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BenD
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Legalese
Con (against)
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Legislative override of SCOTUS

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
BenD
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/28/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 330 times Debate No: 90194
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)

 

BenD

Pro

Our Supreme Court has become arrogant and lawless. It mangles the Constitution; it upsets the federal balance of power; it tramples the will of the states and the voice of the people.

Its unelected, unaccountable justices use their power to take over school systems and prisons; to seize private property without compensation; to confer due process rights on foreign enemy combatants; and to protect pornography and flag-burning while limiting political speech, to name just a few of its offenses.

James Dobson, founder of the think tank Family Research Council in the 2005 book Judicial Tyranny: The New Kings of America, said: "What we have today, is an oligarchy --- rule by a small cadre of elites. The courts strike down laws and policies they don"t like, whether their opinions reflect the Constitution or not. the activist judges have turned the Constitution into what they call "a living, breathing document," in which its actual words no longer mean what they say. The Constitution "evolves" they tell us, to fit the biases of the Court. Consequently, we no longer have a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people.' It is, instead, an oligarchy."

This is not what the Framers of the Constitution intended.

Let"s take a closer look at some specific ways that the Supreme Court is tearing at the fabric of our republic.

HARM 1 " CONSTITUTION DISREGARDED

Former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, in the 2015 book "Men in Black," writes: "The Supreme Court treads recklessly on virtually every avenue of life and governance. Even in areas such as the political process and electing a president, over which the Framers gave exclusive authority to Congress and the states, justices have interjected themselves and twisted constitutional precepts " such as free speech and equal protection " into dangerous weapons. Perhaps nothing troubles me more than justices who invoke international law and the decisions of international tribunals in interpreting the Constitution. foreign laws and foreign courts are not legitimate guideposts for interpreting the Constitution. When justices rely on [foreign laws and foreign courts], they are violating their oaths to uphold our own Constitution.

Let me give you just three brief examples of the Court"s disregard for the Constitution.

First, the 1942 case of Wickard v. Fillburn. The Supreme Court distorted the Constitution"s Commerce Clause, ruling that the federal government can regulate, as interstate commerce, the amount of wheat grown by a farmer for use on his own farm --- wheat that was never sold to anyone and never sent across state lines.

Attorney Jack Pack, in the American Spectator, March 14, 2012: "Wickard v. Filburn ranks up there with the most pernicious decisions the Supreme Court has ever made. Its expansive view of the Federal Government's Commerce Clause powers has paved the way to greater and greater intrusions by federal actors into our daily lives. Now, a majority of the Supreme Court may conclude that it justifies Obamacare's nationalization of one-sixth of our economy. Enough of this nonsense! "

My second example is Cooper v. Aaron. With that 1958 ruling, the Court asserted a doctrine of judicial supremacy that it has used for decades to irrevocably impose its will on the American people.

Judge, Constitution Party founder and Conservative Caucus chair, Howard Phillips, in "Judicial Tyranny," 2005: "In Cooper v. Aaron, Chief Justice Earl Warren boldly and erroneously claimed for the first time that the Supreme Court"s interpretation of the U.S. Constitution is the "supreme law of the land" " Since [his] pronouncement, a couple of generations of law students have been taught this heresy, and it is hard to find a judge or even a lawyer who doesn"t believe it. The Founding fathers did not write a Constitution that set up a judicial oligarchy " Nothing in the U.S. Constitution justifies judicial supremacy."

Finally, in Roper v. Simmons in 2005, the Supreme Court struck down laws in 18 states permitting the execution of minors. While I agree with the the policy decision of not executing minors, the Supreme Court"s methods were appalling.

The Heritage Foundation"s Rule of Law Initiative, March 1, 2013: "In the infamous case of Roper v. Simmons, the Court uses a panoply of activist 'tools.' The judges engage in judicial imperialism, citing their own 'independent judgment' as authoritative. They also imported foreign law into Eighth Amendment jurisprudence, clearly unable to justify their conclusion with any existing U.S. law ... [Justice] Kennedy further reveals his misunderstanding of the judiciary"s role when he looks to international opinion to assess whether the 'evolving standards of decency' forbid the execution of minors, . He demonstrates this "international consensus" in part by citing a treaty to which the United States is expressly not a signatory. While thinly conceding that international law isn"t controlling on this matter, the Court looks to foreign law to find confirmation of its own preferred conclusions. Rather than exploring the original meaning of the Eighth Amendment, the five justices of the majority instead frolic and detour through evidence of foreign standards, which they use to confirm their own policy preferences."

