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A Dangerous Supreme Court

November 13, 2016

Recent decisions of the Supreme Court reveal a weakness in our Constitutional system.

Creating a “Judicial Branch” of the national government endowed with the “Judicial Power,” quickly led in Marbury v. Madison to assertion of the principle of judicial review and made the literal words that make up the Constitution of the United States a basic aspect of all future American controversies

In the popular mind, what is Constitutional is what is right.

For that reason, some of the most difficult conflicts that divided the nation have been resolved, not by the resolution of contending interests through war or legislation, but by changing the meaning of the Constitution itself.

In some ways, this changing of the meaning of the Constitution’s “words” can affect the existential meaning of our common existence, especially when those changes are contrary to the original intention of the Founding document. The “separate, but equal” role given to the U.S. Supreme Court by the Constitution of the United States constitutes a real problem for contemporary American politics.

The Presidential election of 2016 was affected by concerns that a Clinton Administration would appoint new Supreme Court Justices who would be able to define American politics for generations.

That is not going to happen, but the “threat” of destruction of our political order by judicial fiat is real. Perhaps Congress should begin to rein in the powers of the Supreme Court by restricting what the Supreme Court may take up for review.

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