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Thread: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
    No, it shows a basic understanding of what Constitutional means.

    The question was not "Does the Supreme Court ever make decisions that, in your opinion, are incorrect and go against the Constitution?" Even I would agree with that.

    The question was whether a Supreme Court decision CAN be unconstitutional. The only answer is NO. It is IMPOSSIBLE. If the Supreme Court says "this is what the Constitution means" then legally that's what it means. We can all disagree with their decision, but that doesn't make it unconstitutional.
    The Founding Fathers wrote particular words to express particular thoughts. The Supreme Court can misinterpret it. When they declare something a responsibility of the federal government when the Founders did not collectively intend it to be so, that's unconstitutional.

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    Those statements are entirely relavent to the discussion between us which spawned this side discussion.
    No, your point was that laws are made based on the opinions of society and what we need, and I said nothing about that. I simply said some things are based on facts (such as breaking the law which you admitted in your earlier post).

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Zawisza View Post
    The Founding Fathers wrote particular words to express particular thoughts. The Supreme Court can misinterpret it. When they declare something a responsibility of the federal government when the Founders did not collectively intend it to be so, that's unconstitutional.
    This makes you an originalist Judicial interpretation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia which is a form of interpretation

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by pro-bipartisan View Post
    No, your point was that laws are made based on the opinions of society and what we need, and I said nothing about that. I simply said some things are based on facts (such as breaking the law which you admitted in your earlier post).
    And I was responding that while a broken law may be a fact, the law itself is an opinion, which ties back in with our previous discussion.
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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Zawisza View Post
    The Founding Fathers wrote particular words to express particular thoughts. The Supreme Court can misinterpret it. When they declare something a responsibility of the federal government when the Founders did not collectively intend it to be so, that's unconstitutional.
    They also wanted us to be able to change it, perhaps away from their original vision. So what the founding fathers intended, not that there was a universal opinion anyway because they disagreed on everything, and what the Constitution says may easily be two different things.

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    You may not be aware of this, but it impossible for an opinion to be wrong.

    Impossible.

    An opinion is simply that - an opinion. It cannot be right, wrong, correct or incorrect. It can only be an opinion.

    Their opinion may, in your opinion, be wrong - but that, also, is an opinion.
    It is my opinion that we breath Nitrogen instead of Oxygen.
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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseone View Post
    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.
    The problem is that you're lumping all types of judicial interpretation together, and saying that because some judicial interpretation is necessary, that means the judiciary can (and should) interpret the Constitution however it wants, which makes it a living document.

    It's entirely possible to have a Supreme Court that interprets the Constitution (and other laws) but that refrains from treating the Constitution as a living document. The concept of a living constitution didn't even come into being until the 20th century.
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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiseone View Post
    They also wanted us to be able to change it, perhaps away from their original vision. So what the founding fathers intended, not that there was a universal opinion anyway because they disagreed on everything, and what the Constitution says may easily be two different things.
    Hmmm, I'll have to respectfully disagree with your conclusion, Wiseone. They intended us to change the constitution and gave us a means to do so: the amendment ratification process. What they did not intend us to do was change our interpretation of what has already been written when it is convenient for personal political beliefs.

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caine View Post
    It is my opinion that we breath Nitrogen instead of Oxygen.
    It is my opinion that you are wrong.

    It is my opinion that we breath both Oxygen AND Nitrogen, not to mention several other gasses.

    But, to each their own.
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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Mark View Post
    It is my opinion that you are wrong.

    It is my opinion that we breath both Oxygen AND Nitrogen, not to mention several other gasses.

    But, to each their own.
    You forgot methane.
    Last edited by LiberalAvenger; 06-04-10 at 05:06 PM.

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