HARM 2 --- LEGISLATIVE POWER USURPED

The Supreme Court has seized supremacy over Congress, over the States and over "we the people." With the vote of 5 justices, the Court can strike down the laws enacted by 345 Members of Congress, the statutes issued from 50 state capitols, and the will of millions of American citizens.

Constitutional attorney Phyllis Schlafly, in the 2005 book "Judicial Tyranny," wrote: "Activist judges impose policies on the American people that our elected representatives would not vote for. Activist judges create laws and rights that Congress and the state legislatures would never pass. An activist judiciary is the way to bypass self-government."

In a stunning example of usurping state authority and overriding the will of the American people, the Supreme Court"s Obergefell v. Hodges decision last June established a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage, striking down the marriage amendments in 37 states.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in his dissent, wrote: "This Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Although the policy arguments for extending marriage to same-sex couples may be compelling, the legal arguments for requiring such an extension are not. The Court seized for itself a question the Constitution leaves to the people The Court had no reason " no basis in the Constitution " to short-circuit the democratic process."

Constitutional appellate litigator Michael Farris, February 17, 2016: "The Supreme Court was not designed as a political institution. The Court was never designed to make law. It was intended to have judicial power which meant that it was to apply existing law to factual disputes to reach a just outcome between the parties. A branch of government that makes law is a political branch. We have all heard and read the words: "The Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage." This is literally true. The Court enacted a de facto amendment to the Constitution. The same thing is true about a host of other contentious issues. The Supreme Court routinely makes law in the guise of constitutional interpretation."

I OFFER THE FOLLOWING PLAN:

Congress will propose, and the states will adopt an amendment to the Constitution to provide for a legislative override of a Supreme Court decision by either a three-fifths vote of both houses of Congress, or by a three-fifths vote of the State Legislatures.
The override must be exercised within two years of the Supreme Court"s decision. It is not subject to a presidential veto or to litigation or review in any federal or state court.

ADVANTAGE 1: ABUSIVE RULINGS DETERRED

My plan gives Congress and the State Legislatures the ability to override a Supreme Court decision with supermajority votes.

Attorney Mark Levin, in his 2013 book, "The Liberty Amendments," argues: "By adding the override, for the first time justices will know that their most significant majority opinions may not solely be judged by history, but by the people who must live under them, with the possible ignominy of having a ruling overridden by a supermajority of the legislative branches. "

ADVANTAGE 2: BALANCE OF POWER RESTORED

Our plan returns the court to its proper role. It restores legislative power to elected representatives in Congress and the state legislatures.

Michael Farris, in the Daily Caller, February 17, 2016: "We need to take the Supreme Court down a notch. The only way is by a constitutional amendment that places restraints on the ability of the Court to overturn the political decisions of elected officials. The solution is to return our decision making to the people and their elected legislators and to dethrone the imperial judiciary."

Judge, our legislators are ready and waiting for this tool.

Congress unanimously agreed that with Employment Division v. Smith, the Supreme Court crippled the First Amendment. Congress needed this override. With United States v. Windsor, the Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, passed with veto-proof margins by both the House and Senate. Congress needed this override.

The Supreme Court invalidated term limit provisions of 23 states with Term Limits v. Thornton. Those states needed this override. The Court struck down 31 state bans on partial birth abortion with Stenberg v. Carhart. Those states needed this override. The Court obliterated 37 state marriage amendments with Obergefell v. Hodges. Those states needed this override.

It is past time to rescue our government of the people, by the people and for the people by civil and legitimate means.
Legalese

Con

The proponent offers the following plan to put in check a judiciary acting in excess of their Article III powers:

"Congress will propose, and the states will adopt an amendment to the Constitution to provide for a legislative override of a Supreme Court decision by either a three-fifths vote of both houses of Congress, or by a three-fifths vote of the State Legislatures.
The override must be exercised within two years of the Supreme Court"s decision. It is not subject to a presidential veto or to litigation or review in any federal or state court."

I disagree with this plan for two (3) reasons. The first being, Article V already provides a mechanism for Congress and/or the several States to "override" judicial precedence. The second, is that proponent's plan runs afoul of the delicate system of checks and balances the Framers constructed in the Constitution. The third is that the time limitation in the plan is arbitrary.

