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Thread: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

  1. #141
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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    I'll be more clear.

    The fact that something happens from time to time does not mean that that something is proper. The fact that I drive 75 does not mean that the speed limit is 75. Similarly, the fact that the court has often claimed to uncover new rights in the junk drawers and penumbras of the Constitution does not mean that the Constitution was intended as a living document.
    (I'm ignoring the fact that Brown v. Board isn't really an example of this)
    If it wasn't intended to be a living document then where does the role of the SCOTUS come into play? The primary role of that court has been interpretation of the Constitution to new issues and problems since Marbury v. Madison as defined in Article 3 Section 2 of the Constitution. If there was no need for interpretation than the SCOTUS would be nothing more than the ultimate appeals court.

    Of course the role of the SCOTUS in defining the Constitution was decided by the SCOTUS itself, before that the issue wasn't exactly clear on who said what the Constitution said, but the SCOTUS was the natural choice after all since the issues in Marbury v. Madison were of national concern, what other court than the Supreme should hear the case? And the Court decided that it was only the natural choice to decide issues of Constitutional law as issues on the Supreme law should be decided by the Supreme Court. One could argue that the Court was wrong in its decision, but it is a decision that has been in effect for over 200 years.

    BUT then you're back to the same issue there was 200 years ago, who decides what the meaning of the Constitution is? The meaning of many parts many be literally clear, such as the 2nd amendment, but we've already shown that literal define is not the same as legal definition. Otherwise the SCOTUS wouldn't have felt the need to define handguns as arms, and thus protected by the 2nd Amendment, in their last big 2nd Amendment case in 2006. Whereas the literal define of arms would obviously include handguns, legally it may not, which sounds crazy I know. Other parts of the Constitution are unclear literally and only make sense with viewed with through the scope of legal precedent and court rulings. And lastly, what if two individuals or two states or two parties have a disagreement that goes to court and the Constitution is cited as a defense? The ruling of that court will set precedent for Constitutional meaning.

    Personally I think Article 3 was clear on the SCOTUS having this role anyway, but thats the thing about law is that the wording can change meaning with precedent just like in English common law which our system is based.

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    It is a fact that killing is against the law as the current law against murder is understood. That understanding can always change. I doubt it will in this case as the concept is very deeply embedded in our culture.
    How would the "understanding" change? Anyway, that is irrelevant, I'm not talking specifically about murdur, it's just an example. But could you explain how the definition of murder would change?

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by pro-bipartisan View Post
    How would the "understanding" change? Anyway, that is irrelevant, I'm not talking specifically about murdur, it's just an example. But could you explain how the definition of murder would change?
    I can imagine that one way would be for society to keep adding exceptions that move the line between murder and other types of killing. Eventually one culture's conception of murder is different than it previously was.

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    I can imagine that one way would be for society to keep adding exceptions that move the line between murder and other types of killing. Eventually one culture's conception of murder is different than it previously was.
    Okay, I understand your point. But if someone violates what is written in law (whether it is different from now or not) it is still breaking the law. It's just a different law they break.

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by pro-bipartisan View Post
    Okay, I understand your point. But if someone violates what is written in law (whether it is different from now or not) it is still breaking the law. It's just a different law they break.
    If enough of the culture or the ruling elements of that culture deem it that way, than yes.

    To bring it back to the constitution. Liberals and Conservatives largely share different cultures. One's culture is vital to one's understanding of all language. This, I believe, is the main source of the difference how this document is viewed and interpreted. This also explains why something that seems obvious to one person or group is not obvious to another.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 06-03-10 at 06:34 PM.

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by pro-bipartisan View Post
    No, it's a fact. I think you need a little lesson on the difference between these two words. A FACT is "an actual event, happening, etc.," whereas an OPINION is a personal view. If someone says "I killed someone" and killing is against the law it's not an opinion of whether that person broke the law. It is an actualy event or happening that a person killed someone. Therefore it is fact. It is also fact that killing is against the law. Therefore it is a fact that the killer broke the law. How much more breaking down do you need?
    Killing is sometimes OK if you do it in self defense. That's a fact. There are different definitions. Most laws, regulations, contracts, provide their own "definitions" in any form of thereof. It is legal and binding. The dictionary definitions do not count in these matters when it comes to the defined definitions.

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by LiberalAvenger View Post
    Killing is sometimes OK if you do it in self defense. That's a fact. There are different definitions. Most laws, regulations, contracts, provide their own "definitions" in any form of thereof. It is legal and binding. The dictionary definitions do not count in these matters when it comes to the defined definitions.
    Sorry, I should have been more clear. If the law says killing someone under any circumstances is illegal, then you just broke the law.

  8. #148
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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by pro-bipartisan View Post
    No, it's a fact. I think you need a little lesson on the difference between these two words. A FACT is "an actual event, happening, etc.,"...
    As currently defined, yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by pro-bipartisan View Post
    ...whereas an OPINION is a personal view.
    As currently defined, yes.
    Quote Originally Posted by pro-bipartisan View Post
    If someone says "I killed someone" and killing is against the law it's not an opinion of whether that person broke the law. It is an actualy event or happening that a person killed someone. Therefore it is fact. It is also fact that killing is against the law. Therefore it is a fact that the killer broke the law. How much more breaking down do you need?
    If they are correct, and they actually did kill someone (which isn't always the case when someone says "I killed someone").
    If the law as it is defined at the time of the incident says they did something illegal.

    Then, yes, as the current legal definition of things stands, they did in fact break the law.

    However, all laws are based on opinion.

    So while they broke the law in fact, said law only exists because in the opinion of the people and the governing body, that law was needed.

    Thus my statement that it is an opinion.

    Everything is a matter of opinion.
    Education.

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    As currently defined, yes.
    As currently defined, yes.
    If they are correct, and they actually did kill someone (which isn't always the case when someone says "I killed someone").
    If the law as it is defined at the time of the incident says they did something illegal.

    Then, yes, as the current legal definition of things stands, they did in fact break the law.

    However, all laws are based on opinion.

    So while they broke the law in fact, said law only exists because in the opinion of the people and the governing body, that law was needed.

    Thus my statement that it is an opinion.

    Everything is a matter of opinion.
    That was my point, thanks for proving it for me. But I don't understand why you posted irrelevant (to my post at least) statements in your post. I guess Blackdog abandoned you because once (s)he knew you were wrong too.
    Last edited by pro-bipartisan; 06-03-10 at 07:35 PM.

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Those statements are entirely relavent to the discussion between us which spawned this side discussion.
    Education.

    Sometimes I think we're alone. Sometimes I think we're not. In either case, the thought is staggering. ~ R. Buckminster Fuller

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