The Instigator
WilliamSchulz
Con (against)
The Contender
JohnSmythe
Pro (for)

Should the Supreme Court be subject to factors that can nullify its decisions?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/25/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 281 times Debate No: 104615
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (19)
Votes (0)

 

WilliamSchulz

Con

The first round is for accepting the debate, and the other four are for whatever purpose you think of.

If you could use authority to back up your statements, that would be great, and I will try to do the same. Best wishes
JohnSmythe

Pro

Background:

Much of the case for the judicial branch being the "weakest" comes from a reductive view of the three branches of government, with (quoting Federalist 78) the Executive wielding the "sword", the Legislative "the purse", and the Judicial "neither FORCE nor WILL, but judgment."

The issue as highlighted by recent court decisions is rather that the Judiciary shields itself behind a very valuable hostage. The Judiciary can be as wrong as wrong can be, but its decisions can only be overturned in some cases by law, and in others by constitutional amendment. Simply ignoring the Judiciary would be to invoke a constitutional crisis and undo the Constitution itself, because if the watchers cannot watch, who can? If the federal government, supported immeasurably by the people, decided to annul Roe vs. Wade, there would never be any means to authoritatively interpret the Constitution ever again. Thus to avoid anarchy and sure despostism, we allow the likes of Anthony Kennedy to be essentially the emperor of the United States, knowing that at least the most excessive acts of tyranny are beyond his reach due to the separation he has from the apparatus of force. We live in a slightly more democratic Principate (google that if you don't know what it is), where our overlord has to maintain the appearance of democracy and the status quo else be overthrown.

The Solution:

I therefore propose that as the while the authors of the Constitution are no longer available for comment, the guarantors and ratifiers are. When Congress seeks to change the Constitution, it must have its amendment ratified by the states. Why not have the same be true of the Supreme Court? Simply put, the procedure I propose would be that whenever the Supreme Court decides to make a ruling whose basis is upon the Constitution, and which seeks explicitly and implicity to establish precedent for further interpretation of the Constitution, (e.g. Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission rather than Nix vs. Hedden), then the States should have to ratify this interpretation by the normal Article V procedure. The implementation could be changed based on practical considerations, such as a regular convention of the states to review the decisions of the last five years, with any number of states amounting more than 33% (slightly more than the amount needed to oppose ratification) able to put stays on the implemenation of decisions until this convention.

Debate Round No. 1
WilliamSchulz

Con

The way I will structure my argument is my describing my point of view, rebutting my opponent, and offering a solution of my own.

First, I would like to point out that the Supreme Court is not bad at all. In fact, it is probably why the president and Congress have to work in the constraints of the law lest the Supreme Court make their actions unconstitutional. However, the Supreme Court is incorrect on a variety of issues and one of these causes is bias. Everybody has bias, and although the Supreme Court can use judicial review, bias can show in an argument about rights, say Roe v. Wade. In that case, conservatives leaned toward Wade and liberals to Roe. Also, the court made up a version of the 14th amendment that supported a woman's right to privacy, which didn't even exist at the time. In an extreme example, say that all the justices were liberal or conservative. Would there really be a fair court? The answer is no. Why do you think, then, is there such a large battle to see which justice enters the Supreme Court? The answer, because of the bias that the person shares. Liberals would not budge to see Neil Gorsuch in the Supreme Court because Gorsuch had a conservative bias. Therefore, certain measures need to be taken in order to demote personal bias. This would feed into the measures taken to nullify court decisions ridden by bias.

Therefore, feeding from those mistakes, what are people going to do about it? Justices are extremely hard to remove and a bad decision is usually frowned upon, but most groups will simply turn the other way. For instance, in the Case of the Westboro Baptist Church, the person harmed eventually moved on after losing the court case. If you look up the case and the person's quotes, although he felt upset that the court did not call the Church out for their comments to his son like "God hates f**s", he felt the battle had been fought. Who is therefore able to call out the Supreme Court? Well, at this point, nobody. Therefore, measures need to be taken so that on SPECIFIC issues, the court can be called out. This should, however, only be a few years after the case had been argued so that people can see the result of the decision.