1. Article V of the Constitution of the United States of America provides:

"The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate."

This is the Amendment process the Framers provided so that the Constitution could be altered from time to time. This mechanism has been used successfully twenty-seven (27) times to date. Because this mechanism exists, the proponent's plan is unnecessary. Moreover, proponent's plan, at least as it relates to passing a bill in the Senate, effectively authorizes the legislature to force its will upon the Judiciary by simply passing legislation. A 3/5 majority requirement in the Senate exists now - that is the proportion necessary to vote down a filibuster. While this Plan does make it more difficult for the House to pass such legislation, the Proponent has failed to make a case why, upon a 3/5 majority of the House should have the Power to nullify the Supreme Court's decisions, instead of the present 2/3 supermajority required by the Fifth Article of our Constitution.

Finally, Article V requires that an proposed Amendment be ratified by 3/4 of the states' legislatures. Proponent's plan offers no ratification process whereby the several States can limit the federal Legislature in their use of this Plan. The Proponent has not addressed this deviation from Article V.

2. The Constitution established three forms of power of the federal government: legislative, executive, and judicial. These powers were vested in three distinct departments of government. The legislative powers are limited to those which are granted by the Constitution, which are mostly enumerated in Article I, Sections 8, 9. The Executive is charged with taking care to faithfully execute those laws. The Legislative and Executive Departments necessarily are more powerful bodies of the federal government. Between those two bodies, each has significant checks on the other. If the Executive believes the Legislative is acting without its Article II authority, it can decline to execute the laws or execute the laws accordance with its interpretation. If the Legislative believes the Executive is acting in excess of its Article I authority, it can impeach and remove the President from office, or defund the Executive Department.

But, in those instances, we fail to have a working government. What if the Legislative defunds the Executive, but cannot remove the President from office? There is no body to execute the laws. What if the Executive refuses to execute the laws of the Legislative branch, or arbitrarily executes laws is it interprets them? These circumstances are crises. The Judiciary therefore, must be able to place checks on the other two bodies and resolve these conflicts. It necessarily has the authority to determine whether the Legislature is acting within its enumerated powers, and whether the Executive is faithfully executing the laws.

Chief Justice Marshall wrote in Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, 177-78 (1803), that '[i]t is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases, must of necessity expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the courts must decide on the operation of each. So if a law be in opposition to the constitution: if both the law and the constitution apply to a particular case, so that the court must either decide that case conformably to the law, disregarding the constitution; or conformably to the constitution, disregarding the law: the court must determine which of these conflicting rules governs the case. This is of the very essence of judicial duty."

Similarly, Alexander Hamilton, writing in support of our Constitution in Federalist No. 78 said the following:
"If it be said that the legislative body are themselves the constitutional judges of their own powers, and that the construction they put upon them is conclusive upon the other departments, it may be answered, that this cannot be the natural presumption, where it is not to be collected from any particular provisions in the Constitution. It is not otherwise to be supposed, that the Constitution could intend to enable the representatives of the people to substitute their WILL to that of their constituents. It is far more rational to suppose, that the courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the people and the legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority. The interpretation of the laws is the proper and peculiar province of the courts. A constitution is, in fact, and must be regarded by the judges, as a fundamental law. It therefore belongs to them to ascertain its meaning, as well as the meaning of any particular act proceeding from the legislative body. If there should happen to be an irreconcilable variance between the two, that which has the superior obligation and validity ought, of course, to be preferred; or, in other words, the Constitution ought to be preferred to the statute, the intention of the people to the intention of their agents."

Hamilton continued by saiying "[t]his independence of the judges is equally requisite to guard the Constitution and the rights of individuals from the effects of those ill humors, which the arts of designing men, or the influence of particular conjunctures, sometimes disseminate among the people themselves, and which, though they speedily give place to better information, and more deliberate reflection, have a tendency, in the meantime, to occasion dangerous innovations in the government, and serious oppressions of the minor party in the community." Id.

The take-away, is that the Judiciary sits in defense and fidelity to the Constitution. It is to make judgment, not based on popular sentiment, or their peculiar beliefs, but within the framework of the Constitution. The Judiciary is, necessarily, not a popular branch of government. It is not a representative entity to the people. If it were, it would by subject to the whims of the majority, as are the other two branches. The purpose of the Court is to protect and preserve the fundamental rights of the people and limit the federal government to that authority which it was delegated in the Constitution.

