- Published: 01 January 2012
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"The question whether the judges are invested with exclusive authority to decide on the constitutionality of a law has been heretofore a subject of consideration with me in the exercise of official duties. Certainly there is not a word in the Constitution which has given that power to them more than to the Executive or Legislative branches." --Thomas Jefferson to W. H. Torrance, 1815. ME 14:303
Good morning! Your homework assignment, "should you choose to accept it," is to learn about the supreme* Court [at their very own web site]. They appear to be very taken with themselves so you might want to weigh everything they say very carefully. The site is visually impressive and conveys an image of power and authority, but remember, this court is Under the Constitution and Under We The People through our Representatives in the Congress to the extent that justices of the supreme Court can be removed through the process of Impeachment. We should also realize that after a powerful cabal is established the words of Thomas Jefferson would apply. He said, "impeachment is... merely a scarecrow..."
If it were not for the bastardization of the term "interpret" most citizens would not be under the delusion that the supreme Court can "make" law. The term means nothing more than to give the true and full meaning of a thing, or, by extension in the case of a court of law, to apply the law according to original intent. Any other construction would be nonsensical since the justices take an Oath to the Constitution - not to what they think or feel it means.
The link is provided here as an aid to further study. But whatever you do make sure you come back to lexrex.com to compare notes.
* The original denomination of the term 'supreme Court' consistently appears in the Constitution without a capital 'S' for the word 'supreme.' Whatever anyone wants to make out of that point, it is clear that the Court must maintain its lawful authority Under the Constitution and has no more than a co-equal status with the other two Branches for determining the application of the law in a particular case when brought before it. The exclusivity of the power of making laws is conclusively contained in the first words of the first Article of the Constitution: "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives." - Article I, Section 1, Clause 1.
"The Congress, the Executive, and the Court, must each for itself be guided by its own opinion of the Constitution. Each public officer, who takes an oath to support the Constitution, swears that he will support it as he understands it, and not as it is understood by others" - Andrew Jackson - July 10, 1832
"I do not charge the judges with wilful and ill-intentioned error; but honest error must be arrested where its toleration leads to public ruin. As for the safety of society, we commit honest maniacs to Bedlam*; so judges should be withdrawn from their bench whose erroneous biases are leading us to dissolution. It may, indeed, injure them in fame or in fortune; but it saves the republic, which is the first and supreme law." --Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821. ME 1:122 * According to Webster's 1828 Dictionary 'Bedlam' was "a religious house in London, afterward converted into a hospital for lunatics."
"This member of the government... has proved that the power of declaring what the law is, ad libitum, by sapping and mining, slyly, and without alarm, the foundations of the Constitution, can do what open force would not dare to attempt." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Livingston, 1825. ME 16:114
"Having found from experience that impeachment is an impracticable thing, a mere scarecrow, [the Judiciary] consider themselves secure for life." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Ritchie, 1820. ME 15:297
What did Jefferson know about the supreme Court that seems to escape many in our universities, law schools and media?