• People Talk and My Ear Bleeds


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    Friday, March 04, 2005

    Death Penalty

    I have a very big problem with the Supreme Court linked its decision on the death penalty for 16 and 17 year olds to the views of foreign countries. And I'm not alone.

    The founding fathers originally invisioned the supreme court as impartial arbitrators of moral decency. The judges lived in private quarters, and had an underground tunnel to the court so that they never needed to step foot outside among the general public and thus be corrupted by politics, bribery, etc.

    Over the last two hundred years the court has moved away from that foundation, and, I would argue, has become increasingly political. Such a move as this shows it clearly. The court took a preemptive step to rule on something that hadn't made its way up to it, and the majority decision was based on the opinions of non-citizens.

    Anyway, I don't know what, if anything, can be done about this, but I hope the court can be "reigned in"--not in its opinions, whether liberal or conservative--but in its basis of law--judiciating on the laws of America based on an impartial and unchanging almighty and the popular views of citizens.


    MGO said...

    I imagine most people want Justices that rule on what the law is, not what they want it to be.

    That may not be true for everyone (particularly if you don't have enough popular support for a constitutional amendment), but it seems like the least arbitray way of adjudication.

    You know, it's really only since FDR and the New Deal that the Supreme Court has been activist toward the left. But prior to that, it was actually activist to the right (late 1880s to late 1930s), and struck down a number of laws that limited when workers could work or required overtime pay, because they read into the due process clause the right of "freedom of contract."

    MGO said...

    Something that this guy noted, and I'm beginning think might be right. What he argues is that since the Mass. Sup. Court got a shiny new courthouse, replete with mohogany and marble, they have started showing less judicial restraint.

    When the U.S. Supreme Court was first formed in 1789, it was not considered powerful at all. John Jay, the first Chief Justice, didn't even take the job until he confirmed his salary would be higher than if was Secretary of State.

    In fact, it wasn't until 1935 that the court even had its own building. When it first moved with the government to D.C., it held court in a small, unfinished room lent to it by Congress, then stayed in a number of different rooms in the capitol building.

    Maybe I'm extending this too far here, but notice that the court has gotten more activist since it got its own building? Just thinking, that's all.