The new authority you propose, potentially increases the authority of the Legislature against unpopular judgments of the Court. However, that is an essential characteristic of the Court - to make unpopular decisions when the Constitution demands it.

I will address one particular case you cited as authority for the Court acting in excess of its authority. You cited Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942). This case expanded the interpretation of the Commerce Clause to include those activities which indirectly impact the national market. However, when supplied with historical context, this case only supports the proposition that the Judiciary ought to be INDEPENDENT of the other two departments.

This case was a result of FDR's push for the New Deal and his court-packing plan. The Legislature had abdicated its responsibilities to FDR. FDR then bullied the Court into accepting the New Deal. If your Plan would be enacted, a powerful executive like FDR would have unfettered control - it would allow for a despot.

3. Finally, why provide for a limitation of only two (2) years? What purpose does that serve? It's arbitrary and you have provided no support for such a suggestion.

In closing, there is already a mechanism to keep the Supreme Court in check rendering the Proponent's Plan moot. Moreover, his Plan would endanger the independence of the Judiciary, the watchdog of our government. For these reasons, I oppose the plan.
Debate Round No. 1
BenD

Pro

My opponent has been pretty well organised, so I will respond to his arguments in the order he made them.

First, he argued that the problem is already solved because we can amend the constitution. There are a few problems with that argument. If the problem is already solved, why do I have so much evidence that there is a problem? Why are people advocating this plan? The answer is that the amendment process cannot solve the problem. The amendment process is a process that should be used rarely and should be used to address systemic problems. That is what our case does. Rather than attacking every incident of abuse with a separate Constitutional amendment, our plan uses a single amendment to restore the balance of power intended by the framers.

William Stanmeyer, in A Blueprint for Judicial Reform, in 1981: "The people can reverse the judiciary"s independent frolic only by the cumbersome amendment process: push an amendment through both houses of Congress and then persuade 38 states to ratify. What we must do is develop a structural, institutional way to make it as hard for the Court to amend the Constitution as it is for the people, because one should not tinker often with a document of such profundity. To make it hard for the Court to amend the Constitution, we must make it far less difficult for the people to overrule the Court. We must develop a way for the people to reverse the Court when it has overstepped its bounds, when it has "acted unconstitutionally."

As this plan is not making a new way to amend the constitution, but only to override the court, it cannot "deviate from article V."

The second argument is the balance of power. Let me simplify the issue for you. The Legislative branch is given "all legislative power" (Power to make, change and strike down law). The judicial branch was to apply law to cases. As my evidence said, the court has begun to strike down, change, and even go so far as to make law. To restore the balance of power, we must return all legislative power to congress. This is what my plan does. It does not change the outcome for the litigants of a case, but it strikes down the decision, in other words, the legislative impact of the case. This is the only way to return the power that belongs to congress, without tipping the balance of power in the other direction.

True, the court must not be subject to the people. Judicial decisions should not be influenced by popular opinion. However, LEGISLAIVE decisions MUST be subject to the people's will.

As for Marshal, he merely said that he needed more power. Most people would say that.

As for founding fathers, here is what some of them had to say.

Thomas Jefferson: "The Constitution meant that its coordinate branches should be checks on each other. But the right to decide what laws are Constitutional and what not, would make the judiciary a despotic branch."

James Madison: "As the courts are generally the last in making the decision, it results to them, by refusing or not refusing to execute a law, to stamp it with its final character. This makes the judiciary department paramount in fact to the legislature, which was never intended, and can never be proper."

As for the idea that our plan gives power to the executive branch, that is clearly a misunderstanding. We take the legislative power the courts usurped, and give it back to the legislature. The only branch that gets more power is congress.

The third argument can be easily cleared up. He argues that the time limit is arbitrary, and that I provided no support for it. The plan is copied verbatim from Mark Levin's book "The Liberty Amendments."

In closing, I would like to offer one more piece of evidence to make clear that there really is a very significant problem in the status quo.

Former Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes: "We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is."

Judges, if you are red blooded Americans who love the constitution, this quote should make that red blood boil!! Even the judges themselves are willing to admit that they have absolute power over our constitution. If you don't think that is a problem, by all means vote for my opponent.

It is time to give legislative power back to legislatures!
Legalese

Con

Let me simplify this for you: the three Supreme Court cases you cite do not, in any way, support "your plan." I will address them one-by-one. I suggest you read any case you cite prior to using them for any force of argument.

