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Thread: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

  1. #51
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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    You bet they can, and not just once in a while, either.

    A classic example is the eminent domain decision where private property could be seized just so developers and city councils could conspire to profit and "enhance the tax base."

    And of course, don't forget the NUMEROUS violations of the second amendment.
    ...the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms shall NOT be infringed."
    EVERY gun "law" or "restriction" is a violation, period.

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by ronpaulvoter View Post
    You bet they can, and not just once in a while, either.

    A classic example is the eminent domain decision where private property could be seized just so developers and city councils could conspire to profit and "enhance the tax base."

    And of course, don't forget the NUMEROUS violations of the second amendment.
    ...the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear arms shall NOT be infringed."
    EVERY gun "law" or "restriction" is a violation, period.
    Every federal gun law is definitely a violation. It gets a little trickier with local laws. It really depends on whether the ammendmetns are restricting federal government or if they should be incorporated to the states.
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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    "We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final."

    Justice Jackson.

    It's something of a philosophical question. If you believe that the constitution has maintained a fixed meaning since its drafting, then each reversal of a past decision is proof of something. You could argue that the old decision was not unconstitutional but merely an erroneous interpretation of a constitutional principle, but that's splitting hairs.

    If you believe that the constitution evolves over time, then it's possible that no supreme court ruling could ever be unconstitutional. You could argue that Plessy was constitutional at the time it was decided, and that the constitution evolved by the 50's such that Brown could be constitutional as well.
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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    "We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final."

    Justice Jackson.

    It's something of a philosophical question. If you believe that the constitution has maintained a fixed meaning since its drafting, then each reversal of a past decision is proof of something. You could argue that the old decision was not unconstitutional but merely an erroneous interpretation of a constitutional principle, but that's splitting hairs.

    If you believe that the constitution evolves over time, then it's possible that no supreme court ruling could ever be unconstitutional. You could argue that Plessy was constitutional at the time it was decided, and that the constitution evolved by the 50's such that Brown could be constitutional as well.
    Didn't Marshall declare the Supreme court to be the end all and be all of Constitutional interpretation in Marbury v. Madison?
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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    If the supreme court decides on what is constitutional and what isn't in their rulings. Can their rulings be unconstitutional?

    They obviously can, and have, made decisions that turn out to be unconstitutional.

    Simply reference the Dredd Scott decision, for one.

    "Seperate but equal" was declared Constitutional, then later declared unconstitutional.

    SCOTUS is composed of human beings, who are susceptible to error, populism and expediency just as any other human beings are.

    Thus there need to be greater checks and balances against SCOTUS than are currently in common use.

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Didn't Marshall declare the Supreme court to be the end all and be all of Constitutional interpretation in Marbury v. Madison?
    In practice they are, but Jackson was just arguing that this is more of a practical necessity than any proof that the court is necessarily good at what it does.
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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    If the supreme court decides on what is constitutional and what isn't in their rulings. Can their rulings be unconstitutional?
    Yes, the justices are as falable as anybody else, and for that reason they are capable of making the wrong decision.

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post


    The irony of it is that you seem to think otherwise. In modern parlance, that is called "shooting one's self in the foot".
    I don't see any irony.

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    All this thread shows, once again, is how few people understand the law and the Constitution.

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    Re: Can a supreme court ruling be unconstitutional?

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    "We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final."

    Justice Jackson.

    It's something of a philosophical question. If you believe that the constitution has maintained a fixed meaning since its drafting, then each reversal of a past decision is proof of something. You could argue that the old decision was not unconstitutional but merely an erroneous interpretation of a constitutional principle, but that's splitting hairs.

    If you believe that the constitution evolves over time, then it's possible that no supreme court ruling could ever be unconstitutional. You could argue that Plessy was constitutional at the time it was decided, and that the constitution evolved by the 50's such that Brown could be constitutional as well.
    This comment shows a lot of insight into the question asked.

    But then again, the Supreme Court was designed just to interpret the Constitution. What it was designed to do was provide long-term stability to the U.S. government. This is why the Supreme Court has the power of judicial review and their terms are lifetime appointments. Their place isn't just to rule on the constitutionality of appealed cases - it is to serve as a bulwark to protect the Constitution from the shorter term affects of the President and Congress.

    In this regard, I think the Supreme Court is good and needed, as it provides long term stability to our government. However, there are many rulings of the Supreme Court that I disagree with and find to violate other aspects of the Constitution. Still, that stability may be worth it.

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