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Supreme Court

The Constitution of the United States contains three federal Articles defining the branches of government; the legislative or the Congress, the executive or the President and the judicial or the Supreme Court(65). The courts judicial power is a unique independent body to review issues and judicate them in accordance with the Constitution. Uniquely, the Congress can decide how to organize the Supreme Court. The Judiciary Act of 1789 established six justices and over the years altered the number from a low of five to as many as ten; until after the civil war when the number was fixed at nine. The court is structured with a Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices. Justices are appointed by the President, confirmed by the Senate and hold the term for life. Upon hearing a case, opinions(66) are eventually published for the benefit of the people. The political framework of the Supreme Court has been controversial over the years and remains an issue. Even justices promoted by a political party have deviated from party expectations.


Conservatives: America has been designated as a constitutional republic by the conservative elements of the founders. The goal(67). was to ensure that all people are equally represented and that the government works for the people while preventing tyranny. The people have the right to elect representatives to lead the country and pass legislation on their behalf. Conservatives believe that a justice should be selected on the basis of adherence to the constitution.


  • The nine-member Supreme Court has been in effect for many years and has functioned satisfactory, The Court has consisted of both conservative and liberal justices in various ratios. Conservatives support the “so called” constitutionalist whose decisions are of course predicated on the Constitution. Overall, conservative and some liberal judges have supported the nine member Court.


  • Conservatives believe in support of judges regardless of party but adhere to the Constitution as a guide to their opinions. Those who do not believe in the principles within the constitution can promote change within the legislature. If an issue is not contained within the constitution for deliberation, it can be referred to the States for guidance and action.


  • A recent published opinion(68) was that Democrats “are overreacting to the Supreme Court”. They denounced the court as being undemocratic, ideological and extreme. Certainly, the court is not misguided because of recent decisions which was that the majority ruled on issues that were focusing on the text and intent of the statues and the Constitution. The current Court is not ideological based on the decisions made as expressed by democratic operatives.


Progressives: Those who oppose the conservative view of the Supreme Court believe that the Constitution is a document that can be altered by the Court based on changing times. This concept of a “living document” was opposed by the founders who believed that willful changes by the Court is detrimental to America and would result in the tyranny from whence it began. The movement to Take Back The Court(69) is an example of the belief that the Supreme Court is broken and must be changed.


  • In July of 2022, a five-justice majority of the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade decision which has been in place for 49 years. It was said that the opposition(70) to the decision will reverberate for years and will reshape American life. The basis for the ruling was that there is no right to abortion in the constitution. Thus, the issue was relegated to the States. In essence, the Supreme Court stated that the original action of the Court was improper and the people within each State has a right to decide the issue.


  • To counter what progressives consider unfair practice of Republicans, the Democrats have revised the idea of adding more judges(71) to the Court to balance their position; termed pack the court. Previous attempts have failed and the practice if adopted would just continue by the other party in office. The Court was set at nine justices in 1869 and many scholars think the Court should not be changed if it is intended to change the tenor of the discourse.


  • A poll(72) commissioned by the Heartland Institute indicated that both Democrats and young people want to abolish the Supreme Court. Democrat’s favor a new democratically elected court with justices chosen directly by the people. This is based on the belief the institution is racist and favors men over women. There is also the progressive proposition put forth that the United Nations be given the power to reverse Supreme Court decisions.


Commentary: Would you be content with any adopted progressive proposal?

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