The Supreme Court Is On The Verge Of Making An Unprecedented Power Grab
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was torn to shreds in the media for calling the Voting Rights Act a “racial entitlement” during heated arguments last week.
But that was just part of the “ugliness that erupted from the bench” when the high court heard a challenge to Section 5 of that 1965 law, Linda Greenhouse writes in The New York Times.
Section 5 requires part or all of 16 states (mostly in the South) to get permission from the U.S. before changing their election laws, as a way to make sure minorities aren’t disenfranchised.
In a scathing op-ed, veteran Supreme Court reporter Greenhouse took the Supreme Court to task for being on the verge of dismantling one of the most important civil rights laws in the United States. From her op-ed: ‘Even the name of it is wonderful: the Voting Rights Act,’ Justice Scalia said, his voice dripping with sarcasm as he suggested that only political correctness, rather than a principled commitment to protect the right to vote, had kept the disputed Section 5 of the act alive through four successive Congressional re-enactments.
The VRA was enacted when Southern states used ugly tactics like poll taxes and literacy tests keep blacks away from the polls. In more recent years, the U.S. has used the VRA to thwart laws such as voter ID laws that have the effect of disenfranchising minorities.
John Roberts and others have suggested that the law wrongfully implies Southern states are more racist than those in the North. But Greenhouse, and the more liberal Supreme Court justices, point out that it’s not the Supreme Court’s job to decide where discrimination exists. (In fact, one recent study found voters in Southern states covered by Section 5 do in fact have more racial bias than those in Northern states.)
By undermining the authority of Congress, which passed the VRA, Greenhouse points out the court would be assuming a “big new power,” as Justice Elena Kagan said during arguments.
“The Roberts court stands on the brink of making an error of historic proportions,” Greenhouse writes. “A needless and reckless aggrandizement of power in one case to satisfy the current majority’s agenda will erode the court’s authority over time.” from business insider … read more here …
When the Constitution was written, the SCOTUS was considered the third most important branch of the government. The Constitution, Art 1 deals with Congress because the founders believed they were closest to the people. Then came Art 2 and the president, then Art 3 the Judiciary branch, considered to be the weakest of the three branches.
The Constitution does not give the SCOTUS the power to rule over the other two branches. Justice Marshall has obviously pulled that one right out of his ass.
Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to William Charles Jarvis in 1820, “You seem to consider the judges the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. “
Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 78 stated, “It proves incontestably, that the judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power; that it can never attack with success either of the other two.”
Thomas Jefferson said in a letter to Edward Livingston, March 1825, “For judges to usurp the powers of the legislature is unconstitutional judicial tyranny…”
Congress has the constitutional authority to correct this wrong perpetrated by an activist Justice Marshall. Art. 3 of our Constitution states “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.”
What Congress “ordains and establishes” can be changed back to the way it was before Justice Marshall took it upon his self to change the balance of power.
The Act should simply be made applicable to every state.There are disenfranchisement efforts all over and northern, midwestern, and western states are high growth potential new beachheads to oppress. Snyder, Scott, and the gang need oversight as much as anybody.
It should have always been that way.