Could the Americans on this site, tell me please, as someone not from the USA, how does it happen, that seemingly unelected judges, get to alter law which deeply affects millions of people ? Without it seeming to go through the elected chambers. How is this part of a democracy ? Or have I misunderstood ? ( Real question not irony, I really am interested. )
The Constitution set up a checks and balances system with executive, legislative, and judicial branches, none of which is to be preeminent. Over the years there has been some jostling and some shifts in relative power and influence among the three branches. The Congress can, in principle, pass laws and even amend the Constitution counter to what the court has previously done. But the current Congress is paralyzed,vso nothing is likely to be corrected.
Unfortunately, the government is fucked, and it arguably goes back to the original compromises made in the Constitution to appease various agrarian states' concerns about the possibility that less populous states would be marginalized by more populous states. The attempts to equalize influence among states resulted in individual voters having grotesquely disparate vote value.
Congress has changed its rules for conducting legislative work, and in recent years has paralyzed itself in gridlock by requiring 60% to move legislation forward, and in some cases it allows a single Senator to kill bills. Given the highly polarized state of the country and its elected reps, the conservatively stacked court can render rulings largely condemned by the majority, and the Congress is impotent to correct it. In the short term, it is fucked up.
We are self centered and not very smart, we are easily led by lies, and do not really care about each other in a political sense. In short, we are uneducated idiots who like bright lights.
It is called corruption. The justices lied during their confirmation vowing to respect Roe and Stare Decisis. McConnell broke the law (with impunity) to withhold Gorsuch's nomination, and to allow affirmation of Kavanaugh without an FBI vetting. He was affirmed in spite of demonstrating manifest unfitness (revealing himself to be a psychopathic partisan). Similarly, Barrett is also a nut-job and only voted in along partisan lines. Thomas's nomination proceeded even though other accusers went unheard. (Also, Ginsburg failing to retire during a democrat administration didn't help. She did not anticipate or grasp the level of corruption the GQP would sink to with Trump & McConnell.)
From Wikipedia: 'Two women, Angela Wright and Rose Jourdain, made statements to Senate staffers in support of Hill. Ultimately, however, Wright and Jourdain were dismissed by the Judiciary Committee without testifying... ... Wright herself was reluctant to testify after seeing the Committee's treatment of Hill, including Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter stating that he felt Hill's testimony was perjurious in its entirety...
SCOTUS currently consists of six Catholics, two Protestants, and one Jew, 9 in total (hardly representing the entire US population). I believe that in the US, judges are directly nominated by the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, which is not allowed in the UK (the UK Supreme Court is an institution independent of the government). So, with religious bias together with political bias, how can SCOTUS deliver democracy properly? This is how much I know about SCOTUS. I'm learning.
@Ryo1 SCOTUS judges are appointed by the President. It had worked fairly well while they were applying the law rather than applying their personal beliefs.
Somehow, the Founding Fathers (emphasis on "Fathers" ) thought that unelected judges would make them impartial as they would not owe allegiance to the people who elected him. Apparently, the FF were naive and did not foresee see presidents stacking the deck.
As for the balance of power, it ain't working.
I suspect the real question is how can the highest court in a country that lectures the rest of the world about liberty and democracy be little more than an extension of the political party system, an instrument to pursue a political party agenda, and a regressive one at that? It shows that the pretense of American 'democracy' goes all the way up to the top.
First, the USA is NOT a Democracy at th Federal level, nor was it ever intended to be one.
Second, we are a nation of laws, Judges review laws in ALL countries.
Third, the USA has always left most decisions to States. Read the last paragraph of our Constitution and perhaps you will understand.
@Fernapple I misdirected you previously. The parts of the US Constitution I wanted you to see are th 10th Amendment, and ection 4, Article IV. I paste them below and, of course you can Google them.
(ratified December 15, 1791)
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.
@Alienbeing Thank you again. The first one was actually the one I found, but not the second.
@Fernapple Most US citizens don't know of either parts that I posted to you. Our schools usually teach we are a Democracy even though when they Pledge Alliegence in class they pledge to "the flag, and the Republic it represents." Many, if not most of our teachers need a education.
Other obvious "hints" that we are not a Democracy is, if we were, each State would not have the same number of Senators irrespective of population, and amending the Constitution would not require a 66% vote on the Senate and House and then 66% of the States must ratify the bill for it to becoe an amendment. Obviously not a Democratic process.
Our Constitution establishes three branches of government intended to check and balance each other: the judiciary, the executive and the legislative branch. SCOTUS, the Supreme Court of the US is our final judicial arbiter. Its judges are appointed for life, although many judges in the US are elected by term.
It has worked okay until now, but is another aspect of our Constitution that needs to be revised after more than 200 years. The framers of our Constitution could not even have imagined our way of life today, in fact many of them were slave owners. Our Constitution was intended to change and has been amended many times but conservatives by definition fear change and wish to turn the clock back, not forward.
Thanks for asking.
@Fernapple It was very early when I responded and I missed the most important point. It now falls to one of the other two branches of government to codify a woman's right to choose into law.
@Gwendolyn2018 Thank you. Since returning to the US in 2006, I have become fascinated with American government and history especially the Civil War. This country has so much potential, I am heartbroken that we are regressing.
@LovinLarge I will be 70 in Nov. I have seen the progression and the regression. If not for my grandkids, I would seriously think about moving to New Zealand.
@Gwendolyn2018 I have thought about moving to another country, unfortunately at my age, one has to have a lot of money as they have to buy into the medical system. I know New Zealand has restrictions.
@dalefvictor they do have restrictions. I am not ready to retire, as well, and although I work online, my schools do not hire people who do not live in the USA. I need to find a rich man in NZ.
@Gwendolyn2018 Had I the money I would sponsor a vacation there for you, I guess I will have e to wait until I win the lottery.
@dalefvictor I have the money for a vacation! I just don't have the time to go with my schools being on different schedules. Also, I like doing most things alone, but I would not like to travel out of the US by myself.
@Gwendolyn2018 I am sorry, as I did not mean I would be going with you on your vacation. I was trying to say that if I had the money you could be sponsored to live there for a long time. Every time I mention the lottery we are in a fantasy land.
It does not help matters when such judges are appointed by a career criminal who has yet to be prosecuted.
Since appointed judges do not have to run or campaign for re-election they do not have to rely on campaign funds that come from other lawyers and businesses that may end up in that court room later on. They cannot be corrupted by money and kickbacks. Why do you think so many elected officials in America get in trouble and end up in jail after they are elected for rewarding their constituents
“They cannot be corrupted by money and kickbacks.”? Seriously? Judges are frequently removed from the bench for various levels of corruption. Just do a quick search on google.
I am against the reversal of Roe v. Wade but I look objectively at having appointed Supreme Court judges and agree that they should be appointed for the reasons you mentioned and more .
Technically I think it's interpretation of laws on the books. Roe interpreted right to privacy under the 14th amendment to cover abortion. Dobbs interpreted that the original ruling was wrong.
Not a lawyer but from what I understand the right to abortion is not codified in any federal law. The Row vs Wade ruling “extended” the right to privacy to cover abortion, sexuality, and other rights. With Roe struck down all of these rights are relegated to whatever laws are on the books in the individual states.
We’ve basically kicked this can down the road hoping against hope that Roe was eternal. I see this kicking problems down the road to the next generations in most governments but specifically a problem for the US.
Like I said I’m not a lawyer, just my memories from 30 years ago.
The Religion of the Supreme Court Justices