Legislative override of SCOTUS
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.
My opponent’s plan will act as the resolution for today’s debate, thus I must prove it to be a harm to win while my opponent must show why the plan is helpful. If I show more harms than benefits for today’s topic, vote con and vice versa for pro.
Contention 1: Violates Marbury vs. Madison
In case my opponent is unaware, Marbury v. Madison is a monumental Supreme Court case that has dictated the job of the Supreme Court. The power of judicial review was given to the Supreme Court at this time and has remained for eras in America.
When we violate the very basis of judicial review by making it the decision of Congress to overrule a vote, we see huge implication. One such implication is the balance of power between all branches of government. If we were to weaken one and strengthen the other we return to an uncivilized society in which determination of law comes from one source. This would only be the start. This would set a precedent in which government abuses its authority by putting one branch of government over another. Thus, we need to stick to our roots and keep checks and balances to assure a fair and just government. Remember, representative governments do best when it keeps the power shared between the many branches of government to prevent the “tyranny of the majority.” Also, my opponent may have many qualms with the Supreme Court system, but we must not usurp the power of the highest court in the land simply because of controversial court decisions which may have some shaky reasoning behind. There are other solutions such as term limits which can eliminate incumbents and prevent polarity from occurring in the Supreme Court.
Contention 2: Already done in the status quo
My opponent is under the presumption that his idea has not been though of before. However, this is not the case. If we were to look at the American Prospect in 2001, we would see that there have been cases in which Congress disagreed with a certain interpretation of the Supreme Court and has been struck down. The American Prospect gives many examples including one example in 1982 where Congress had overruled a Supreme Court Decision by amending the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to overrule a narrow decision by the Supreme Court in Mobile v. Bolden which had addressed whether intentional discrimination had to be shown before the act could be invoked.
Not only this, but state governments also have the right to pass bills regardless of judicial decisions that have been made in the past. Despite the ruling for same-sex marriage in the summer of 2015, there has been a recent law that has been up for debate about whether homosexuals have the right to be married in Mississippi.
Contention 3: Job
Many people have criticized the entire debacle with homosexuality in the Supreme Court being a fraudulent ruling. However, there was a reason provided with context on the constitutional decision about marriage. The fourteenth amendment has stated that all are equal under the law and had established due process even further. This has been used before in other cases involving practices of discrimination including Brown v. Board of Education, Plessy v. Ferguson, and surprisingly the recent decision claiming same sex marriage to be constitutional. This is the way it works in the Supreme Court. The job of the justices are to prove whether a certain issue is constitutional or not by citing evidence. That is what was done in the homosexuality case and will be done for many cases to come.
One can’t simply judge whether the Supreme Court did its job or not as it clearly did. This is just in a way that was controversial and misunderstood by the public. The decision basically said that since equal representation under the law is in the US constitution, so is the equal representation of marriage. Whether people on either side of the debate agree or disagree with the decision is not important. The only thing important is that a decision was made with some constitutional logic backing it.
Contention 4: Separation of Powers
The multiple branches of government has different jobs for a reason. The legislative branch creates laws, the judicial branch interprets the law, and the executive branch enforces the law. With this in mind, we need to see that the plan today challenges the very notion of separation of powers which leads to inherent harms. Congress does not have the constitutional knowledge to make an interpretation about said document. The legislative branch’s knowledge lies mainly with the current events and politics surrounding the US. This means that by Congress overriding the decisions of the Supreme Court, Congress makes an uninformed decision with not as much understanding as the Supreme Court. Separation of powers also exists so each department can run more effectively. If one branch is doing all of the work, then we are going to see less efficient decisions at a higher level.
Contention 5: Counter plan
To eliminate corruption in every branch of government, we need to establish term limits that are shorter for every government official. This would solidify the fact that government should not be considered a job, but the active duty of a citizen to help his fellow neighbor. We could also have annual audits to check polarity within the Supreme Court, Congress, and executive branch to make sure that each political ideology is represented. For example, we would not have too many Democratic or Republican representatives within the Supreme Court. This would effectively limit corruption within the entire system without blaming one part of the problem.
On to my Rebuttals
Rebuttal 1: Constitution disregarded
I will concede in some cases that the constitution is the last thing on the justices’ minds when looking toward a vote or opinion on a topic. However, remember that the only job that is under the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction is to prove whether or not a law is constitutional through citing evidence in the constitution. Thus, it is the court’s interpretation of the constitution, and should be respected as such. If this is correct, then the Supreme Court justices have done their job. While the Supreme Court may be wrong, the job has been done and congress can still rebel from the decision via redefining the scope of legislation and adding amendments as described in a previous point.
Rebuttal 2: Legislative power usurped
Actually, we see that the legislative branch has a way to weasel past Supreme Court decisions as is. Also, we see that the Supreme Court decisions do not apply to state laws as shown by the Mississippi law in another one of my previous arguments. Supreme Court power is actually surprisingly weak.
Rebuttal 3: Abusive rulings
Sure, they happen, but congress has a back door for these abusive and narrow rulings already without the need to pass a plan to usurp the power of the judicial branch and threaten democracy. Also, my opponent seems to have forgotten the fact that the legislative branch has passed good rulings in the past which have helped the American people throughout the civil rights movement. With this in mind, we can’t simply pass off the rulings if the Supreme Court as always abusive, and the fact that rulings are entirely theoretical and only effect some laws that can’t weasel through with the method shown before, we need to see that the power of the Supreme Court has very little effect on a lot of the laws passed today.
As shown, the power of the Supreme Court needs to be kept for the reasons mentioned, vote con.
I will begin with contention 1: " Violates Marbury vs. Madison." On face value, this argument has no meaning. The court has no power to make law, so a congressional action cannot "violate" a court decision. The fact that people would think about it in those terms proves my point that the court has been overstepping its power and has started to try to make law. you farther say that a court decision dictated the job of the court. Think about that judges. Do we let congress dictate its own job? What about the president? NO! The fact that the court has dictated its job is perfect proof of my point that the court is out of line.
My opponent argues that under my plan law would be made by one branch alone. I say yes. That is exactly right. Under my plan, all legislative power will be given to congress.
My opponent argues that my plan has been done. This is a simple misunderstanding. First of all, why would all the experts I quoted in my
first speech support the idea if it was already done?
