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Old 06-28-2015, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna.
11,382 posts, read 6,790,399 times
Reputation: 14425

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Last week, we witnessed two important (though probably not as monumental as hyped) decisions by the United states Supreme Court. The overwhelming majority of the thousands of posts on these opinions since them have expressed either unqualified praise or absolute outrage. I have my personal opinions in these matters, but it's not my intention to voice them here -- only to express my concern over the rancor and oversimplification with which these actions have been received.

I came of age at a time when a great variety of issues found themselves before what came to be called the "Warren Court" -- desegregation, school prayer, criminal defendants' rights and many more, It was a time when many justices -- Warren, Byron White, Potter Stewart, John Paul Stevens, and others -- could be counted upon to examine the issues, and often ended up providing an outlook which was a lot different than what the party in power expected. Warren spoke at my graduation from college, and when a student in my home town wrote to Justice Stewart regarding his role in the school prayer decision, a personal reply was received.

Regrettably, I can cite few examples of such independence in the makeup of the current Supreme Court; most of the present justices appear to identify directly with one side of the nation's current polarization, and if one of them deviates from the "expected" path, the motive is sometimes cited as little more than a desire for a place in the history books.

Whatever happened to Constitutional Law, to the importance of precedent, and to respect for the system of checks and balances? The desire for expediency, and the belief that the end justifies the means, seem destined to undermine beliefs which have been inculcated in many of us since we first were introduced to the delicate art of statecraft.
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:30 PM
 
7,325 posts, read 3,751,797 times
Reputation: 9073
Personally, I don't hold to the idea that there was once this nobler time for the government, its leaders or politics in general. Ever since Mabry v Madison, there are those who feel at one time or another the Court has either ignored, abused or rewritten the Constitution for expediency, personal or partisan politics. Maybe tomorrow I'll have some time to point out some of those points in history.
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Old 06-28-2015, 11:16 PM
 
48,519 posts, read 81,030,761 times
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If anything people should see courts cannot enforce what large number do not agree with. That is why so many laws are compromises to actual make it under rule of law. Especially today when even federal governments ignores laws they not want to enforce. Nations often collapse from within once rule of law disappears. Its called anarchy.
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Old 06-29-2015, 01:08 AM
 
3,942 posts, read 3,874,434 times
Reputation: 4682
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
Last week, we witnessed two important (though probably not as monumental as hyped) decisions by the United states Supreme Court. The overwhelming majority of the thousands of posts on these opinions since them have expressed either unqualified praise or absolute outrage. I have my personal opinions in these matters, but it's not my intention to voice them here -- only to express my concern over the rancor and oversimplification with which these actions have been received.

I came of age at a time when a great variety of issues found themselves before what came to be called the "Warren Court" -- desegregation, school prayer, criminal defendants' rights and many more, It was a time when many justices -- Warren, Byron White, Potter Stewart, John Paul Stevens, and others -- could be counted upon to examine the issues, and often ended up providing an outlook which was a lot different than what the party in power expected. Warren spoke at my graduation from college, and when a student in my home town wrote to Justice Stewart regarding his role in the school prayer decision, a personal reply was received.

Regrettably, I can cite few examples of such independence in the makeup of the current Supreme Court; most of the present justices appear to identify directly with one side of the nation's current polarization, and if one of them deviates from the "expected" path, the motive is sometimes cited as little more than a desire for a place in the history books.

Whatever happened to Constitutional Law, to the importance of precedent, and to respect for the system of checks and balances? The desire for expediency, and the belief that the end justifies the means, seem destined to undermine beliefs which have been inculcated in many of us since we first were introduced to the delicate art of statecraft.
The judiciary system was already effed up when bush II entered the system, and apparently most of the judges have conservative leanings. What checks and balances really exist?

Have you considered the possibilities that the U.S. is no longer a democracy, and probably was not for a long loooooooong time.
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Old 06-29-2015, 05:38 AM
 
1,820 posts, read 1,240,669 times
Reputation: 1091
We are and always have been a republic based on principles of representational democracy. The founders went to great lengths to keep us from becoming an actual democracy. To the people who wrote the phrase, "We, the People" meant themselves -- educated, white, male land-owners. Nobody else was invited to the party.
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Old 06-29-2015, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna.
11,382 posts, read 6,790,399 times
Reputation: 14425
Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Barbara View Post
We are and always have been a republic based on principles of representational democracy. The founders went to great lengths to keep us from becoming an actual democracy. To the people who wrote the phrase, "We, the People" meant themselves -- educated, white, male land-owners. Nobody else was invited to the party.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kat949 View Post
The judiciary system was already effed up when bush II entered the system, and apparently most of the judges have conservative leanings. What checks and balances really exist?

Have you considered the possibilities that the U.S. is no longer a democracy, and probably was not for a long loooooooong time.
Alexis de Tocqueville, the Frenchman who visited America in the early Nineteenth Century and wrote extensively on his experience, theorized that democracy in America would last only as long a the masses were prevented from looting the Treasury via the ballot box. That unfortunate trend was precisely what contributed most heavily to the corruption of France and the loss of her prominence to the British, who kept a tighter rein on things -- at least for a while.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexis_de_Tocqueville

The United States has, at least up until the present day, done even better in this respect; in the truest spirit of the early stirrings of parliamentary democracy in the Eighteenth Century -- what came to be called the Enlightenment -- the propertied few wisely recognized that the franchise could be extended only to a point where the majority of eligible voters entered the voting booth more concerned with what they had to lose, rather than what they had to gain, presumably at the expense of those demonized by the malcontents and rabble-rousers.

To date, this process has been highly successful. But the ascendancy of the current Administration and the coalition of various one-issue and special-interest groups behind it, (and most of whom preach "democracy" only for the purposes of supposed redistribution of wealth -- they are quite Fascistic when issues involving "Political Correctness" are raised), obviously has a number of groups among the conservative coalition worried -- particularly those who cling to religiously-grounded social and sexual issues, rather than economic conservatism; hence, the continuing and intensifying polarization.

No one knows as yet if either of thee groups will come out on top, or what will happen if one gains a clear majority; but those who believe in the slow-but-consistent evolution of a Constitutional system based on strict constructionism and adherence to precedent are clearly losing ground at this point.

I don't like to think about it, but since mature individuals and nations don't settle their differences on the battlefield, some among us might live to see a "friendly divorce" between Blue and Red America, as with the former Czechoslovakia a few years ago. I harbor few doubts over which of the two would "win" via a recognition that personal and economic freedoms are unitary and indivisible, but it would be a tragedy nonetheless.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 06-29-2015 at 11:26 AM..
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