11, 2015

End Judicial Review

There are times when someone says something which leaves you cheering. Dr. Ben Carson, recent entrant into the Republican presidential race, has said such a thing. He has asked, essentially, whether a President must enforce the rulings of the Supreme Court.

Here, here Dr. Carson, bravo. Our children are being told in school as we were when we were locked into K-12 education that our political system is one of checks and balances. Yet no one ever discusses what checks there are to balance the power of the Courts. No one ever asks, why ought judicial decisions, particularly ones so far reaching as those by the Highest Court in the Land, remain unchecked by the powers of the other branches of government?

Think about it. The acts of Congress and the several states are subject to censure. The acts of the President and the Executive branch are subject to censure. Why aren't the acts of the Supreme Court?

The are worthwhile arguments in favor of judicial review (which is what Carson is speaking against). Someone has to have the final say in disputes and we may invite anarchy without such power, and that there is in fact a check on the Supreme Court's power: constitutional amendment. To the second point, you're barking up a tree. Constitutional amendments are so difficult to pass as to be, except in the rarest instances, completely out of the question. As to having the final say, well, who says the Court should? Interestingly, the Court itself.

But why should the Court be seen as the sole determinant of what the United States Constitution means? We aren't talking about the literal and direct application of laws such as theft or murder where guilt and innocence based on hard and legally gained evidence are the main factors. We're talking about interpretation of what the founding document of our nation means. That is not based on strict rules of engagement but on the intention of the framers matched against what is right and true for all times. As another great document says about self evident truths, interpreting the Constitution isn't about human law but about applying the laws of 'Nature and nature's God' to the human condition in a manner proper to all, mindful of justice, and not simply for those who win their case based almost solely on the political makeup of a given Court at a given time.

So to extrapolate a bit on the good Doctor's point, why can't a President simply ignore the Court? Made of people just as the Congress and whomever occupies the White House, it is as likely to be wrong in its opinions as they. But at the very least, why shouldn't we at least rid ourselves of judicial review as it really isn't about the Constitution anyway but about what five Justices may happen to think at one time?

Ben Carson may just have won our vote on this issue alone.

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