judicial reply

" Is it Constitutional?

Our entire government is based around that question.

The supreme court exists solely to interpret the consitution. This doesn't always please the majority of American people. Look back to the 1950's. Segregated schools were popular, a majority of people liked them that way. A majority wanted to continue the rascism. The constitution, thankfully, stepped in - against the majority - and created a more perfect union.

9=240,000,000, well, yes... we elect the president, who chooses a cabinet, which is approved by congress, who we also elected into office. They are appointed for life by the President and then confirmed by majority vote by the Senate. They know every detail of the constitution inside and out. They are much more impartial than the standard American citizen. Sometimes the majority is wrong, and the supreme court protects us from that. What if we had voted to keep segregation?

The consensus of the majority is not impartial and unbiased, like the justices should be. I don't know much about Cheif Justice Fred Vinson, except that he died around 1950.

As far as Abington vs. Schempp, (I'm quoting About.com here)

"Justice Clark wrote at length in his majority opinion about the history and importance of religion in America, but his conclusion was that the Constitution forbids any establishment of religion, that prayer is a form of religion, and that hence state-sponsored or mandated prayer in public schools cannot be allowed."

The justices don't just run about willy-nilly enforcing their own beliefs, they have constitutional reasons for their descisions.

In a perfect world, with perfect people - our Justices would interpret the constitution free of their own biases. No one can truly get away from all biases, but good justices often go against their own moral views.

The duty of interpreting the constitution is left in the hands of the Judicial branch.
Sasha A.-H

sasha, i see your point and your arguments have some validity, my question is what majority wanted to continue segregation? where did you get your statistics. on the contrary many of the elected officials ran on segregation/ non-segragation platforms, and America turned out in droves to ellect the non-segragationist's. America wanted to be united. I believe that we as America are founded on more than just what is or isnt constitutional. I believe its founded on freedom. people want to be free to choose or not to choose an abortion, but those same people dont want Americans to have the freedom to choose whether or not a person can own a firearm for personal protection. They dont want people to have the choice to pray before their meal at a school lunch (even privatly). They dont want them to have a choice to bring a bible to school for their own personal use. They dont want America to have the choice to put criminals to death when they have murdered. Its about freedom, and the courts have turned it into the courts will, and not the will of the people.


Anonymous said…
hey stephen

you should check out Livejournal ( www.livejournal.com)

me said…
Anonymous said…
In response, I would like to say that I, too, believe that America is founded on freedom. However, that freedom is for everyone, minority, majority, you name it. I may be blanking, but I don't think that private prayer has ever been outlawed. I do know that the Supreme Court has maintained that the government may not promote any one religion over another. (I believe you cited many of these cases in previous posts so I will conserve space and not repeat them.) However, in all of these cases, the religion that was in question was a Christian one. Although this is a nation built upon morals, it is not an entirely Christian nation. Christian morals are not just Christian; they overlap with many of the other faiths in America. The Christian faith, however, holds many things to be true that others do not believe in the least. Why should the Christians have the right to force their beliefs onto others? How does that separate America, the land of freedom and opportunity, from a benign dictatorship?

Side note on majority: I think in terms of law and order, the Supreme Court has been veering away from the majority-rules mindset that many people grip so tightly. If you really look at it, America's government isn't REALLY based on the majority at all. Of course, it is SOMEWHAT but not entirely. Take the 2000 election (an entirely separate topic that will not be explored by me) and all the other times when the President-elect did not carry the popular majority - ah, the electoral college at work. In my opinion, I think the majority always has some say in everything, but I don't think it should be the be-all-and-end-all of everything. There ARE other people in the world who (heaven forbid!) have different opinions that the majority. Doesn't each of these people deserve a voice? Isn't that what's at the heart of America, freedom for the individual? Anyways, back to the talk about the Supreme Court.

I think that the Court is the best of all possibilities. I'm not sure if I agree with the life term, but that's another issue. Also, the Court has protected the rights of a minority with whom I think you would agree. In Widmar Police v. Vincent, 454 US 263 (1981), the Court said that a state university cannot prohibit "the use of university buildings or grounds for purposes of religious worship or religious teaching." In other words, the university is state-owned property, and therefore the administration cannot regulate voluntary yet public prayer because it is based on content. The difference between Widmar and several other cases (incl. Lee v. Weisman, Abington v. Schempp) is that one involves voluntary prayer while the others involve imposed prayer. True, people have the choice not to pray in such circumstances, but the government still associates itself with one religion over another. One could argue for separation of Church and State, but it all goes back to the fact that although many faiths have similar morals, they are not at all the SAME faiths.

Whew, this was a long comment. I'm done, but if anyone would like to respond and poke holes in my arguments, please do!

-Alex H.
Anonymous said…
I don't know if you'll ever see this comment, but I wrote in my journal once a quote from Jeff Deyo (ex-lead singer of Sonicflood) and he makes such a good point about how our country was founded on Christian morals and ideals and for freedom. If you wanted to read it, I posted it here:



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