Thanks to intern Bernadette for help in framing this week's new poll question:
How do you think the Supreme Court should interpret the Constitution? Complete this sentence: "Justices should base rulings on...
Here are the results of my previous poll. The majority of you thought juries in the O. J. Simpson and George Tiller trials performed equally bad...
Here were your votes. Click to enlarge to find your own brightly colored flag. Interestingly, our friends from around the globe were in complete agreement...
As always, make comments to either this or last week's poll here, not on the Vizu website.
I'm not answering this poll, because the correct answer is "all of the above.
Posted by: Hal
at May 24, 2009 12:05 PM
I'm interested in your explanation, Hal.Posted by: carder at May 24, 2009 1:38 PM
Judges should base rulings on original intent of the framers of the constition.
Non-originalism allows too much room for judges to impose their own subjective and elitist values. Judges need neutral, objective criteria to make legitimate decisions. The understanding of the framers and ratifiers of a constitutional clause provide those neutral criteria.Posted by: Jasper at May 24, 2009 2:10 PM
Posted by: Hal at May 24, 2009 12:05 PM
"I'm not answering this poll, because the correct answer is "all of the above."
Without commenting one way or the other on the correctness of your opinion, you did what you said you would not do.
You answered the poll.
("all of the above.")
Or did I miss the point? Again?
yor bro kenPosted by: kbhvac at May 24, 2009 2:54 PM
Justices should base their decisions on the foundational principles of the republic as stated clearly in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.
Having said this it is common knowledge that in his deliberations Justice Kennedy (and others?) take under consideration laws and rulings from other countries throughout the world. This being the case, let him wander south of the border where a number of Mexican states have passed legislation and/or amendments to their respective constitutions that confer upon the unborn the status of personhood and all of the rights attendant to that status.Posted by: Jerry at May 24, 2009 4:07 PM
Decisions must be based on the plain straight forward meaning of the written words.
One of the more gross redefining of words came in the Kelo case. "Public Use" was redefined to mean "public benefit." The result is that the court declared that there is no such thing as private property. All property belongs to the state and occupancy/use privileges go to whomever promises to pay higher rent (taxes) on the property. Higher taxes is a "justifiable public benefit" for taking one persons private property and giving to another private party at substantially less than market value.
But we know BO plans to appoint judges that will place a woman's manufactured right to abortion of a physicians explicate religious rights not to perform abortions. Their answer is always "if you don't want to do abortions don't be a doctor."
They do the same thing with forces unionization under the check card. Don't want to be in a union? Quit.
Ken, I didn't check a box in the poll because "all of the above" wasn't an option.
Mark, I agree with you on the Kelo case. Terrible decision. Don't forget they invented a "common law" cap on damages to save Exxon last year too. They just made it up to save a major corporation some money.
Carder, I would love to discuss in more detail. The topic is a bit complicated for short comments, however, and I don't have the time right now to type out a long explanation. Nor do I have time to search for a website I like discussing it that I could link to.
One example to illustrate a piece of this. The Exxon court could have let the punitive award that the jury imposed stand or they could throw it out. It was billions of dollars. Nothing in the consitution limits punitive awards to a 1 to 1 ratio in relation to actual damages. It might be a good idea, and it might be a bad idea, but there was no law passed by Congress on that topic. The Constitution is silent (except that property cannot be taken unless "due process" is followed--and was in this case)
So they decide, (partly perhaps because of a lack of "empthay and understanding" to the fishermen and property owners whose lives were ruined, and partly because they're trying to figure out what the words of the Constitution mean in today's world, and party because what they believe the framers would have done with this dispute) to save Exxon some bucks and take away billions of dollars from the jury's verdict. The decision sucked, but none of the soundbites traditionally listed (like this poll) really get to the problem. Most (not all) of cases that get to the Supreme Court are there because the law is unclear and the issue could probably be decided either way. In that arena, I'd prefer Justices with "empathy and understanding" for the little guy. Doesn't mean the little guy will always win, but understanding what's at stake helps.
Posted by: Hal
at May 24, 2009 6:52 PM