Wickard v. Fillburn: This case, in fact, entirely undermines your position. I touched on this in my first response to you. The Supreme Court upheld LEGISLATION in this case which purported to extend federal jurisdiction to regulate acts which affect the national market. The Supreme Court tortured the reading of the Commerce Clause simply to fit "the will of the people." Your plan, in not one way, would cure the effects of this case. In fact, your position SUPPORTS this particular case. After all, striking down duly enacted legislation would be "judicial supremacy."

The next case you cite, Cooper v. Aaron, likewise does not support your plan. This case is a school desegregation case following Brown v. Board of Education. In this case, the Little Rock School District adopted a plan to desegregate Central High School. On the first day of school when nine black students were to attend, the Arkansas governor ordered national guardsmen to block those students from entering. In response, the School District petitioned a federal district court to delay desegregation for 2.5 years. The District Court granted such petition due to the State action. The Appeals Court reversed, and the Supreme Court upheld the Appeals Court's decision.

In this case, the Court made no law, nor struck down any legislation. It, instead, passed on EXECUTIVE action. What action? The barring of students from a PUBLIC school based on the color of the students' skin. The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution explicitly allows for equal protection under the laws. This is a clear violation of the 14th Amendment. Moreover, the US Congress had already passed in 1871, what is today 42 USC s. 1983 which reads:

"Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory or the District of Columbia, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges [i.e., PUBLIC SCHOOL], or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress, except that in any action brought against a judicial officer for an act or omission taken in such officer"s judicial capacity, injunctive relief shall not be granted unless a declaratory decree was violated or declaratory relief was unavailable. For the purposes of this section, any Act of Congress applicable exclusively to the District of Columbia shall be considered to be a statute of the District of Columbia."

This LAW was passed by CONGRESS almost 90, again 90, years before this Supreme Court decision. This is not an example of Judicial supremacy in any sort of the word. The governor's actions were repugnant to and an assault on our Constitution as amended by the 14th Article.

And, finally, Roper v. Simmons: This was an analysis of the 8th Amendment as incorporated in the 14th Amendment against the States. This bars punishment which is cruel and unusual. In this case, the Court used the "consensus" approach (i.e., if the consensus is not to use it, then it's "unusual") of how many states allowed for the execution of children, and how often it was actually happening. The irrefutable conclusion is that the execution of children had fallen into disfavor. The Court then decided whether the punishment was proportional to the crime. Given the minority status of people under 18 in the states with regard to marriage, liquor, voting, etc., the Court decided execution was not a proportional crime to execute any child - for the same reason the Court forbade the execution of those who are mentally retarded - they are not sufficiently competent. The Court did employ puffery that it went against its personal judgment, but that really has no effect on the balance of the underlying analysis. This is fairly typical 8th Amendment analysis.

The Heritage Foundation is WRONG. Justice Kennedy did not use a treaty to support his case. The Attorney General of Missouri used the treaty to support HIS case. Kennedy simply refuted his contention. That claim is erroneous and intellectually dishonest. They rely almost entirely on whether the STATES had consensus on executing children.

The only case you cited which even had a tangential connection to your plan was Wickard v. Philburn, which actually augers in your disfavor. The Court should have OVERRULED the "will of the people" in this dramatic expansion of federal legislative and executive authority. The latter two cases were clear applications of constitutional provisions which were in line with federal and state legislatures.

Now, you contend your plan does not give the Executive more authority. I disagree. Take Wickard v. Philburn as an example. When there is an expansion of LEGISLATIVE POWER, there are MORE LAWS to EXECUTE. A fortiori, any expansion of legislative power NECESSARILY expands executive power. That is irrefutable.

Sir, this is your debate, not Mark Levin's. It is not incumbent on me to search out his book, read it, and then address his argument. You must present it or forfeit that point.

You have presented no evidence which indicates the Supreme Court has in any way "made" law or "changed" the meaning of the Constitution. You have failed to present a problem with the status quo, and therefore your plan is moot. And, in arguendo, suppose the status quo is as fatally flawed as you suggest, you have failed to address why Article V is not a proper solution. The fact remains, Congress and the several States have a mechanism to nullify Supreme Court decisions. It has not happened. The absence of such action (in the face of 27 instances where the process has been used) suggests your theory of a tyrannical Supreme court is, at best, overblown.

