Supreme Court Gone Rogue
Our government was designed as three equal branches serving as checks and balances on the other two. The branches: the legislative (Congress), the executive (the president), and the judicial (Supreme Court).
Of course, the structure is defined in the US Constitution but the principle is only defined in the supporting documents of the times. Still, the idea was that no single branch of government would be any stronger than the other two. Yet, today, that’s exactly what we have. The Supreme Court has appointed themselves supreme rulers taking on more power than the president and Congress combined.
Here’s what the constitution says about the powers of the Supreme Court of the US:
[Section 1.] The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.
[Section 2.] The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; — to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; — to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; — to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; — to Controversies between two or more States; — between a State and Citizens of another State; — between Citizens of different States; — between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.
[Section 3.] Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
Please note that nowhere does it say the Supreme Court of the US (SCOTUS) has the right or the responsibility to strike down laws or approve or disapprove of the constitutionality of the laws and actions of the other two branches. It does say, power shall extend to all Cases arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States…
What, exactly, does this mean? It simply means that the SCOTUS has the power to hear cases under this constitution and the laws of the United States. Got that? It can interpret the laws and the constitution. Period!
Nowhere does it say anything more and nowhere in any of the amendments to the constitution is there any escalation of the powers of the SCOTUS. The Supreme Court has given itself the power it refers to as “judicial review.”
Way back in 1803 the SCOTUS started taking on the dictatorial powers of striking down the Congress and the president and here was the president’s response back in the day: Allowing the Supreme Court to usurp this power turns our constitution into a suicide pact and a mere thing of wax.
In denying the right they usurp of exclusively explaining the constitution, I go further than you do, if I understand rightly your quotation from the Federalist, of an opinion that “the judiciary is the last resort in relation to the other departments of the government, but not in relation to the rights of the parties to the compact under which the judiciary is derived.” If this opinion be sound, then indeed is our constitution a complete felo de se. For intending to establish three departments, co-ordinate and independent, that they might check and balance one another, it has given, according to this opinion, to one of them alone, the right to prescribe rules for the government of the others, and to that one too, which is unelected by, and independent of the nation. For experience has already shown that the impeachment it has provided is not even a scarecrow; that such opinions as the one you combat, sent cautiously out, as you observe also, by detachment, not belonging to the case often, but sought for out of it, as if to rally the public opinion beforehand to their views, and to indicate the line they are to walk in, have been so quietly passed over as never to have excited animadversion, even in a speech of any one of the body entrusted with impeachment. The constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist, and shape into any form they please. [Thomas Jefferson]
This was just the first of many small and unconstitutional steps our SCOTUS has taken to grab power from the other two “equal” branches of government. Today, in the absence of any reference to the word “corporation” in the constitution, the SCOTUS has decided they deserve more rights under the constitution than We The People.
So, today, the only branch of our government that is not elected by We The People and who have lifetime appointments have usurped the power of all three branches.