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Honoring Decisions by the Supreme Court

Updated on April 29, 2012

The current Supreme Court session will be making decisions on two important issues of the day involving healthcare and immigration. The battle for immigration is controversial to say the least and the Arizona law brings the issue of state rights and responsibilities before the court in their battle to address illegal immigration within their state. States have a responsibility to protect their citizens through whatever authority and means they feel necessary. One of the primary objectives was not to circumvent federal immigration authority but to supplement it. Many decisions by the Supreme Court in the past have been controversial but the decisions made have been honored though many individuals disagreed with the decisions made. This may change in the future based on reported plans by the Senate.

Senate Democrats from reports plan to introduce legislation making it a requirement for states to submit any immigration legislation to the federal government for approval. This plan will occur if the Supreme Court decision is that the Arizona law is constitutional and does not violate federal government authority or responsibility. The practice of generating this type of legislation is wrong whether it is Democrats or Republicans makes no difference. The reason for this action appears to be political in forcing the subject of immigration to be an election issue. Though this may not be the case appearance often can be a problem for those creating the situation or taking the action. As previously mentioned Supreme Court decisions have been honored in the past and they need to be honored in the future. It is the highest judicial authority in our country and the decisions made need to be respected.

Honoring decisions by the court does not mean laws cannot be revised to address decisions made by the Supreme Court. The healthcare law is just one example where this may take place. The court in deciding on the constitutionality of the law whether in whole or part will create a need for Congress to address the response received by the court. Revised healthcare legislation will undoubtedly be necessary to address decisions handed by the court and this is a viable and responsible process used many times.

The Supreme Court has a long history in our country and there have been many controversial issues. The judges are appointed for life and when new ones replace those who have retired it changes the political makeup of the court and opinions on legislation presented before them. Each judge on the court has their own perspective and views of various issues. The job of the Supreme Court is one of evaluating laws which they have accepted on their calendar in relation to the authorities identified in the Constitution. They have done a fantastic job in handling the volume of cases that have processed through the court since its inception. The quality and character of the judges is the result of the evaluation they receive when the nomination process is completed in the Senate.

The last point to make is that decisions of this court or any court are to be honored by us as individuals and the federal or state governments need to do the same. The federal government is not always going to win the lawsuits they present but the decision must be accepted when they do not agree with it. The only exception as previously mentioned is a revision or replacement of laws the court may deem to be exceeding the authority of states or the federal government. Creating any law or attempting to create any law to get around decisions such as the potential exists for the Arizona immigration law does not present the Senate in a positive light. Granted the law if it is generated has no chance of passing in the present Congressional structure and the time and cost that will be extended should be questioned if it is money well spent.


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