Quote of the Day: A Step Closer to Impotence

 

“With each decision of ours that takes from the People a question properly left to them —  with each decision that is unabashedly based not on law, but on the ‘reasoned judgment’ of a bare majority of this Court — we move one step closer to being reminded of our impotence.” — Antonin Scalia

Rarely mincing words, Justice Scalia berated his colleagues regarding the Progressive and unconstitutional role they had taken regarding the role of the Supreme Court. Once a body intended to provide balance to the Executive and Legislative Branches, the Court has expanded its powers in ways that violate the rights of the people. Does anyone remember the original role of SCOTUS?

In part, the Constitution reads as follows:

Section 1.

The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish . . .

Section 2.

The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;–to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;–to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;–to controversies to which the United States shall be a party;–to controversies between two or more states;–between a state and citizens of another state;–between citizens of different states;–between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects.

In all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be party, the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction. In all the other cases before mentioned, the Supreme Court shall have appellate jurisdiction, both as to law and fact, with such exceptions, and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.

In addition, according to the SCOTUS website:

The complex role of the Supreme Court in this system derives from its authority to invalidate legislation or executive actions which, in the Court’s considered judgment, conflict with the Constitution. This power of ‘judicial review’ has given the Court a crucial responsibility in assuring individual rights, as well as in maintaining a ‘living Constitution’ whose broad provisions are continually applied to complicated new situations. [ Italics are mine.]

As Justice Scalia candidly states, the Court, instead of following its mandate, has decided to create laws based on its determination of what the people want and need—instead of ruling on the constitutionality of laws. It assumes it knows what is best for citizens and the country, and has demonstrated that it has lost its way by writing its own legislation and ignoring or “interpreting” the Constitution.

It becomes clearer every day that SCOTUS has not only been unwilling to address the most significant Constitutional challenges of our time, but even more, it has lost its way.

Published in Law
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  1. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Sadly, this post is true. We had hoped the Trump appointments would change this trajectory. But there is sparse evidence of that as yet. 

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Ted Cruz’s recent book on the court convinced me that there are reasons for Conservative judges to move away from their traditional moorings: (1) they are influenced by their colleagues and want to get along; (2) the media pressures are hard to resist; (3) and even the DC cocktail parties where everyone rubs shoulders add pressure; (4) we are not carefully screening the nominees’ earlier decisions, or we have a dearth of information to draw from to determine their understanding of the Constitution. Like you, @rodin, the current court makes me uneasy. We’ll just have to see.

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I apologize-somehow I dropped Justice Scalia’s quotation from the OP! It is now present.

    • #3
  4. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    I wonder if he would have voted to hear some of the Presidential elections cases. I like to think so.

    • #4
  5. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    The SCOTUS and the administrative state can fight over who has the legislative role because the national legislature has abandoned it.  And for that I blame Congressional “constituent services.” 

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    The SCOTUS and the administrative state can fight over who has the legislative role because the national legislature has abandoned it. And for that I blame Congressional “constituent services.”

    I agree, @thereticulator. Nobody wants to do their jobs anymore. Or they want to do more than their jobs. And the people are stuck in the middle.

    • #6
  7. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Sometime in the middle of the last century, the left decided that the role of the judiciary is to implement the needs of the narrative if the elected branches fail to do so.  The people get a shot at democratically choosing to endorse the agenda but if they fail or dare to disagree, then that agenda will magically appear in the “living” Constitution and be imposed from on high.  People had been leery of the Warren Court’s creativity but the later Roe v. Wade concoction showed that SCOTUS could “find” whatever they wanted in the Consitution and made every subsequent confirmation a political battle.

    The whole idea of the Consitution as a barrier to progressive ambitions is anathema to the left.  Court-packing would restore the court to its proper mission to guard, advance, and enforce the agenda using the “living” Constitution as eyewash.  That people with law degrees think like that is scary.

     

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    That people with law degrees think like that is scary.

    They certainly have no intention of maintaining the legitimacy of the Constitution. Thanks, @oldbathos.

    • #8
  9. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    The SCOTUS and the administrative state can fight over who has the legislative role because the national legislature has abandoned it. And for that I blame Congressional “constituent services.”

    And that’s not the only thing they have abandoned; when did we last have a Congressional Budget? In times past, a budget meant at lease some effort was shown in attempting to balance income and expenditures. Congress has given up on that exercise.

    • #9
  10. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    The SCOTUS and the administrative state can fight over who has the legislative role because the national legislature has abandoned it. And for that I blame Congressional “constituent services.”

    And that’s not the only thing they have abandoned; when did we last have a Congressional Budget? In times past, a budget meant at lease some effort was shown in attempting to balance income and expenditures. Congress has given up on that exercise.

    And for that I blame Constituent Services.  