Let me clear this up by giving you a real world example of congress trying stop supreme court overreach. The case of Employment Division v. Smith. In that case, two American Indians ingested a traditional hallucinogenic drug as part of religious ceremonies with the Native American Church. The Supreme Court refused their First Amendment claim for religious exemption. Members of Congress don’t agree on much, but Congress unanimously agreed that the Court had gotten the First Amendment spectacularly wrong. They responded by passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (or RFRA). With its Employment Division v. Smith decision, the Supreme Court had curtailed religious liberty protection. By passing RFRA, Congress was saying “No, religious liberty protection is broader than that.”
This was one of the few time congress has tried to actually override a court decision. It should have been an ideal case. Congress was unanimous. Sadly, the court decided that not only do they have legislative power, they have more legislative power than congress. In City of Boerne v. Flores, the Supreme Court sent Congress and its legislative response to the dustbin.
Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, June 25, 1997: “When the political branches of the Government act against the background of a judicial interpretation of the Constitution already issued, it must be understood that in later cases it is this Court’s precedent, not RFRA, which must control."
This ridiculous belief that the court has supreme legislative power is based on a case I brought up in my first speech. Cooper V. Aaron. This is the case where the court decided that they can speak for the constitution, making their decisions the supreme law of the land.
My opponent has brought up examples where congress limited the effects of a court case, but they never can erase them. Also, as I have shown with the example of RFRA, if congress does try to take back their legislative power, the court can always ignore or strike down congress's acts. This is not enough. Congress needs to have all legislative power.
As far as my opponent's argument that the states can ignore the court, that is not exactly true either. In the case he cited the state did, indeed ignore the court. The problem with this is that it is arguably illegal. They are disobeying what the court claims is the supreme law of the land. There needs to be a way that the states can take back lawful power in an unarguably legal way.
It is debatable whether the court has the power to strike down unconstitutional laws. I can't find that power in the constitution. The fact remains. Whether or not the court made good decisions, it made legislative decisions. This is wrong.
Now I would like to pile on a bit more proof that the court can and does disregard the constitution.
First lets hear from Former Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes: “We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is.”
Need I say more to prove my point?? The judges themselves admit that they have ultimate power over the constitution itself! Can am American who believes in our constitutional form of government ignore such a problem? No! Something MUST be done when the judges gloat about their final triumph over the supreme law of the land.
My opponent argues that the judges always quote from the constitution in deciding a case. That is true most of the time, but when it is clear, as my opponent admitted in his first rebuttal, that much of the time they are not basing the decision on the constitution, but on their own policy preferences, they are unquestionably stepping outside their authority.
My opponent argues that the Obergafel decision was, indeed, based on the constitution. I will leave it to you judge to find anything that in any way relates t gay marriage in the constitution. If you do agree with that decision, there are even worse out there. My opponent did not even try to defend the constitutionality of Wickard V Filburn! They turned the words of our constitution on their heads! Take the case of Korematsu v. United States. In that case, they simply ignored the V amendment.
My opponent argues that my plan changes the separation of powers. The reality is that I am returning it to what the founders wanted. The status quo, not my plan, has a flawed balance.
Here is a quote from the "father of the constitution" about what the supreme court quickly became. 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.”
For good measure, here is Thomas Jefferson's opinion. “The Constitution meant that its branches should be checks on each other. But the right to decide what laws are Constitutional would make the judiciary a despotic branch.”
Under my plan, the legislature will make law, the courts will apply that law. It does not matter who would use the power better, what matters is that the power belongs to the legislature.
Now I will address the counter plan. First of all, I don't think a counter plan is a legitimate argument in this round. We are deciding whether my plan is a good idea, not whether it is a better idea than some other idea.
Also, even if a counter plan would be legitimate, that counter plan would not be. A counter plan must be mutually exclusive, and it must solve all the harms I presented to justify the plan. My opponent's counter plan is not mutually exclusive. Both plans could be done. In fact, Mark Levin who advocates my plan thinks that not only should there be a legislative override, there should also be term limits. I myself think that term limits may be a good idea, but that is no reason to vote against my plan. The second problem with this counter plan is that it does not solve the problems I presented. The problem I presented was that the court has too much power. Changing how long each justice can have that power does not in any way lessen that power. If there is an imbalance of power, the solution is not to check all three branches evenly.
My final problem with the counter plan is that it is not clear. Who will conduct these audits? Are you saying that we should put in place another body which will make sure party representation is equal? That would create a whole host of problems, but until you clarify the plan, we can't argue about it intelligently.
Now on to my opponent's rebuttals. He argues that the constitution is not disregarded because the job of the court is to strike down unconstitutional laws and whatever crap they pull out of their behinds should be respected as law because they have the power to tell us what the constitution means. Both of those statements are dead wrong.
As I pointed out earlier, the power to strike down law was not specifically granted to them in the constitution. According to amendment X, all powers not granted to government are reserved to the states. The only legitimate power granted to the court is the power to APPLY the laws to specific cases. They don't have legislative power, so they can't make, change or strike down law.
Furthermore, nowhere in the constitution does it say that the supreme court has the power to tell us what it says. To "interpret" it. The document is in ENGLISH. It is written quite clearly thank you very much, we don't need the court to interpret it for us. The idea that the court can do whatever they want, provided they can come up with some shed of reasoning about some twisted passage in the constitution was not intended my the framers! I have given examples of some instances when they had to work extremely hard to cram their own views into the constitution, but they did.
Jefferson understood the danger of "interpretation." He said the court could reduce the constitution into “a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.”
I have already responded to the idea that the legislatures can get around court decisions. From the evidence I have presented, does the supreme court sound "weak" to you??
My opponent seems to misunderstand what I meant by "abusive rulings deterred." As my evidence under that point said, if the court knows they can be overturned be the legislature, they will be careful about issuing ridiculous rulings.
In conclusion, think about what you have heard. You have seen that the court has, indeed trampled both the constitution and the balance of power. That the legislative branch is almost powerless to stop them, and that this plan will solve the problem. Furthermore, I have supported all my claims with the opinions of experts. Do you want to live in a country where the laws are made by courts? I don't. Please vote pro.
