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Politics Why Supreme Court fights are so fraught

14:15  29 september  2020
14:15  29 september  2020 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

Is 8 enough? Court vacancy could roil possible election case

  Is 8 enough? Court vacancy could roil possible election case WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death has left the Supreme Court shorthanded during a polarizing presidential campaign in which President Donald Trump has already suggested he may not accept the outcome and the court could be called on to step in and decide the fate of the nation. It's the second time in four years that a justice has died during an election year, though that eight-justice court was not asked to referee any election disputes in 2016. Today, both sides have armies of lawyers ready to take the outcome to court.

These are the Supreme Court confirmation hearings — “This is day two.” — you’re probably all familiar with. “But that is why we do have presidential elections and why presidential elections are so important — the type of people they would appoint to the court .”

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Two weeks into his presidency, on Jan. 31, 2017, President Trump nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch, one of the 21 judges on his list, to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat. Democrats fought passionately against Gorsuch’s confirmation, going so far as to launch the only partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee in our nation’s history. I helped lead the fight to confirm him, making the case both on the Senate Judiciary Committee and on the Senate floor, where we ultimately had to change the rules to overcome the Democratic blockade. The Senate confirmed Justice Gorsuch 54-45.

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The supreme court ruled in favor of Florida Republicans trying to take away the voting rights of people with felony convictions. We will continue to fight this.

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America. It has ultimate (and largely discretionary)

a wooden bench in front of a building: Judges are simply supposed to apply the law. As Chief Justice John Roberts rightly put it at his confirmation hearing, a judge’s job is, like a baseball umpire's, merely to “call balls and strikes.” (Sadly, it is a standard he has not always lived up to.) © P_Wei/Getty Images/iStockphoto Judges are simply supposed to apply the law. As Chief Justice John Roberts rightly put it at his confirmation hearing, a judge’s job is, like a baseball umpire's, merely to “call balls and strikes.” (Sadly, it is a standard he has not always lived up to.)

Why was the two-year battle to fill Scalia’s vacancy so hard-fought? Because today, the Supreme Court has become the preeminent arbiter of our constitutional rights. And the type of justice who serves has a profound impact on public policy and our fundamental liberties.

This would have surprised the framers of our Constitution. In Federalist No. 78, Founding Father Alexander Hamilton famously described the judicial branch as the “least dangerous” of the three branches of the federal government because it “may truly be said to have neither force nor will, but merely judgment.” That is true — in theory, at least. But history has not always borne out Hamilton’s prognostication.

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UK Supreme Court justices face mandatory retirement at age 70 (or 75 if they were appointed before 1995), as do judges on Australia’s High Court . For the foreseeable future, being on the Supreme Court will continue to be a lifetime commitment. Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer?

In general, Supreme Court justices do not openly admit to engaging in judicial amendment. Why bother meeting the requirements of Article V if the Supreme Court can change the Constitution so much more easily? Supreme Court Fights Are What Republican Majorities Are For.

Starting in the 1960s, America saw the rise of activist judges. Under our constitutional system, judges are not supposed to decide policy matters. They are not supposed to make decisions based on their own political preferences. Instead, contested questions of public policy are meant to be left to the elected branches of government so that the voters can hold them accountable.

Judges are simply supposed to apply the law. As Chief Justice John Roberts rightly put it at his confirmation hearing, a judge’s job is, like a baseball umpire's, merely to “call balls and strikes.” (Sadly, it is a standard he has not always lived up to.)

The public has sharply different views on many policies concerning such issues as abortion, marriage, religious faith, the death penalty, immigration, and the fundamental divide between socialism and free enterprise. In a democracy, those decisions should be made by the voters, not by unelected judges with life tenure.

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The confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been a battle royale. But why should one government official’s position be so existentially important? The practice of judicial fiat is so commonplace we seldom realize how radical it is . We are , quite simply, losing our sovereign

The Supreme Court begins a new term with just eight justices, as the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's nomination continues. On the steps of the high court after the argument, Noah Greenwald, the endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity, explained why Congress enacted

But decades ago, activists on the far Left decided that democracy was too cumbersome. It was too slow. And it was too difficult to persuade their fellow citizens that their policy prescriptions were sound and wise. So instead, they resorted to litigation, trying to get judges to mandate the public policy outcomes they wanted — even if the voters disagreed.

To be sure, judges should strike down laws that violate the Constitution. Some journalists and commentators have tried to define judicial activism as any time that a court strikes down any law. And in an embrace of moral relativism, a justification that “everybody does it,” they have argued that Republicans want conservative judicial activists just like Democrats want liberal activists.

For anyone principled, that is not the case. It is “activist” any time a judge disregards the law to follow his or her own policy preferences. That means it is activist whenever a judge creates a new legal “right” not found in the Constitution. And it is also activist whenever a judge tries to erase an actual right protected in the text of the Constitution.

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If justices could only serve a set number of years, perhaps the fight over each U.S. Supreme Court pick would seem less apocalyptic. A new law could specify that someone could be a federal judge for life, but could only serve 18 years on the Supreme Court .

Why US top court is more political than UK's. To secure the position on the Supreme Court - a lifelong job - Barrett will still have to pass a gruelling confirmation hearing, where Democratic senators are likely to take a tough line, bringing up many of their voters' concerns.

I don’t want Republican judges or Democratic judges. There are many policy issues about which I personally am passionate (e.g., low taxes, low regulations, lots of jobs, school choice, securing the borders, a strong national defense). But it’s not the role of a judge to mandate policy outcomes with which I happen to agree. Instead, I want judges who will honor their oaths to follow the Constitution.

The court was right in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) when it struck down segregated public schools because they violated the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of “equal protection of the laws.” The court had been wrong in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) — which Brown overruled — when it previously upheld segregated schools because the justices personally supported the policy of segregation.

The court was also right when it struck down the District of Columbia’s draconian laws prohibiting gun ownership in Washington in Heller v. District of Columbia (2008) because it violates the Second Amendment right “to keep and bear arms.”

Conversely, the court was wrong in Roe v. Wade (1973) when it created a brand new “right” to abortion found nowhere in the text of the Constitution. For two centuries, state legislatures, elected by the people, had decided questions of abortion policy. The justices took that power away by fiat.

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For the same reason, the court was wrong in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) when it mandated same-sex marriage laws nationwide. You may personally agree or disagree with gay marriage, but for two centuries, marriage laws had been policy decisions for elected legislatures — which meant that different states could come to different conclusions about the proper standards. Instead, a majority of justices decided to strike down every state marriage law with which they disagreed.

All of us know that the Supreme Court is supposed to protect our constitutional rights. It is also charged with securing our Constitution’s defining structural features, federalism and the separation of powers. Both doctrines protect liberty by dividing power, by establishing checks and balances to prevent any branch of government from becoming too powerful. The alternative, unchecked government power, while commonplace in dictatorships across the globe, would fundamentally alter the nature of our nation and what it means to be an American.

Ted Cruz, a Republican, is a United States senator from Texas.

Tags: Ted Cruz, Supreme Court

Original Author: Sen. Ted Cruz

Original Location: Why Supreme Court fights are so fraught

Fact check: No guarantee Obama would've replaced Ginsburg with a progressive justice .
The claim that Barack Obama would've replaced Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a progressive justice is lacking context.A progressive Supreme Court justice could have been confirmed by the Senate if Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had retired under President Barack Obama, the social media post claims.

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