    Republicans will vote for members of Congress whose policies they abhor, but who will help intercede with federal agencies to make sure grandma gets her social security while they get their leisure travel passport, or intercede with agencies to help the local county sheriff’s department gets federal funding for deputies.  Why should Members of Congress vote for a balance of income and expenditures when it’s to their advantage to vote for an oppressive government from which they can rescue individuals who will gratefully vote for them forever?  

    • #10
  11. John Hanson Thatcher
    John Hanson
    @JohnHanson

    The key problem with our Congress, both House and Senate, IMHO, is that they serve year-round, are paid a very good salary, with better benefits than anyone else in the country, and then decide since they are there they “Must do Something”   or be seen to be doing something, so pass more and more unneeded laws in an ever-expanding sphere of influence with some lip service to one’s constituents especially when an election looms, and presto, we get more and more interference in our lives and fewer and fewer freedoms that this country was established to safeguard.

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    John Hanson (View Comment):

    The key problem with our Congress, both House and Senate, IMHO, is that they serve year-round, are paid a very good salary, with better benefits than anyone else in the country, and then decide since they are there they “Must do Something” or be seen to be doing something, so pass more and more unneeded laws in an ever-expanding sphere of influence with some lip service to one’s constituents especially when an election looms, and presto, we get more and more interference in our lives and fewer and fewer freedoms that this country was established to safeguard.

    That’s about right, @johnhanson.

    • #12
  13. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Wise words from the always quotable Anonin Scalia.

    ***

    This is the Quote of the Day. Our sign-up sheet for May is here.  If you’re new at this game, it’s a easy way to get your feet wet and start a conversation; if you’re an old-timer, you already know the ropes.  Either way, please sign up to speak up.

    Another ongoing project to encourage new voices is our Group Writing Project. May’s theme is “May Day, Mayday, May Days.” If you’re looking to share your own thoughts rather than those of others, please sign up for Group Writing too!

    • #13
  14. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member
    Nanocelt TheContrarian
    @NanoceltTheContrarian

    Ironically, when Scalia wasn’t berating the Court for expanding its authority unconstitutionally to  curtail our liberties and control our lives, he was eagerly abetting the Administrative State in expanding its authority unconstitutionally (see, “Chevron deference”  or “Auer deference”) to curtail our liberties and control our lives, by emasculating the Constitutional role of the  Court in controlling the Administrative and Legislative branches. 

    • #14
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):

    Ironically, when Scalia wasn’t berating the Court for expanding its authority unconstitutionally to curtail our liberties and control our lives, he was eagerly abetting the Administrative State in expanding its authority unconstitutionally (see, “Chevron deference” or “Auer deference”) to curtail our liberties and control our lives, by emasculating the Constitutional role of the Court in controlling the Administrative and Legislative branches.

    Fair point, @NanoceltTheContrarian. I still hope that Chevron will be appropriately resolved.

    • #15
  16. Nanocelt TheContrarian Member
    Nanocelt TheContrarian
    @NanoceltTheContrarian

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):

    Ironically, when Scalia wasn’t berating the Court for expanding its authority unconstitutionally to curtail our liberties and control our lives, he was eagerly abetting the Administrative State in expanding its authority unconstitutionally (see, “Chevron deference” or “Auer deference”) to curtail our liberties and control our lives, by emasculating the Constitutional role of the Court in controlling the Administrative and Legislative branches.

    Fair point, @ NanoceltTheContrarian. I still hope that Chevron will be appropriately resolved.

    Not to be overly pessimistic, but that has the proverbial snowball’s chance in you-know-where with  Progressives in control.

    • #16
  17. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Nanocelt TheContrarian (View Comment):

    Ironically, when Scalia wasn’t berating the Court for expanding its authority unconstitutionally to curtail our liberties and control our lives, he was eagerly abetting the Administrative State in expanding its authority unconstitutionally (see, “Chevron deference” or “Auer deference”) to curtail our liberties and control our lives, by emasculating the Constitutional role of the Court in controlling the Administrative and Legislative branches.

    Fair point, @ NanoceltTheContrarian. I still hope that Chevron will be appropriately resolved.

    Not to be overly pessimistic, but that has the proverbial snowball’s chance in you-know-where with Progressives in control.

    The new justices and Thomas appear to be amenable to admin law reform.  Breyer wrote some good stuff before he was on SCOTUS but I don’t see him departing from that wing anymore.  Depending on the facts of case, the libs might surprisingly reasonable on the scope of rulemaking authority.

    • #17
  18. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Sadly, this post is true. We had hoped the Trump appointments would change this trajectory. But there is sparse evidence of that as yet.

    I would argue the new appointees have made Roberts an even more solid leftist vote . . .

    • #18
  19. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Stad (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Sadly, this post is true. We had hoped the Trump appointments would change this trajectory. But there is sparse evidence of that as yet.

    I would argue the new appointees have made Roberts an even more solid leftist vote . . .

    I guess Roberts is the kind of guy that visits his barber frequently. He never wants a makeover. Just a trim. 

    • #19