Rebuttal 1: No meaning in first contention
This is a false. The job of the Supreme Court is to make a determination about the constitution within a particular context. This is done in the status quo and by affirming your plan, we would limit that power to interpret. Marbury v. Madison has already determined the job of the Supreme Court. The job is judicial review, and by allowing congress to impede on this, we are seeing that Congress is now limiting the power of the Supreme Court so that Congress has the Supreme Court’s job. Checks and balances states that each branch should be equal in power to another so no branch is stronger than another. This is a clear problem in your plan. However you refute this with Thomas Jefferson’s idea of the fact that checks and balances should not mean that the judicial branch has congressional power. It does not even in the status quo. You can call the judicial system flawed, but you can’t show the fact that it directly passes law. In the Supreme Court, a law is discussed, but only on constitutional terms and not under whether it would be a net benefit to the American people. Not only this, but with the Supreme Court, we need to see that the power to strike down laws has been handy in the past. According to Mint Press News, three strike laws were considered unconstitutional and a law in place was struck down to prevent the war on drugs from continuing. Thus, this is an important part to put a “check” on congress when bad law is passed. Not only this, but as far as the Supreme Court’s decision to decide whether laws are constitutional or not has been decided by Marbury v. Madison and has already been shown to be an integral part of our governmental system. Not only this, but just because Thomas Jefferson has stated his opinion does not mean that he could have predicted the future as the constitution is a fluid document which changes with the times. That is why some parts of it are vague, to allow for reform when necessary.
Rebuttal 2: Status quo
I have already shown that the Supreme Court’s power is limited by Congress. Allow me to look at my opponent’s argument against this.
“My opponent has brought up examples where congress limited the effects of a court case, but they never can erase them. Also, as I have shown with the example of RFRA, if congress does try to take back their legislative power, the court can always ignore or strike down congress's acts. This is not enough. Congress needs to have all legislative power.”
Yes the Supreme Court can strike down laws as unconstitutional, but there is a backdoor. I have shown to get around this and it may be for the best that the Supreme Court as it means a “check” on the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court can’t pass any bad judgment as Congress will find a way around it. This has happened before and will happen again.
Rebuttal 3: Did not address the rulings given
I am aware of this fact. This is because I have already shown that the job of the Supreme Court is to give an interpretation of how the constitution applies to certain laws. The rulings are simply the opinions of qualified individuals to determine whether a law is constitutional or not. This was to prevent Congress from becoming corrupt by passing unconstitutional bills. Remember as well, opinions are not debate. Regardless of my opponent’s interpretation of the V amendment, or that of any other person, we need to see that the Supreme Court is doing its job.
”My opponent argues that the judges always quote from the constitution in deciding a case. That is true most of the time, but when it is clear, as my opponent admitted in his first rebuttal, that much of the time they are not basing the decision on the constitution, but on their own policy preferences, they are unquestionably stepping outside their authority.”
Allow me to show you why this is not a bad thing. I have told you the job of the Supreme Court, and yes, this happens, but we also need to look at the fact that quite possibly, the Supreme Court is the least polar organization in government. Yes, there was a clear majority of Republicans in the Supreme Court, however there have been left wing policies that have gone through and had been passed regardless of the polarity between people. We see the passing of homosexual marriage and Obamacare in the Supreme Court regardless of it being left wing. This leads people to believe that the Supreme Court has very centrist policies and mostly votes on the constitution.
Congress on the other hand is shown to be a cesspool of lobbyists and other scumbags that interrupt the government system, so why are we giving congress more power? This needs to be seen as especially true since one party has always dominated the legislative branch.
Rebuttal 4: Counter plan
“The problem I presented was that the court has too much power. Changing how long each justice can have that power does not in any way lessen that power. If there is an imbalance of power, the solution is not to check all three branches evenly.”
Limiting the time served on the bench decreases the power of the people on the bench by limiting the amount of influence allowed on the system. There would be no overarching influence from incumbents who are simply there to benefit monetarily or from policy, there would be people who would serve for a set amount of time, and then leave like the founding fathers intended.
I will also go into clarity of my plan.
Yes, I will also concede that both can be passed at the same time, however, this plan is in place of the other.
Rebuttal 5: Imbalance of power
My opponent is correct in saying that there is an imbalance of power, and I will address that Congress is in fact the most powerful of the branches. Congress has the power to make laws, override a presidential veto, and can find backways around Supreme Court decisions. Not only this, but as we all know, there is a rampant amount of corruption in congress with personal interests concerned with the process of lawmaking which involves monetary incentives, reelection, and lobbyists. This is dangerous, and giving Congress more power would be troublesome. If you are going to claim that the Supreme Court is more corrupt and polar than Congress, you would be simply wrong. So, let us both concede that regardless of what branch of government is more corrupt we need to take a look at the bigger picture to see the direct effects on the problem of setting a precedent that directly challenges the power of the Supreme Court. If you would like an example of this happening, then let us turn toward the New York Times in 2013, where a few states had an imbalance between popular vote and party makeup of the state. This resulted in the small imbalance showing a huge share of house seats. This delicate and corrupt system can’t handle the power to overturn decisions with the increasingly polar and lucrative system.
Rebuttal 6: Constitution
The tenth amendment may say what my opponent says, but it does not matter. Remember, the constitution was not something that could predict the future, thus the constitution was kept vague and interpretive. Yet, it may be written in English, but my opponent has already proven my point that there are multiple interpretations of what the constitution means by providing what he thinks about certain Supreme Court cases, proving that his idea of what the constitution means differs from other interpretations. For example, the second amendment to some means that the government should keep guns legal, but read the constitution.
“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
This means to some people that the constitution limits the usage of guns to the well-regulated militia. So yes:
“The document is in ENGLISH”
But the important part of this is the fact that the constitution was meant to be fluid, so that it could change with the times, regardless of what Jefferson has said. This has been shown with the Marbury v. Madison case which solidified the US as a representative democracy that votes people in to represent their individual political views.
Rebuttal 7: Abusive rulings deterred
My opponent may have missed the point I made in my argument. The fact that some decisions are labeled as abusive makes no difference due to the multiple interpretations of the Supreme Court as dictated by Marbury v. Madison.
My opponent argues that to justify a shift in the balance of power, I must prove that the balance is off. In other words, that the court legislates in the status quo. Sadly, they have begun to decide cases based on whether they think the outcome would be better. As even you said, it is used to stop congress from passing "bad" laws. You are admitting that the court makes decisions based on policy preferences. The only body who should do that is congress. Now I would like to present even more evidence besides what I have brought up already ( not to mention your own words) to show that the court uses unlawful legislative power.
