Should issues be proven to be constitutional BEFORE they reach the voter ballot?
It seems that the voice of the people don't mean much anymore. We vote yea or nay on issues, then many times the result is appealed as unconstitutional. Maybe these issues should go before the Supreme Court before it goes on a ballot instead of people voting , then finding out that trip to the booth meant nothing.
no. a candidate is listed even before a case is revolved by the supreme court. that gives the benefit of the doubt to the candidate. in principle, the supreme court is the highest court in the land. if the commission on elections did not include the candidate's name that is tantamount to having decided the case against the candidate.
If it weren't for needing another 10 or 20 Supreme Courts that would be nice.
It's become a very common mantra that everything you don't like is almost automatically "unconstitutional. Usually with the speak never having read the constitution or having the faintest idea of what it says.
The only issues where the constitutionality would be a consideration would be for amendments to the constitution. However, an amendment, if not worded properly can be found unconstitutional. The Supreme Court is and should always be the final authority for determining the constitutionality of any issue. Just because someone may not like the court that is seated at any given time, is no reason to throw out a system that has served the country well, even if anyone, including myself, do not agree with all the decisions.
Yes. It would save a lot of time and money. It might also calm political rhetoric and vitriol.
One would certainly think that the answer to your question would be yes, if we used logic and sensibility, but those two words do not seem to mean much to Congress.
North Dakota just voted to make abortions totally illegal in that state, and by finding that life begins at conception, they also are banning contraceptives.
However, this vote is unconstitutional from the beginning. Roe vs Wade give the rights to abortion and contraceptive usage on a national scale. And states can not override the federal government. Although they are trying like hell to undo everything the federal government has done, one state at a time, knowing that what they are passing is not legal or constitutional.
Almost all law making (legislative) authorities have committees that specialize in making the wording of a law constitutional. Twelve justices may not agree so it is not black and white, there is a lot of gray.
A court can not rule on a hypothetical, the case must be "ripe" which means being somehow supported or enforced.
Most constitutional decisions are about restricting the governmental action. It is a safeguard against the "majority" for the individual or minority. It is not just some legal technical lawyerly deal. The way it works is serious business and in fact normally works to preserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The problem you speak of comes only from the politicians passing bad law to look good so you vote for them.
So, state governments are putting things on ballots, incurring huge expense, dragging out millions of voters, then taking the result and tossing it to Washington to see what happens? Sounds pretty shoddy to me.
But you see it has to be that way or we lose our separation of powers. Remember it is the people who can amend the constitution. And it is the executive that has to enforce. It is not perfect but there is no better system.
That's for the lawyers in Congress to sort out. If an unconstitutional law passes, one can petition the Supreme Court to rule on the law's constitutionality. But, as we have seen in the past, the Supreme Court lacks the ability to enforce its own rulings and its decisions are sometimes ignored by Congress, the president, and the agencies within the executive branch. If someone is convicted due to the passage of an unconstitutional law, their lawyer can appeal the ruling through the federal court system, which can make a final ruling on whether or not the person was fairly convicted according to the Bill of Rights and the implicit powers of the executive in the Constitution. For various reasons, this system has managed to fail and we're sort of drifing right now.
In theory it sounds nice. But the court does not make the law. It can only interpret and enforce the law. So since there are sometimes different views on what is or isn't constitutional, it inevitable that legislation will be drafted and passed that will eventually be overturned. It would help if some of our members of congress actually took the time read the constitution. Ron Paul once suggested that no bill should ever be brought to the floor for a vote unless the individuals sponsoring the bill could cite specifically where in the constitution they have the authority to enact the legislation to begin with. Unfortunately, if our congressmen didn't spend all day drafting laws that simply get in our way, then what on heavens name would they do all day ???
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