I would now like to rebut my opponents viewpoints. He firstly argues that the judicial branch comes from a reductive view of the three points of the government, which seems fair, but I would be slow to agree that the court is the weakest aspect of the government. In fact, I would argue that in history, power switches from branch to branch. For instance, in the beginning of the US, the Congress had the most power in the formation of the laws in the early US. However, in the 1800's, the courts had the most power, especially in deciding issues pertaining to slavery, say Dred Scott v. Stanford. President Buchanan actually told his Secretary of State that he hoped that the Court would hand down a decision on slavery. Google it if you don't believe me. Although the presidency has been gaining power more and more in today's world, that does not automatically make the court the weakest branch.

My opponent then argues that the judiciary shields itself behind a valuable hostage, namely freedom from public election and public shaming. That I will agree with, however, I never suggested that people should ignore the judiciary. I argue, since this is round 1, that people shouldn't ignore the judiciary. I am arguing that at times, they should question the courts decisions and the choices that they make for the US government. The public should also not immeasurably support the government and the court. If we did that, we would lose our element of free speech as we would agree with whatever the court told us. The government should be questioned, as it is that way that politicians will appeal to people to get election votes from the people.

Finally, you mention that "to avoid anarchy and sure despotism, we allow the likes of Anthony Kennedy to be essentially the emperor of the United States." This does not follow, as you suggest that to avoid lawlessness, we allow an emperor to rule the US. However, choosing between lawlessness and dictatorship should not ever have to occur. That is why democracy works, and that is why we need to reform the Supreme Court, so as to preserve the balance between your mentioned extremes.

My Solution:

Therefore, similar to the comments I posted before the debate, I would suggest that judges be elected via an independent judiciary so as to prevent an overly biased person from entering the courts.

Secondly, so that poverty doesn't become an issue in court, the case will be re argued two years down the line by request of a. the people and b. the amount of controversy it causes two-five years down the line. That way, only the most necessary cases get re argued and at no cost to the original parties. The court would have to look objectively at their own decision based on the new views of the groups affected by the decision.

However, your solution also holds ground and I will accept your solution as valid.

With that, I pass the argument to my opponent.
JohnSmythe

Pro

(ceded round to allow opponent to adjust his argument)
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by WilliamSchulz 2 months ago
WilliamSchulz
Okay, that makes sense. On the debate topic, we could just finish off a 1 round debate and I could play devil's advocate and present the opposite argument
Posted by JohnSmythe 2 months ago
JohnSmythe
I said somewhat farcically that it was the weakest. Many Justices like to say that it is, but I point out that while it may have the most limited means of actually carrying out its will, it nevertheless holds tremendous power over those who can.
Posted by WilliamSchulz 2 months ago
WilliamSchulz
If we want to keep debating, do you want to debate the power held by the Supreme Court, as you mention that it is the weakest branch, while I disagree that it is the weakest?
Posted by JohnSmythe 2 months ago
JohnSmythe
Well, if you want to keep debating, find something to disagree with in my proposal. Otherwise, let's just alternate saying "Debate concluded" until it fills the last round.
Posted by WilliamSchulz 2 months ago
WilliamSchulz
I don't even know anymore...
Posted by JohnSmythe 2 months ago
JohnSmythe
Would there be any point? We agree essentially.
Posted by WilliamSchulz 2 months ago
WilliamSchulz
Should we restart the debate and start over?
Posted by WilliamSchulz 2 months ago
WilliamSchulz
I thought this was so because of the way you worded the government must have immesurable support in the decisions it makes and the Anthony Kennedy as emperor. I thought that the statement assumed the court was completely fine as is.
Posted by JohnSmythe 2 months ago
JohnSmythe
No, I quite clearly suggested that the Supreme Court BE subjected to factors, hence the Article V bit
Posted by WilliamSchulz 2 months ago
WilliamSchulz
I thought your arguments suggested that the Supreme Court shouldn't be subject to factors. My bad! Should we switch sides, or what?
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