Dr. Rick Scarborough, Vision America, April 8, 2005: "When prayer was removed from the public schools, was it by a vote of the American people? When it became legal for a woman to kill her own baby, was it by a vote of the American people? When the Ten Commandments were stricken from public places, was it by a vote of the American people? No, a handful of judges imposed their own personal agendas upon the nation, with no constitutional authority whatsoever. The judges simply ignored the people and persisted in their unabashed determination to change America."
Because this is an important point, here is another piece.
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 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 the U.S. Congress in such nuanced, complicated, and important areas as: apportioning legislatures, using the death penalty, regulating abortion, decriminalizing most forms of 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."
I think that will suffice to prove that the court does, indeed use legislative power to decide policy issues. Article 1, section 1 of the constitution states that "All legislative power" is granted to congress. Yes, the balance of power is off and needs fixing.
I would like to quickly state that the constitution does "change with the times," but it should only change when it's words are changed by the amendment process. The court should not be able to change the meaning of clear words at their whim. In the words of the late justice Scalia "It's a legal document for Pete's sake!"
In rebuttal 2 my opponent contradicts what he said in rebuttal 1. Before he said that the court has no legislative power at all. Now he is saying that they have, and ought to have, ULTIMATE legislative power. He says that they should have the last word in order to stop congress from passing "bad" laws. That sounds legislative to me.
My opponent quoted, but did not refute my example of RFRA proving that the court has the last word and cannot be overturned by congress. In addition let me remind you of Cooper V. Arron which I brought up in my first speech. In that case, the court decided that their decisions have the same force as the constitution. That case refutes both rebuttal 1 and 2. In that case, they gave themselves supreme legislative power with no effective way to stop them.
As far as his argument that the states can get around a court decision, I would like to argue that solving illegality by doing something illegal is no solution at all! Also, his one example of this "solution" working has now failed. Roy Moore who is the state supreme court justice leading the fight against the courts unconstitutional ruling has now been fired. Congress has little recourse and the states have none.
On to rebuttal 3. My opponent argues that the court is better at making policy that congress, so we should hand over legislative power to congress. Again he is arguing against his earlier claims! Before he said they have no legislative power, than when it helped him he said they do, now he says they should. He can't have it all those ways.
He argues that the court will make better laws than congress. I would like to argue that who would make better law is beside the point. The point is, who's job is it to make law? The constitution clearly gives ALL legislative power to congress. I don't care if the court would use it better! The power rightfully belongs to congress, and it must be returned to them.
By the way, if you don't like what your congressman does, boot him out. If you don't like what a justice does... deal with it.
Now on to the counter plan. Let me explain to you how counter plans work. They must solve the harms presented by pro, but be mutually exclusive. If my opponent would like to argue about term limits some other time, great! (although, I am not entirely against them myself) According to some experts, my plan and his work together! My opponent even admits that they could both be done. That should be the end of this argument.
As far as clarifying your plan, could this accountability Office remove people from their positions?
Now let's look at rebuttal 5. Yes, congress is polar, that is their job! They are sent to congress to represent the interests of their constituents. Working for re election is not corrupt! It is the way you exercise power over them!
No. This plan does not strike a blow at the power of the court. It puts them back where the founders wanted them.
If you really still think that the court does not have too much power, there is always more evidence, and since I have time, here we go. Lets hear from some more experts, and if you come out of this still thinking there is no problem, vote con right now.
William J. Federer, founder of the Manhattan Declaration, a political action group focused on religious liberty issues, in "Judicial Tyranny," 2005: "Students are taught that America is a democracy. Historians clarify it as a Constitutional Republic. But America is neither. It has become an oligarchy --- a rule by a few unelected federal judges."
Mark Levin, in The Liberty Amendments: The judiciary behaves "as a perpetual constitutional convention " without the benefit of representation and input from the states " rewriting the Constitution as a relative handful of judges divine the merits of this or that issue, nearly always promoting the centralization and concentration of power in the federal government. Of course, the constitutional structure and amendment processes are thereby eviscerated."
Elizabeth Slattery, Edwin Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, June 13, 2013: "Judicial activism can take a number of different forms. These include importing foreign law to interpret the U.S. Constitution, elevating policy considerations above the requirements of law, discovering new "rights" not found in the text, and bending the text of the Constitution or a law to comport with the judge"s own sensibilities, When judges impose their own views instead of attempting to determine the original public meaning of a statute or constitutional provision, the Framers" vision of our republican democracy"a government of laws and not of men"is compromised."
Law professor Michael Paulsen, in the Notre Dame Law Review, December 7, 2006: "The Supreme Court, as currently constituted, is a lawless, rogue institution capable of the most monstrous of injustices in the name of law, with a smugness and arrogance worthy of the worst totalitarian dictatorships of all time. The Court, as it stands today, has, with its abortion decisions, forfeited its legal and moral legitimacy as an institution. It has forfeited its claimed authority to speak for the Constitution. It has forfeited its entitlement to have its decisions respected, and followed, by the other branches of government, by the states, and by the People. "
Constitutional attorney and national legal columnist Don Feder, in 2005: "We must combat an entrenched mindset. Most Americans have come to honestly believe that judges are magicians and the Constitution (federal or state) is a magic hat from which these hyper-active Houdinis are allowed to pull the most grotesque and deformed mutant rabbits, which all are expected to venerate."
And finally James Dobson, founder of the conservative think tank Family Research Council: "Marbury v. Madison allowed the justices to rule on the Constitutionality of every legal issue, both inside and outside the government, giving themselves unrivaled imperial power. The concept of "checks and balances" that was intended to keep one branch from eclipsing the other two was no longer in force " at least not in regard to the judiciary. Thereafter, the will of millions of American people have been subservient to the rulings of five imperious justices, with numerous lower court judges, who issue their decrees beyond the reach of any authority."
If the opinions of all the legal experts I have time for is not enough for you, I don't know what will be. These experts clearly contradicted almost everything my opponent has said. Between logic and evidence, the round has been brought to a simple question: Who should rule you? Who should have the ultimate power over the policy decisions that effect you every day? unaccountable, all powerful judges, or the legislators that you hire, fire and pay? The body clearly intended by the framers to have "all legislative power." Please stand with me and return legislative power to legislative bodies!
