Please purchase "Trump the Press" through Create Space.

The book is on Kindle. Order here.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Best part of this Supreme Court decision

The Supreme Court ruled against Iran on Wednesday.

But that was not the best part of the ruling. I ask readers to see if they can figure out what is best about this decision.

From the Washington Times:
Iran’s central bank lost its appeal to the United States Supreme Court today in a case decades in the making.
The 6-2 ruling by the court frees up for relatives of the deadly 1983 Beirut embassy bombing some $1.75 billion in bond assets that Bank Markazi holds in American bank accounts.
Not enough information?

OK, add this:
Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg authored the opinion, which was joined by all her colleagues except Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who dissented.
In arguments before the justices in January, the Iranian government sought to overturn the judgment of the New York-based 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals by arguing that bipartisan legislation passed in 2012 to help ensure victims’ survivors could collect damages was a violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers doctrine.
Give up?

The best part of the ruling is that it was not decided by a one-vote majority. In order to reach a decision, the justices had to reach a majority of two votes or more. That forced the four liberals and the four conservatives to hash it out before reaching a decision. Otherwise, no call.

We gave the Court the power to amend the Constitution without allowing Congress and the president the power to reverse the Court. Checks and balances are a myth as long as a Court decision is irreversible. The only time we reversed the Court was when it ruled an income tax is unconstitutional.

Anything that slows the Court down is fine with me. If we must fill Scalia's slot, let us do so only after creating a 10th justice so that the Court would continue to need a two-vote majority to change American society on a whim. That does not guarantee protection from constitutional overreach (Roe-Wade and Dred Scott were 7-2 decisions) but it would slow them down.

16 comments:

  1. So, the Iranians had their day in court and lost. Too bad. $1.75 billion they won't have to cause mischief and mayhem around the world.

    As for the Supreme Court, we need to be able to override their decisions with legislation. The Will of the People and such while still avoiding the Tyranny of the Majority. A delicate balance maybe, but it must be done. - Elric

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Congress has a constitutional mandate to determine the jurisdiction of the court. All it needs to do is make certain things off limits.

      Delete
    2. I agree (Article III, Section 2). But when was the last time Congress asserted its authority? - Elric

      Delete
    3. @Anonymous:

      I presume you are referring to the following text:

      "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."

      IANAL, but this clause seems to grant Congress (with no need for concurrence by the President) the power to change the scope of the appellate authority of the SCOTUS, but would not prevent issues of Constitutional law from being raised in lower courts. It just means the legal wrangling would stop at the Circuit appeals level and reach final resolution there instead of in the Supreme Court. I don't see that as a permanent solution to the problems that arise out of the difficult amendment process. I can't imagine the Founding Fathers expected the Supreme Court to have the great power it has seized over the years, otherwise they would not have made the amendment process so difficult.

      Delete
    4. Federal courts lower than SCOTUS are creatures of the Congress and have only as much authority as the Congress gives to them. IANAL either, but that's my understanding.

      Delete
    5. Yep. Congress can make "exceptions, and regulations" to the Supreme Court. - Elric

      Delete
  2. $1.75 billion, eh?

    So when the Iranian Obama-nukes (the mullahs will surely name the missiles after their greatest enabler) start streaking towards Western targets, that'll be one less warhead.

    Pittsburgh is saved!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Correction, Don: Reports of Alito's death are premature. It's Scalia's chair that sits empty now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I keep making that mistake. I am sorry.

      Delete
  4. I thought The Won let all that money go already.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good. Now let's allow relatives of the people killed on 9/11 sue Saudi Arabia.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I thought the best part was the Court said we're not going to bend over and spread for Iran like Obama has...

    ReplyDelete
  7. With all due respect, the 11th Amendment was passed to "reverse" the Court. Wikipedia puts it succinctly: "The Eleventh Amendment (Amendment XI) to the United States Constitution, which was passed by Congress on March 4, 1794, and ratified by the states on February 7, 1795, deals with each state's sovereign immunity and was adopted to overrule the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 419 (1793)."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did not know that. Thank you. That's two.

      Delete
    2. You're welcome. The founding generation had enough gumption to find legislative solutions to Supreme Court overreach. We have needed that, sometimes desperately, ever since.

      Delete
  8. Even numbered court would be interesting. SCOTUS jurisprudence becomes a volleyball game. You have to win by two.

    On the other hand, it may backfire like supermajorities. California conservatives went whole hog for supermajorities as a way to restrict the legislature but all it did was empower the liberal minorities who acquire veto power over the majority. Look what that did for them.

    Beware the Law of Unintended Consequences.

    ReplyDelete