Finally, I want to reiterate, the only instance you provided where the Court did not act in fidelity to the Constitution was when it UPHELD LEGISLATION.
Debate Round No. 2
BenD

Pro

Again following my opponent's organization.

First, let us talk about Wickard. My opponent argues that because the court voted to not strike down a law, they are not intruding into legislative power. By saying this he is forgetting that my plan not only balances power between the three branches of the federal government, but between the federal and state governments. This case is an example of unbalance between federal and state. The court, as my opponent agreed, twisted the constitution in order to give state power to the federal government. This is a serious problem which would be solved by the states using the override. My opponent has highlighted a huge advantage of the plan. It not only returns legislative power to legislators, it returns it to the correct legislators. In the case of Wickard, this plan would have allowed the states to reclaim their rightful power.

Next we have the case of Cooper V Aaron. My opponent is speaking about the details of the case. If he had read the evidence in the 1AC he would understand that I was not saying the outcome of the decision is an example of judicial supremacy. The part that has caused this nation endless trouble is a passage in the majority opinion which states that the court's interpretation of the constitution is the supreme law of the land. As the constitution clearly states, ALL legislative power is granted to CONGRESS. In this opinion, the court claimed not only the power to make law, but the power to have the last word on all matters of law. This case alone should demonstrate the desperate need of a change in the system.

As far as Roper, my opponent seems to agree with the obvious statement that using international law to interpret the constitution is illegal and wrong. His argument is that in this case, that was not done. Here we see a simple conflict of facts. In cases like this we must look to experts to determine the truth of the matter. I presented legal analysis by the Heritage foundation, which is considered, even by those who disagree with it to be a credible and trustworthy source of information. My opponent, to combat this, has presented his own analysis, and stated that the Heritage foundation is wrong. I would like to see his credentials that make him more credible on legal matter than the Heritage foundation. In case there is any doubt in your mind as to which source to believe, let me give you another who is even more clear, and cites the opinion.

James Dobson, founder of the conservative think tank Family Research Council, 2005: "The Supreme Court struck down laws duly passed in 18 states permitting the execution of minors. While we can debate the wisdom of executing minors, the important issue is how the law came to be struck down. It was nullified by judicial decree. Even those who are opposed to the idea of capital punishment for minors should be gravely concerned about the criteria by which the Supreme Court arrived at its decision. In writing for the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy, boldly claim[ed] "It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international public opinion against the juvenile death penalty." Kennedy further promised that the Supreme Court of the United States would "continue to look to the laws of other countries and to international authorities" in re-interpreting the Constitution. It is outrageous that we, the people of the United States, find ourselves governed unwillingly by a judicial oligarchy who increasingly base its rulings not on our Constitution, but on something they call "world opinion." This is what we call "judicial tyranny" and for good reason."

I hope this leaves no doubt in your mind that, not only did they commit this illegality, they promised to continue.

Yes, I can agree that expanding legislative power could also expand executive power. However, my plan does NOT expand legislative power. It only makes sure that the people to whom it was given are the only ones who exercise it. In other words, we are not increasing legislative power, but moving it.

Back to his third main problem with my case. He said the time limit is arbitrary, and that I provided no support for it. In my last speech I provided the support he asked for. He did not give a reason the time limit was a bad one, so I had nothing to refute. Here is the reason for the limit.

Mark Levin, in The Liberty Amendments: "override attempts would be time-limited. Consequently, a party or faction out of power that suddenly wins a broad mandate cannot go back over several years and override long-settled issues. The time limit also means that issues on which the override is invoked must be genuinely problematic, and not merely pursued as a political expedient."

Next let's cover the argument that constitutional amendments can solve the problem. In my last speech I explained that the amendment process if for very seldom systemic reforms, not just quick fixes whenever we have a problem. I also presented a piece of evidence stating that the amendment process is not the right solution. All of this went unrefuted, and my opponent merely restated his unsupported claim. Beyond this, another argument against solving the problem through constant amendments is that many of these cases could not be solved by amendment. For example, try writing an amendment to overturn Wickard. "Interstate commerce must be both interstate, and commerce." That would be ridiculous. Furthermore, as I showed a justice himself saying in my last speech, "The constitution is whatever the judges say it is." They could trample these new amendments with the same ease that they trample the old ones.

My opponent said that I have not shown evidence of the judges using legislative power. If you look at my past speeches, you will see that this claim is utterly false. For good measure, I will present more.