Rebuttal 1: Power Balance
The Supreme Court does not legislate. What the Supreme Court does is determine the constitutionality of cases given to them which influences policy. The Supreme Court has this right since Marbury vs. Madison. The job of the Supreme Court is in jeopardy when enacting your plan due to the fact that we are reducing the power of the Supreme Court to have judicial power, not legislative power like my opponent claims. Regardless of Thomas Jefferson’s opinion, let us look toward the current power of the legislative branch to which we are giving power. Yes, the Supreme Court does make decisions based on policy preferences, but the recent supreme court ruling on gay marriage despite a conservative majority in the Supreme Court points toward the fact that the Supreme Court is not as biased as many think. Not only this, but Congress is shown to be much more corrupt with lobbyists and money being a huge influence in reelection. This is different for the Supreme Court members as they are elected for life, thus they do not have to appeal to voters to pass a decision. However, the judges can be impeached, proving there are some ways to limit Supreme Court power anyway. I have proven that there is power shift toward congress. If we turn toward the Center for Responsive Politics, we can see that lobbying has gone up exponentially and will continue to do so as the corruption increases in congress. So even if I were to buy that the Supreme Court has become lawless, which it has not then giving power to another corrupt political entity is not the correct answer.
Rebuttal 2: Changes with time
I feel like my opponent did not read my full argument on this. Remember, I gave an example showing a literal and figurative interpretation of the 2nd amendment. What the actual language in the second amendment states is that the standing militia should be given firearms, not the mass populace This can also be proven due to my opponent’s own interpretation of past Supreme Court decisions, as he disagrees with the understanding of the constitution as given by Kennedy, or any other judge.
Rebuttal 3: Contradiction
I never said that the Supreme Court should have all legislative power, only that the interpretation of the constitution should be in the hands of the Supreme Court.
Rebuttal 4: Failed in status quo
My opponent has stated that because the leader of a movement to challenge Supreme Court decisions is fired, that means that he entire argument I gave was a falsity. This is untrue, as there are still laws that the Supreme Court does not support that are being passed in the status quo. I have given one example but there are plenty more. Yes, it is illegal, but the point of this argument is to show that the Supreme Court is not as arrogant or lawless as my opponent claims, and that their decisions are not being valued on the state level.
Rebuttal 5: Marbury vs. Madison abusive
Again, my opponent has only given me opinions, and has yet to show why the constitution can’t be interpreted figuratively. The Supreme Court is no more powerful than Congress, which disregards what the people want and pass policy for monetary gain. I have already shown the influence of lobbying n politics, and what we need to see that Congress is no better than the Supreme Court, and that Congress can easily abuse this new power simply to pass policy that they feel is needed.
Rebuttal 6: Can’t use counter plan
“a plan designed to counter another plan, an alternate or substitute plan”
My counterplan stands according to Merriam-Webster; a counter plan is simply a plan in place of another plan. This has not been violated in my argument, ergo it stands. What needs to be seen is that I have a plan that could avoid all of the negative points of today’s debate while decaying the power of all branches of government so that it serves the people with no corruption involved.
Rebuttal 7: Opinions
My opponent has shown that legal experts disagree with this side, but that should not be taken into this debate. Remember, we are debating whether this would be a net benefit to the people to have Congress override the Supreme Court, and what we are setting as a precedent. The precedent we are setting is limiting the power of the Supreme Court to do its job. This is a problem, as it means that lawmakers will look at this in the future and think the same thing when making an even more important decision. So, regardless of the opinions of many legal experts, let us realize the argumentum ad populum dictates that regardless of the amount of people, whether legal experts or not, the point is not considered valid. Simply citing an expert opinion does not negate my point, it simply shows you are not attacking the source, you are simply citing experts. With this in mind, negate.
Allow me to go over my opponent’s points. He states that the Supreme Court has supreme power over the legislative branch, which is untrue as they only interpret the constitution. He gives expert opinions that only point to the fact that the constitution is a living document which is not specific enough. And finally, he puts words in mouth, saying that I claim that the Supreme Court should have supreme legislative power, which is false. Clearly, the negative side wins.
Judges, imagine you had a flock of goats. Goats are very useful animals! They cut the grass give milk etc. They are a necessary and important part of your farm as long as they are inside their fence.If they get out they are very destructive. They will eat the tires off you car. The supreme court is very similar. They have necessary and proper functions laid out in the constitution. However, if they get outside that constitutional fence, they begin to eat the siding off of our republic.
Now, as is the case with any plan to shift the balance of power, the most important argument is whether the balance of power is currently off. Now, let me remind you of the X amendment. This states that ALL powers not specifically granted to the federal government are reserved to the states and people. This means that if any branch of government has power not specifically granted in the constitution, that power is illegitimate and illegal. My opponent has stated several times that the court was given the power to override Congress in the 1803 case of Marbury Vs. Madison. He clearly understands that they did not have this power before. In other words, they illegally took it for themselves.
My opponent says that we are reducing the court's judicial power. That brings up a very important point about my plan. It is carefully designed to return legislative power to congress without so much as touching any of the courts proper judicial power. Think about how it will work under the plan. The court decides a case which has an effect on the litigants, and strikes down a law. Congress overrides that decision. What congress has done is make it so the case legally never happened. The decision remains in place as far as the litigants, but the cases impact on the law, in other words, it's LEGISLATIVE effect, is gone. Remember, Legislative power is power to make law, judicial power is the power to apply that law as written. This case in no way limits the court's ability to apply law. It destroys the courts power to make, change and strike down law. This case restores the balance of power intended by the framers.
My opponent dismisses the opinion of Jefferson, but let me remind you that I also quoted Madison who is called the "father of the constitution." Let me remind you.
“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.”
This clearly makes my case. I don't think I need to say any more about the intended balance of power.
Next, my opponent argues that the judicial branch SHOULD have power to change law, whatever the framers intended. If you wish your laws to be made by an unelected judicial oligarchy, work to amend the constitution. If you think they are a better institution for making law, give them that power. The fact remains that we live in a democratic republic where our laws are made by elected representatives. Our constitution clearly states that all legislative power is given to congress. It is your job judge to uphold the law. If you think we should change our form of government, work to do so. For now, please preserve our currant form of government.
On to rebuttal 2. My opponent argues that the constitution can be read many different ways and changes with time. This is called "living constitutionalism." My opponent argues that the court is within it's rights when it changes the obvious meaning of the text. I would like to bring up a couple of experts on that topic.
Supreme Court Justice James Wilson, 1804: “The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it.”
