Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chapter 14 Blog Assignment

1. Read online bio's of the U.S. Supreme Court Justices.  What do you find interesting about their backgrounds?  Pick one of the Justices, read about cases this Justice has written (majority or dissent) and explain whether you agree or disagree with his/her judicial philosophy.

I do think it is interesting and a big positive that the justices are so diverse of a group. As a member of the court, Sandra Day O’Connor was considered to be a moderate conservative. She tended to vote in line with her politically conservative nature, but she still considered her cases very carefully. In opposition to the Republican call to reverse the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights, O’Connor provided the vote needed to uphold the court’s earlier decision. Many times she focused on the letter of law, not the clamoring of politicians, and voted for what she believed best fit the intentions of the U.S. Constitution.

2. Is Judicial Review a power that should be exercised regularly or sparingly?  Why?
 I think Judicial Review is an excellent tool to be used to 'fully' understand the Constitution. YET it can be very harmful depending on how used. In thecase of slavery, the framers wanted Slavery to be outlawed within 20 years and not spread. Due to Judicial Review it took a Civil war to bring about the end of slavery. For this reason I do think it is a process that should be used sparingly.

3. Is it the job of the High Court to apply the Constitution in light of the intent of the framers of the Constitution (strict construction) or should they interpret the Constitution in light of changes in society/technology (living Constitution)?  Why?

I believe their job should be strict construction. Our Constitution is not something that should change with time. I do not feel the framers wanted and evolving law which is why they added in the Bill of Rights, to make sure it did not evolve to over take them.  If changes are needed then it is Congress' job to mandate laws to fit the times.

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