The US Supreme Court is set to hear a case involving gun bans. The interesting thing about Supreme Court cases is that one side will say they screwed up, no matter what. The court is accused by one side of abusing their power, or legislating from the bench and praised by the other side for upholding either the constitution or the spirit of the constitution. It is ridiculous.
For some reason, all these many years after the formation of the Supreme Court, people still don’t seem to understand that the court is a legislative branch of the government. Quit shaking your head and admit it, you know it’s true, at least you should.
At the beginning of chapter two of, “The American Supreme Court” by Robert G. McCloskey, he states…
“Nevertheless it is perfectly apparent to the detached observer that the Court’s decisions do tend to fall into patterns that reflect current judicial views of what ought to be done; and that these views, though heavily influenced by the nature of the forum that issues them, are nonetheless policy decisions. The very question of what subjects should claim judicial attention, involved and avowed or implicit decision about what is most important in the American polity at any given time, for the Court has always enjoyed some leeway in controlling its own jurisdictions…”
By determining if something the government has done is “constitutional” or not, the Supreme Court is in effect lending legal credence to the actions of the Legislative and Executive branches. By failing to review every action by the other two branches, they are, by proxy, enabling any type of abuses the Congress or President wish to lay on the people. The makeup of the Supreme Court is of paramount importance to political parties in the US for this very reason. It lends credibility to their positions for years to come. They are expected (and act accordingly) to be political activists. That is their job.
And the Winner is…
Who benefits from Supreme Court decisions? My belief is that no matter which way they choose to decide an issue, the government is the sole beneficiary of their actions.
If they decide in favor of the people, they leave the case open to be regulated further by the Congress or state governments. They help Congress “close the loopholes” in their legislation. They have continually bowed to the superiority of the federal government over both the States and the individual. They have granted, at the very least through inaction, the other two branches of the federal government to gather more power.
And why shouldn’t they? They are part of the government. This near reverence the people hold for the Court seems to ignore the simple fact that they are nothing more than a branch of the government. At what point would they rule against themselves maintaining that position? They have a vested interest in a powerful federal government. They have a vested interest in maintaining “the union” at all cost. They have a vested interest that is known as self preservation. Unlike the other two branches of the federal government that have at least a cursory interest in getting elected, the Supreme Court doesn’t have that same “liability”, they are set for life and their position is entirely dependant on them doing only a few things.
What They Do
First, they have to avoid controversial issues that may tend to stir up the populace at inopportune times. If you look over rulings during times of social and political upheaval, they have worked only to bow to the most powerful force. This is especially dangerous in a climate were the government is becoming more and more powerful with each bill or executive order.
Second, they have to stay relatively healthy. Sounds crazy, but since they are in for life, living has its benefits.
Third and probably most important, they must work to maintain the dominance of the federal government. Issues that would clearly put them in conflict with the “will of the people” they pass on.
I have seen a lot of people writing about the upcoming case of Parker v. District of Columbia. The gun advocates are already claiming victory for the most part. After all, the Second Amendment is pretty clear in granting rights to THE PEOPLE. But I would advise not to count your chickens before they hatch. Even if they find in Parker’s favor they will leave the door open for legislation. They will likely close all loopholes or chances to argue it further. This is not an issue that is likely to come up in the Supreme Court again in a very long time, if ever. This will be the final word on the deal. With a simmering undercurrent of disgust with our federal government, I don’t foresee a ruling that would arm the citizens. I hope I am wrong, but I doubt it.