Constitutional historian David Barton: “It was – and typically still is – a fundamental maxim of law to determine the intent of the authors of a statute before attempting to apply it. Therefore, to discover the legitimate scope of protections and prohibitions intended, investigate the records from that era rather than relying on an interpretation concocted by the Court 200 years ex post facto.”
This is called "originalism." It has the disadvantage of not allowing you to twist the constitution however you want, but it has the advantage of making sense.
Rebuttal 3. You never said the court should have all legislative power. However, you did say it should have ultimate legislative power. Think about it. If they can tell us what the constitution means, and the constitution is "the supreme law of the land," they have the highest legislative power. See Cooper Vs. Arron.
Rebuttal 4. Here my opponent is arguing that we should solve the problem of illegality, by doing something illegal. Seriously? This case is an attempt to restore the rule of law. Therefore, an illegal solution in the status quo obviously does not solve the problem.
Rebuttal 5 is just restating what he said in rebuttal 1 and 2. As I said in those two points respectively, interpreting the constitution "figuratively" destroys the rule of law, and whether or not congress would abuse their power, the power belongs to them. I am not giving congress new power, but restoring the power they had from the beginning. Sure congress can be corrupt too, but that is no excuse for giving legislative power to a non-legislative body. Also, if you don't like congress, you can do lots of thing to work on fixing it. On the other hand, if you don't like the supreme court, there is nothing you can do.
My opponent insists on continuing to run his counter plan. Miriam-Webster is a bad source for this, because that it's definition will have nothing to do with debate. If you read any source about debate, you will see that this counter plan cannot be used against this case. Without getting into debate theory, let me give you an example. If my plan was to establish a flat tax, a good counter plan would be to establish a fair tax instead. Then we would debate the merits of two mutually exclusive plans to solve the same problem. However, you could not run gun control as a counter plan to establishing a flat tax. Do you see the difference? I like the idea of term limits. In fact, it and my plan can work together well. If my opponent convinces you that we need term limits, he has not convinced you that we don't need legislative override. For this reason, I ask you to ignore this argument.
I don't like using debate theory quotes, but this time it is necessary. The bellow is listed as a way to defeat a counter plan. Most debate resources will agree on this point.
"you can argue that the counter plan is not a competitive alternative to the affirmative’s plan – that both could and should be done."
Rebuttal 7. Because my opponent has no legal experts on his side, he is stating that the opinion of legal experts should have nothing to do with the round. This sounds more like sour grapes than logic.
No, we are not limiting the power of the supreme court to do it's job. We are limiting it's power to do somebody else's job. Namely, Congress. That is the only precedent we are setting. The rule of law, the balance of power and the constitution. Not bad precedent if you ask me.
Citing experts is good because it gives us credibility. Why would you trust the opinion of two 16-year-olds on legal issues? You should not. I cite them to show that older, wiser people who have studied the topic all their lives agree with my side of the issue. However, I have not leaned on quotes and neglected to refute my opponent's arguments. I have explained my logic, and then given you the opinion of an expert to back it up. Even if you think, as does my opponent, that quotes are not important, there are still 2 point given out on the basis of sources. They are clearly worthwhile. My opponent simply does not have the evidence on his side.
Most of what my opponent said in his conclusion was false. I did not say the court has supreme power over the legislative branch, rather, I said it has supreme legislative power. I backed that up with much evidence. He says that I "gives expert opinions that only point to the fact that the constitution is a living document which is not specific enough," when really some of my pieces have said the opposite. The reality is that I have presented pieces that back up all of my points. I am not putting words in his mouth. I am taking his words to their logical conclusion. He has said many times that the court should be able to "interpret" the constitution however they want with no checks. The constitution is law. If they change the understood meaning of law, they are exercising legislative power. We have been through this.
Judges, I ask that you stand for the constitution, for the rule of law and for our democratic republic! Vote for whichever side upholds those principals.
Rebuttal 1: Constitution
Up until this point, my opponent has been citing the tenth amendment as one point. However, let us realize that the constitution has already established the power of the supreme court. In fact, if we were to turn toward Cornell University, we could see the following as taken from the constitution:
“The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”
This shows the fact that what the Supreme Court does is not unconstitutional. The power of the Supreme Court is outline here stating that it does in fact have the power to ordain and establish law like congress if necessary. Since we are going against this constitutional Article, we need to have an amendment, not a bill as my opponent has proffered. Not only this, but one of the main arguments of my opponent involves the Supreme Court ignoring the constitution. Well, by enacting today’s plan, we are doing the same thing. So, under your logic of unconstitutionality, the argument fails. Not only this, but as I have stated before, Marbury v. Madison has already established this as well. What this shows is that the Supreme Court is acting within its jurisdiction as of now.
Rebuttal 2: Legislative power
My opponent has asserted that the Supreme Court now has legislative power to make law. This, as stated before, is untrue. If we were to look toward the rulings of any Supreme Court case, we would realize that every case was determined by constitutionality and not the harms on the American people. While I will concede that there are party lines that play into effect here, I have already shown why the Supreme Court is by far the least polar and politically inclined by showing you the fact that despite a conservative majority, an inherently liberal idea was passed, which was to legalize homosexual marriage. This is important given the fact that every other branch of government relies on some sort of agenda to change the lives of Americans through lobbyists for Congress and donors for the executive branch. There is limited, if any lobbying in the Supreme Court. Also, the influence reelection makes in the Supreme Court is also null since the justices are elected for life.
Rebuttal 3: Quotes from Madison
My job here is to show you why the founding fathers quotes do not mean as much in the status quo. It can be easily seen through the fact that regardless of what has been said, the third Article of the constitution is clear in telling us the power of the Supreme Court in regards to decisions making.
Rebuttal 4: Change law
I have never stated that the Supreme Court should be passing law or have any influence on the legislative process. What I am claiming is that the power to interpret the law should be in the hands of the Supreme Court which should be necessary to understand. However, if a law is unconstitutional, by all means, it cannot exist as it violates the very government system set up. It is also the judicial branch’s job to keep Congress in check when bad law is passed. The Supreme Court is checked through possible impeachment. If what my opponent stated is true about the possibility of a Supreme Court decision being overturned makes the likeliness of bad decisions go down, it should go without saying that staying in a job also deters the justices from making, what they might consider, bad decisions.
