Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Judicial Review

Ben Shapiro, "Boy Prognisticator," writes today on whether or not the principle of Judicial Review has outlived its usefulness. His argument is that the courts have expanded this principle to force judgments beyond what the constitution intended (this isn't exactly an original argument).
The Supreme Court has consistently, for the past 50-odd years at the very least, substituted its judgment for the judgment of the people, without regard to the Constitution.

. . . The time has come to do away with judicial review as a whole. The judicial branch has been politicized to such an extent that judges who fulfill Hamilton's qualifications -- judges who compare legislation to the actual Constitution -- are dubbed conservative extremists, while judges who legislate from the bench are termed moderates. The system has become so thoroughly corrupt that the only choice left to us is a Constitutional amendment ending judicial review of legislative acts.

"How can legislatures be trusted not to violate the Constitution, if there is no check upon them?" many will ask. The check will be the people themselves. If our elected lawmakers violate the Constitution, they will be answerable to us.
The trouble with this theory is Brown Vs. Board of education (which was reviewed approximately 50 years ago (1954). Hey, how about that? In that case a region (the south) was forcing black children to put up with inferior education and denying them access to equal education. Putting this injustice to a vote would have accomplished nothing, as blacks had limited freedoms at that time. So the matter was brought before the courts. The case made it's way to the Supreme Court and "separate but equal" was overturned.

You see there is such a thing as tyranny of the majority, which Ben's solution would do nothing to address.

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