How can Senate override Supreme Court decision by passing a new law? They are poised to do that now
It has to do with Hobby Lobby decision.
The US Congress (using processes specified in the US Constitution regarding "how a bill becomes a law") is free to pass laws without interference from the Judicial or Executive Branches.
Once any law is passed by Congress (using procedures again specified in the US Constitution) the president is free to veto the bill and the Supreme Court---if a challenge to the law is brought, is free to nullify the law through the process of judicial review.
Excellent answer! It will not be the first time this has happened. If the new law is constitutionally challenged as was Obamacare it will be sent to the Supreme Court. Parties unhappy with Obamacare still want to repeal it but it would be vetoed.
A new Congress and new president will, very surely, take up the issue of Obamacare/Affordable Care Act despite the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled its mandate constitutional. And, SCOTUS can, and does, reverse itself if only rarely.
In reality the court didn't exactly rule the mandate constitutional. They said since you still aren't really mandated under the law as you have the right to pay a fine instead, then it is a tax. And the constitution permits the gov't to levy taxes.
Right...SCOTUS accepted the claim of the government's lawyers that the fine was or acted as a tax, and is therefore, as constitutional.
Agreed. I was simply pointing out that in the opinion, they didn't not accept the premise that the gov't could mandate you to buy anything. Only that the gov't could freely tax you. Although a tax for failing to buy something was a new precedent.
The senate does not pass laws on it's own. The entire legislative apparatus along with the executive branch can pass any law they want when they agree. But if the law violates the constitution...as was the case in the Hobby Lobby decision...the court can strike down the law. The only recourse is to pass a constitutional amendment. The process by which either the congress or the states via a constitutional convention can ratify the constitution is as follows as per the text of article 5:
" The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate "
Free Exercise jurisprudence goes back a long way. Free Exercise being the clause in the Constitution saying that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
In the 60s and 70s the prevailing attitude of the court was that the state should have a very good reason to impact the free exercise of one's religion.
Here is a relevant passage from the court case Frank v. Alaska (1979):
Because of the close relationship between conduct and belief and because of the high value we assign to religious beliefs, religiously impelled actions can be forbidden only where they pose "some substantial threat to public safety, peace or order," Sherbert v. Verner (1963), or where there are competing governmental interests that are "of the highest order and . . . . [are] not otherwise served . . . ." Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972).
That attitude started to shift until the case Employment Div. of Oregon v, Smith (1990) where the court decided that the state didn't need a compelling interest at all and could limit the exercise of religion simply for a generally applicable law (in that case it was peyote use).
Congress overwhelmingly felt the court had gone too far and passed the Religious Freedom Restoratation Act of 1993 (RFRA). This law returned the court standard to what it had been before, where a law had to have a compelling interest to burden one's religious exercise and be as least restrictive as possible.
In the Hobby Lobby case, Hobby Lobby didn't make a direct Constitutional appeal, their claim was that their rights were violated according to RFRA.
What the Senate is trying to do is simply pass a new law saying that you can't use RFRA to evade the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. In essence over-riding themselves.
Actually what I should say they are trying to do is get politicians on record of being for or against that idea, since they obviously know that it has no real chance of becoming law.
Our government has a lawless leader who sends the wrong messages to other areas of government. That needs to stop before they have all fallen into the obis of lawlessness. Following s a paragraph I found in the link below so please go there to read the full explanation...
Congress cannot override a Supreme Court decision. If the decision interprets the Constitution or an Amendment, Congress cannot override the decision except by calling for a Constitutional Convention to change that provision of the Constitution or Amendment.
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_can_Congr … t_decision
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