Rebuttal 5: Living constitutionalism
My opponent has seemed to twist my words up. No, I am not in favor of having the constitution completely changed. I am simply saying that the constitution is outdated by todays’ standards and has to be reapplied by method of Supreme Court judge. How is the constitution outdated? Well, consider the time period when first used. There were things such as “slaves” and “muskets.” What we see in the status quo is that when the 3/5th amendment and second amendment were first introduced, the time period was different and could not account for the future changes in the world. Ergo, the constitution means something different from its origins because it applies to modern day. Not only this, but my opponent has also proven this as well through his opinions on Supreme Court decisions as his opinion on certain Supreme Court decisions differs from the original judges. What this shows is that with different opinions comes different understandings of the constitution, which leads us to modern day where we apply the second amendment to mean the right of man to own a gun, when in the past it meant a standing militia with muskets. Originalism fails in the basic concept that it is impossible to understand what the founding fathers wanted. This is because the original intents are still up for debate as we don’t know how the founding fathers would have reacted given the premises of today with homosexual marriage and the lies. It is important to remember that the founding fathers are not gods, and their opinions may not translate well into today. Some of them even owned slaves, which definitely does not apply to today.
Rebuttal 6: Ultimate legislative power
Wrong, I never said that the Supreme Court should have legislative power, only judicial power. What is meant by this is that the Supreme Court interprets the constitution and applies that to unconstitutional laws. Yes, Cooper v. Arron does establish a right to rule. However, in the status quo we do not see this. The legislative branch arguably has more powers since it makes more decisions that directly change lives at a faster rate through laws and decisions about policy.
Rebuttal 7: Illegality
The point of this argument was to show that in the status quo, the Supreme Court does not have the supreme power that it pretends to have. If anything, what needs to happen is that we look at the illegal actions as a type of peaceful protest which will cause the Supreme Court to act in a certain way to fix the problems presented.
Rebuttal 8: Counter plan
While we could adopt this and your plan at the same time, allow me to explain why this would be bad. First, we would see that we would be balancing the power away from the Supreme Court as my counter plan targets all branches of government and government officials while my opponent’s plan simply targets the Supreme Court. This would lead to balance being taken away Supreme Court especially given the life long term that judges are used to spending.
Rebuttal 9: Opinions
No, the point behind this argument is to show the fact that legal experts are not statistics that are certain. I have already supplied a constitutional point and a Supreme Court case where plenty of people shared an opinion about the Supreme Court’s job, which shows at least some legal expert, a Supreme Court judge, agrees with me. I did not mean to imply that expert opinions mean nothing, nor was I implying that justice’s opinions should be considered higher than a legal expert’s. However, keep in mind that opinions are never certain. However, while I am on the topic of expert legal opinions, let us keep something in mind as stated from the Harvard Review:
“In accord with that doctrine, the federal courts refuse to advise other government actors or private individuals on abstract legal questions; instead, they provide their views only in the course of deciding live cases or controversies. This means that the Supreme Court will not consider whether potential legislative or executive action violates the Constitution when such action is proposed or even when it is carried out, but only when it is challenged by an adversary party in a case meeting various doctrinal requirements.”
With this we see the complete opposite; that the Supreme Court only looks toward cases that involve constitutional doctrine.
Rebuttal 10: Previous conclusion
My opponent has stated that what I have been saying is not true in the conclusion. My opponent gives opinions of legal experts and does put words in my mouth, such as stating that I want the Supreme Court to have ultimate legislative power, which I never directly stated. I asked for judicial power. I have asked for checks through my counter plan to get rid of the life-long job as a Supreme Court judge, and my opponent’s points lead to the fact that the constitution is a living document as it shows that he as an opinion as well as many others that dissent with others on Supreme Court cases. What I am ultimately saying is the fact that the second amendment is up for debate, that in your opinion the judicial branch has overstated its bounds, leads me to believe that the constitution means different things for different people.
In conclusion, the obvious answer is a negative ballot.
My opponent horribly entangled the clear meaning of his quote from article 3. I will now do my best to untangle it. He said that the words "The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." mean that the court "does in fact have the power to ordain and establish law like congress if necessary." How he got that out of those words I will never know. His quote says 2 things. First, it gives the judicial branch judicial power. Next, it gives CONGRESS the power to "ordain and establish" lower COURTS. If my opponent truly believes that that quote gives the court power to ordain and establish law, he has serious reading comprehension problems.
Speaking of reading comprehension, if he had read my plan carefully he would see that my plan IS a constitutional amendment. It does not in any way violate article 3 because it does not in any way limit judicial power. It is a constitutional amendment because it gives a new function to congress, not because it would change any existing clause of the constitution.
Under his point about legislative power my opponent make 2 assertions. First, that the supreme court does not make law, and second that the court is a better branch for making law because they are not partisan. First, as far as whether they currently do legislate. Legislative power is power over law. After Marbury v. Madison and Cooper v. Arron it is absolutely undeniable that the court does have power over law. In Marbury they took for themselves the power to strike down law and in Cooper they took power even over the constitution itself! They not only have power over law, they have supreme power over law! In case you somehow have any doubt about whether the court legislates, here is a quote from one more legal expert on the topic.
Constitutional appellate litigator Michael Farris, February 17, 2016: "The most important political institution in our nation is the Supreme Court. I chose those words carefully. 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 United States Constitution in this decision. The same thing is true about abortion and a host of other highly contentious issues of our day. The Supreme Court routinely makes law in the guise of constitutional interpretation."
At this point is should be clear that despite the constitution, the court has taken legislative power. My opponent says that the court is a better law making body because it is less partisan. The problem with this argument is that it disregards the rule of law. If a thief stole a mans money, would you let him off on the basis that he used the money better than it's owner would have? No! The supreme court has stolen power, and it is your responsibility judge to uphold the rule of law by returning legislative power to it's rightful owner. Now, if you truly think that the court SHOULD have legislative power, you will need to work toward a constitutional amendment, but for now you must uphold the law we have now.
By the way, re election is a check. It does not corrupt. It keeps representatives lined up with the will of the people.
In rebuttal 3 my opponent tells you that quotes from the founding fathers telling you how they tried to set this country up don't matter. They matter because the constitution is, or was supposed to be, the supreme law of the land. It is important to see what the authors of our most important legal document intended when they wrote it. It is also important that what they intended and wrote clearly does not line up with what ended up happening. It is important that the father of the constitution was outraged by the court's seizure of power.
