What happened to balance of powers?

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Ryan 13 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #1875

    Ryan
    Keymaster

    As long as political talk has all but taken over this forum, I came across an interesting article this morning.

    House Votes To Prevent Court Review Of Pledge (i.e. House decides courts should not be allowed to determine Constitutionality of a law)

    WASHINGTON — The House yesterday voted to strip federal courts of the authority to hear cases challenging the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance, a dramatic move meant to thwart what the bill’s sponsors call “activist” judges on the federal bench.

    In other words, Congress is telling the courts that they can not rule on whether specific laws are Constitutional or not? What happened to this thing called balance of powers or checks and balances? If I remember my Civics and American Government classes right, it was the legislative system’s job to pass laws and the judicial system’s job to determine whether laws that were questioned were Constitutional. Now, it would seem as though Congress is trying to overstep their bounds by circumventing the system of checks and balances put in place to prevent an overzealous individual or group of individuals from gaining too much power. I would hope that everyone, whether conservative or liberal, would be at the least upset with this if nothing more than for the precedent it would set.

  • #15986

    Bart
    Member

    Here’s another section of that article:

    Another bill pending in Congress would restrict the courts’ authority to rule on cases involving the display of the Ten Commandments.

    I cannot tell you how much these laws bother me. We have a government with checks and balances so that the rights of all people are protected. The majority doesn’t always rule. Everybody needs to have the same rights.

    If a non-Christian has to go to trial in a courtroom that has the Ten Commandments posted on the wall, that sends a message that he is not being tried based on the laws of the state, he’s being tried based on how those laws conform to Christian beliefs.

    Hopefully, these laws will be overturned by the courts in a timely manner so that the other laws (Pledge of Allegiance, Ten Commandments, etc.) can be addressed.

  • #16088

    Bart
    Member

    Here’s another section of that article:

    Another bill pending in Congress would restrict the courts’ authority to rule on cases involving the display of the Ten Commandments.

    I cannot tell you how much these laws bother me. We have a government with checks and balances so that the rights of all people are protected. The majority doesn’t always rule. Everybody needs to have the same rights.

    If a non-Christian has to go to trial in a courtroom that has the Ten Commandments posted on the wall, that sends a message that he is not being tried based on the laws of the state, he’s being tried based on how those laws conform to Christian beliefs.

    Hopefully, these laws will be overturned by the courts in a timely manner so that the other laws (Pledge of Allegiance, Ten Commandments, etc.) can be addressed.

  • #15987

    Ed 1
    Member

    Bart – I never thought of it the way that you just stated it regarding the ten commandments. Even though I am a (terribly practiced) Christian I agree with you on how you stated the reason to not have them at a courthouse.

    I think that we all need to write our legislators and argue the point of the checks and balances. This on top of the destruction of our first amendment rights is starting to scare me. Where is the ACLU?

  • #16089

    Ed 1
    Member

    Bart – I never thought of it the way that you just stated it regarding the ten commandments. Even though I am a (terribly practiced) Christian I agree with you on how you stated the reason to not have them at a courthouse.

    I think that we all need to write our legislators and argue the point of the checks and balances. This on top of the destruction of our first amendment rights is starting to scare me. Where is the ACLU?

  • #15988

    runnerdude
    Member

    This is clearly an attempt to grab power over a process by one branch of government. I think it would be funny if the Supreme court were to issue a ruling saying that the act of proposing such legislation is unconstitutional, thereby doing to the congress what the congress is trying to do to them.

  • #16090

    runnerdude
    Member

    This is clearly an attempt to grab power over a process by one branch of government. I think it would be funny if the Supreme court were to issue a ruling saying that the act of proposing such legislation is unconstitutional, thereby doing to the congress what the congress is trying to do to them.

  • #15989

    Ed 1
    Member

    That would be funny but also constitutionaly sound. I hope that they do so – but we will need the ACLU or some other rich party to challenge the law. The courts cannot just do something on their own – a challenge must be brought to them – then they can rule.

  • #16091

    Ed 1
    Member

    That would be funny but also constitutionaly sound. I hope that they do so – but we will need the ACLU or some other rich party to challenge the law. The courts cannot just do something on their own – a challenge must be brought to them – then they can rule.

  • #15990

    JCWrs
    Member

    I may be WAY off base here, but I belive what Congress is doing, while a little strange, may be Constitutionally based. Now I haven’t been in a Civics class in quite some time so I may be a bit fuzzy, but it is my understanding that any rulings not set forth directly by the Constitution were to be decided by the States individually. I see this as Congress trying to make sure that that is exactly what happens in these cases. Now, as I said, I may be completely wrong and factually flawed, but thats what came to mind when I read this discussion so I thought I’d set it out there and see what you guys thought.

  • #16092

    JCWrs
    Member

    I may be WAY off base here, but I belive what Congress is doing, while a little strange, may be Constitutionally based. Now I haven’t been in a Civics class in quite some time so I may be a bit fuzzy, but it is my understanding that any rulings not set forth directly by the Constitution were to be decided by the States individually. I see this as Congress trying to make sure that that is exactly what happens in these cases. Now, as I said, I may be completely wrong and factually flawed, but thats what came to mind when I read this discussion so I thought I’d set it out there and see what you guys thought.

  • #15991

    Ryan
    Keymaster
    JCWrs wrote:
    Now I haven’t been in a Civics class in quite some time so I may be a bit fuzzy, but it is my understanding that any rulings not set forth directly by the Constitution were to be decided by the States individually. I see this as Congress trying to make sure that that is exactly what happens in these cases.

    I don’t see it that way. I see this as Congress trying to impose its will on the country with no checks and balances. Congress isn’t saying that states should be allowed to decide for themselves. Congress is saying that it will pass laws and nobody is allowed to question the Constitutionality of those laws.

  • #16093

    Ryan
    Keymaster
    JCWrs wrote:
    Now I haven’t been in a Civics class in quite some time so I may be a bit fuzzy, but it is my understanding that any rulings not set forth directly by the Constitution were to be decided by the States individually. I see this as Congress trying to make sure that that is exactly what happens in these cases.

    I don’t see it that way. I see this as Congress trying to impose its will on the country with no checks and balances. Congress isn’t saying that states should be allowed to decide for themselves. Congress is saying that it will pass laws and nobody is allowed to question the Constitutionality of those laws.

  • #15992

    Bart
    Member
    JCWrs wrote:
    I may be WAY off base here, but I belive what Congress is doing, while a little strange, may be Constitutionally based. Now I haven’t been in a Civics class in quite some time so I may be a bit fuzzy, but it is my understanding that any rulings not set forth directly by the Constitution were to be decided by the States individually. I see this as Congress trying to make sure that that is exactly what happens in these cases.

    I believe that Federal laws take precedent over state laws. If this is true, how could states enact individual laws that are in conflict with the Federal law? It’s similar to the Federal Marriage Protection Act. The Feds are trying to stop states from creating their own laws regarding gay marriage.

  • #16094

    Bart
    Member
    JCWrs wrote:
    I may be WAY off base here, but I belive what Congress is doing, while a little strange, may be Constitutionally based. Now I haven’t been in a Civics class in quite some time so I may be a bit fuzzy, but it is my understanding that any rulings not set forth directly by the Constitution were to be decided by the States individually. I see this as Congress trying to make sure that that is exactly what happens in these cases.

    I believe that Federal laws take precedent over state laws. If this is true, how could states enact individual laws that are in conflict with the Federal law? It’s similar to the Federal Marriage Protection Act. The Feds are trying to stop states from creating their own laws regarding gay marriage.

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