According to Article III of the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme Court was established mainly to arbitrate disputes that fall between or outside of individual States and not, as is popularly held, specifically to determine the “constitutionality” of laws passed by Congress. The implication of the Court’s mandate does call into question many of its recent activities.
1) One could easily argue that legalizing Gay Marriage was indeed part of the Supreme Court’s mandate. This issue was mainly about State’s Rights in recognizing vows of matrimony across State lines. In point of fact, this move does not violate anyone’s right to the free exercise of religion unless someone is forced to participate in such vows, which is a completely different, though related, issue.
2) Because of the high Court’s June ruling on the Affordable Care Act, the ACA has little room left for a future Presidential opponent of it to strike it down using Executive powers. Some are asking how this is a Federal thing, let alone a Supreme Court thing? Well, according to the ACA, the Fed levies money to the States for disbursement through their own health insurance programs. If it handled the citizenry directly, it would have violated States’ rights.
3) Also this quarter, the Supreme Court struck down several provisions that allow congress(-people) to arrange their districts so as to maximize the possibility of re-election, a practice known as “Gerrymandering” after Governor Elbridge Gerry and the haphazard appearance of the district he drew to benefit his party early in the 19th century.
4) Most recently (June 29th), the Court ruled in favor of Capital punishment against some inmates who claimed that lethal injection was unconstitutional.
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