My opponent's argument to tell you they are not important was to point back to the words these same founders wrote in Article 3. Again, his quote from Article 3 makes my point. The judiciary should have judicial power, while the legislative has legislative power. That is what they wrote, but that is not the way it has remained. Jefferson and Madison make that clear.
In rebuttal 4 my opponent once again denies his statement from rebuttal 2 when he said that the court is a better institution for making law because it is non-partisan. He says that he does not want the court "passing law," but he still is not willing to take away ALL legislative power (power over law).
Again he contradicts himself when he says the court should strike down "bad" laws. Deciding which laws are "good" is legislative.
My opponent now brings up a new argument. He says that the court is checked by impeachment. Let me remind him that impeachment is for "high crimes and misdemeanors." This means that a justice can only be impeached for a criminal offence. It does nothing to check their power. It does nothing to solve my harms. So impeachment will not deter them from bad decisions, it will only deter them from committing crimes.
In rebuttal 5 my opponent claims that I twisted his words by saying that he is in favor of living constitutionalism. He then proceeds to defend the mindset he denied the moment before.
If you the judge think that the constitution should be updated, it just so happens that the founders created a way to do that. It is called an amendment. The court should have no power to do this updating for us. We have tried that and it means that the court can do literally whatever they want to the constitution. That is unacceptable. It is true that times have changed. In that case, amend the constitution LEGALY.
In rebuttal 6 my opponent again says that congress should have all legislative power and that congress should have none, but he forgets once again that legislative power is not only power to make law, but is all power over law. He even admits that in Cooper v. Arron the court seized supreme power over law. Case closed. We all agree that the court has taken power it was not intended to have. He claims that they don't use this power, but if you look at the evidence I have presented especially in the harms of my first speech, you will see that his claim is unfounded.
In rebuttal 7 my opponent says we should let the supreme court do illegal things as a protest. Again, this boils down to the rule of law.
My opponent admits that his counter plan could be done at the same time, and does not dispute my point about counter plans. Case closed.
In rebuttal 9 my opponent clearly says that his evidence pieces were not from as good sources. Whenever we have stated facts that are in conflict, the only way to decide is by the evidence. If you are having trouble deciding a point bases on our logic, I would ask you to look again at the mounds of evidence I have presented to factually back up almost every word out of my mouth.
All his quote from Harvard shows is that the court can only examine a law which has been challenged in court. This is obvious and I don't see why it matters. The fact remains that they have the last word on law.
In conclusion let me once again explain my plan. In this plan is passed, congress will be able to override a court decision. The override will not effect how the case plays out for the individuals involved. It still allows the court to apply law to cases entirely unchecked. In other words, the plan does not in any way hamper judicial power. On the other hand, it allows congress to completely destroy the effects of a case on the law, that is, the LEGISLATIVE effect of that case. In this way the court will retain all judicial power and congress will once again possess all legislative power as was intended.
The fundamental question for you the judge to decide in this round is simply: "Who should rule you?" Who do you want to have the final say in the legislative policy matters that effect your daily life? Should it be the court? Should we be ruled by an unaccountable, life tenured, all powerful judiciary, or would you rather have policy made by elected representatives who you hire, fire and pay as it was intended from the beginning?
Please stand with me an defend our democratic republic from becoming a robed oligarchy. Stand with me and defend the rule of law!
Rebuttal 1: Power over law
No, never stated that the Supreme Court has power over law. What I am saying is that the Supreme Court does have the jurisdiction to decide cases which does indirectly influence law. However, the Supreme Court has never made law.
Rebuttal 2: Interpretation
This entire debate we have been quarrelling over whether the constitution is a living document or a strict guideline. My opponent has decided that the quote I mentioned was entirely misrepresented.
Rebuttal 3: Constitutional amendment
I was meaning to get to this in my last rebuttal, but the plan is not a constitutional amendment. My opponent has grilled me on my reading comprehension, however let us look toward the argument that he has proposed a constitutional amendment. He has not. Under the constitution it is not 3/5 of states or a 3/5 vote of congress.
“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 constitution has specified a 3/4 vote to determine a constitutional amendment of the states. With this, the entire plan is void.
Rebuttal 4: Quotes
I specifically did this to show, yet again, the importance of interpretation. Remember, simply because in the past the founding fathers disagreed with the constitution means nothing. Let us look toward the progress made by the Supreme Court in the status quo. The Supreme Court has propelled social progress despite a conservative majority. Not only this, but we ended segregation with the Supreme Court as well. This would definitely not be supported by the slave-owning founding fathers. Regardless, the majority of the people in the US do support this.
Rebuttal 5: Legislative v. judicial
Yes, the Supreme Court does have the power for judicial law by interpreting the constitution and striking down bad law, or as I should have stated unconstitutional law. Remember, the job of the Supreme Court is to interpret the constitution. This will inevitably influence law, but does not mean it make the law. It only interprets the constitution in the best way possible to come up with a decision about a piece of legislation. Yes, the Supreme Court does influence law indirectly, but the key difference is the fact that not a single piece of legislation is made or put into power by the Supreme Court. Not only this, but the Supreme Court also only decides a case when it comes to the Supreme Court through appeals. This means that the Supreme Court does not simply decide laws, it acts as an appeals court for decisions of national interest. Ergo, limiting the power of the Supreme Court is a problem.
Rebuttal 6: Opinions
Yet again, my opponent has twisted my words. I said that legal opinions are not the best source to cite since they are simply opinions. I continued to counter this point by showing you a differing opinion from another legal expert, which comes from Harvard. I thought the quote to be self-explanatory, however, allow me to explain. The Supreme Court does not just decide law; it acts as an appellate court to the inferior courts while also only deciding cases that become popular that people want a decision about.
Rebuttal 7: Plan
My opponent has decided to show his plan once again, which gives me the chance the reexamine the points made once more to show you why I clearly won. First let us look toward the original plan he had proposed.
“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.
There is an inherent power balance issue at hand. First, I will show why the executive branch’s power is usurped. This is because there is no review from the president of the United States, while also we see that state’s rights are usurped due to not having a say in what the Supreme Court’s decision means. This leads to an unfair power balance toward Congress. This could also potentially lead to corruption on the legislative branch’s part. This is due to the lack of oversight in this potential plan.
Clearly, the con side wins as I show that the plan my opponent proposes is faulty.