Attorney William Stanmeyer, in A Blueprint for Judicial Reform: The litany of important policy decisions that unelected, life-tenured federal judges have taken out of the hands of citizens and their elected representatives and transferred to themselves is too long to detail. The Supreme Court has substituted its notions of good policy for those of state legislatures or Congress in such nuanced, complicated, and important areas as: apportioning legislatures, using the death penalty, regulating abortion, decriminalizing pornography, outlawing prayer in public schools, and protecting the nation"s internal security. These and many other policy decisions have effectively made judges the rulers of society. Contrary to the tenets of the American Revolution, an "imperial judiciary" provides legislation without representation."

He also said I have not presented examples of constitutional violations. Again, I have. cannot stress enough the importance of a supreme court justice admitting that he has ultimate power over the constitution. If, after all of this, you still want more examples, I have more than I could ever use. Here are a few more.

In the case of Korematsu v. United States the court flat out ignored the IV amendment, depriving U.S. citizens of liberty without due process.

Here is evidence about a group of cases where the court turned words on their heads.

Constitutional historian David Barton: "Relying on the phrase "separation of church and state" rather than the First Amendment, the court began striking down religious activities and expressions that had long been Constitutional. The result has been a series of unprecedented decisions that defy common sense and mystify average citizens " Under the Court"s new First Amendment: "Congress" now means a "student, citizen, teacher, soldier, school, community, etc. "Make no law" now means "cannot express one"s faith in a public arena." "Establish religion" means "allow religion."

Finally, here is a horrible example of constitution mangling called Kelo v. City of New London

Attorney Mark Levin: "This case in particular underscores the spectacular arrogance and lawlessness of the Supreme Court. The Court gutted a part of the Bill of Rights called the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment. The Supreme Court made seemingly small, subtle changes to the clear meaning of the words " in this case, the words "public use." According to the court"s activists, "public use" really means "public purpose," which means whatever government wants it to mean."

Those are just a few trees in a forest, but I hope they will be enough to convince you that there is a problem. If not, I have plenty more for later speeches.

It is clear that there is a significant problem in the system, this problem is not being solved by any check in place today and this plan is a careful, well crafted method of solving that problem.
Legalese

Con

Legalese forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
BenD

Pro

Good job.
Legalese

Con

Legalese forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
BenD

Pro

Q: What"s the new French flag look like?
A: A white cross emblazoned on a white background!
Legalese

Con

Legalese forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by BenD 7 months ago
BenD
I am about to finish the one with you. I wanted more than one going at a time. The other was an admittedly stupid idea I wanted to try. This one on the other hand, I have spent a year running and perfecting. Your win in the plea bargains debate is not assured yet. You will find this one much harder. I would love for you to try it.
Posted by Youdontknowjeff 7 months ago
Youdontknowjeff
Instead of posting more debates, finish the one you have with me. I believe I could get wins off you all day. However debate.org will only allow me to be in one debate with you at a time. 3 rounds, 5 rounds,4 rounds doesn't matter.

I'm surprised your having another debate on our legal system. Considering your understanding of it is so idealistic. Tell me, are you home schooled?
Posted by BenD 7 months ago
BenD
I have heard all of that before. If you disagree about the status quo, argue that. I assure you the amendment argument is not earth shattering, but go for it.

I set up 5 rounds because it is a complex issue, and I believe that I have a better chance when more information is presented. If any of you would like to try it with 4 rounds, tell me and I will challenge you.
Posted by lyokowarri0r 7 months ago
lyokowarri0r
The speaker is suggesting another form of an override. I do not think it would be that hard to argue against, I just do not feel like doing it for 5 rounds.
Posted by Overhead 7 months ago
Overhead
The legislature can already override the SCOTUS by amending the constitution as per article 5 of the US constitution.

This debate seems pointless.

If there was a clearer and valid topic I'd accept as I think the general argument massively misrepresents reality.
Posted by lyokowarri0r 7 months ago
lyokowarri0r
Very interesting. I would debate but I do not really have to time to put in 5 rounds.
Posted by Hayd 7 months ago
Hayd
Nice debate topic. I would accept but I'm too busy at the moment
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 42lifeuniverseverything 6 months ago
42lifeuniverseverything
BenDLegaleseTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Both sides had equal weight in arguments. I will not be voting on convincing arguments however. Instead my vote is being cast upon conduct, and conduct alone. A forfeit is always a forfeit. Great Debate both of you.