• frank
    1.8k
    What I can say is that the process we have in the US appears terribly flawed, where the Court is placed in the center of the political process, supposedly representing a wisdom beyond the grasp of the democracy.Hanover

    Democracy has a tendency to come up with malignant legislation. The Court is a two-edged sword. It can intervene to protect Americans, and it can also intervene to cement a wrong idea and turn it into a standard (as they did with eugenics).

    People have differing ideas about what constitutes protection of rights and society. That would be a reason to leave it to democracy.

    On the other hand, if at some point in the future, the US was lurching toward insanity and the only thing standing in the way was the Court, I would not rob future Americans of that one possibility for doing the right thing. Flawed as it is, it should be left the way it is.
  • Marchesk
    2.4k
    What I can say is that the process we have in the US appears terribly flawed, where the Court is placed in the center of the political process, supposedly representing a wisdom beyond the grasp of the democracy.Hanover

    The US government wasn't setup to be a simple democracy. It is a constitutional republic of states where the Senate represents the states, and POTUS is elected by the electoral college.

    A lot of people are unhappy with that arrangement now, wishing for a more representative form of the actual population. But that's not what was intended by the framers of the constitution.
  • prothero
    165
    Well the framers didn't intend for women to vote, slaves to become citizens or even for any but male business and property owners to vote (those with a stake in society). Clearly we can agree that they made a few errors and we are not necessarily bound by "originalism" in all its forms.
  • LD Saunders
    314
    As Thomas Paine pointed out, a past generation has no right to rule over the present generation. Why would they? And in a world where knowledge increases from one generation to the next, going with the delusional claim of "original intent" simply means we should try to discern what the intent was among a handful of people in an earlier generation who knew far less than we do now. As if that is a good idea?
  • Marchesk
    2.4k
    Sure, but we're talking about the structure of the government, not who gets to be a citizen and vote.

    If today we find the Electoral College and Senate to be too undemocratic, they can be done away with via constitutional amendments, if the states agreed to go along with that. Problem being that states are still a fundamental unit of organization in the US.
  • Marchesk
    2.4k
    As Thomas Paine pointed out, a past generation has no right to rule over the present generation. Why would they?LD Saunders

    But what's the alternative to this? Each generation gets to form a new government and make their own laws?

    And in a world where knowledge increases from one generation to the next,LD Saunders

    Which hasn't necessarily demonstrated that humans are wiser.

    simply means we should try to discern what the intent was among a handful of people in an earlier generation who knew far less than we do now.LD Saunders

    Knew less about what, though? How best to balance power in government? What sort of democracy is workable? Do we know better now? Yes, we know a lot more about science and technology than they did. But do we know better how to govern? I suppose the grand experiment has played itself out for a couple centuries in multiple countries now, so maybe there are some better examples to take from?
  • Relativist
    491
    Perhaps the growing originalist majority on SCOTUS will overturn Marbury v Madison. It's a prime example of judicial overreach.
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