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U. S. Constitution

By john.a.wills ·
Tags: Off Topic
This document was very well designed. In over 200 years it has had fewer amendments than the current German constitution, which perhaps tries to include too much that really belongs elsewhere, in 60-odd years. Still, there do seem to be some things which need straightening out. I am not thinking of tax or budget details (matters for infraconstitutional law) but of places where the courts and even Congress have been led astray, and perhaps where the evolving party system has made some election details no longer appropriate. And maybe even there were some mistakes in the original composition. Obvious examples are... well, what do you think?

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The Devil is in the details

by AV . In reply to U. S. Constitution

I think the Constitution is well designed and covers all it needs to. The problem lies in the interpretation of it.

For example, the Supreme Court upheld the healthcare law and found the "individual mandate" is constitutional as a tax. In this case, John Roberts changed part of the law so that it would be considered constitutional. That should be the job of Congress, not the Supreme Court. Time was of the essense though, so why bother waiting for Congress to decide? We all know the answer would be no anyway.

I don't like that the Supreme Court overstepped their bounds to make sure Obamacare is the law of the land. Whats next?

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I dislike some things about Obamacare myself

by john.a.wills In reply to The Devil is in the detai ...

but I think you are exaggerating when you say that Roberts - who probably dislikes many details of Obamacare himself - "changed part of the law": he merely recognized that something not called a tax in the Act was in constitutional law indeed a tax.

As for the Supreme Court overstepping its bounds, you might have thought of Roe vs Wade and Imbler vs Pachtman. The latter can be - and should immediately have been - overturned by Act of Congress, but the former can probably be remedied only by a Right-to-Life Amendment or, better, a Reorientation Amendment such as I propose in my book Albatross.

Obviously only the personal integrity of the justices can be relied upon to prevent the Court overstepping its bounds, and only an alert and conscientious House of Representatives followed by a conscientious Senate can oust justices without integrity, but can you think of an Amendment which would significantly deter overstepping?

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He rewrote the language about the Obamacare mandate so it would pass

by AV . In reply to I dislike some things abo ...

I want to have a disclaimer. I'm not that familiar with Constitutional law. I think John Roberts rewrote the law to expedite Obamacare's passage. That is what doesn't seem right to me. I so disagree that the individual mandate is a tax under constitutional law, even after it was rewritten.

Its a stretch, no matter how you say it. I want to see what happens when the government tries to collect from people who decide to have no health insurance, many of them young people who have no money anyway and are probably healthy. I have a problem with that concept. How about pay for what you use?

I'm really not familiar with Imbler vs. Pachtman, but Roe vs. Wade should have never become the law of the land. The government should just not be involved in such decisions and it should have been a state decision.

I think what John Roberts did sort of stinks. He expedited the mandate in Obamacare and allowed the bill's passage. I really don't think the way it was done is acceptable.
I wonder about the integrity of any people in government, but especially the Supreme Court. How biased are they or influenced by the President or another government party? I really have never thought about it in the past, but I do now and wonder why. It seems they are no longer independent.

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There's always been a party system in USA.

by wizard57m-cnet Moderator In reply to U. S. Constitution

They just had different names over the years. Primarily just two major political parties, with the occasional third party every now and again. I'm not sure if it's something in our psyche in USA that appeals to an "us versus them" mentality or what, but one thing I have noticed is we as a society are more divided and unwilling to compromise with "them" than we have been in over 30 years. What this has led to in our current two party configuration with both parties of pretty much equal numbers is a state of governmental gridlock, where little of anything gets accomplished because compromising and working with "them" is counter-productive to the goals of "us".
The last time I remember this type of division, in my lifetime, was during the Vietnam war. Studying back in history reveals other time periods of drastic division...Prohibition...Women's Suffrage...States' rights versus Federal...Slavery. Some of these divisions were dealt with via Amendments to the Constitution, in the case of Prohibition, two amendments! One, the most divisive our nation has faced to date, was dealt with in the bloodiest war ever fought on the North American continent. There have been some calling for a "revolt" against government, even going so far as a call to we really want to repeat The Civil War?
(edited to add)
ps...something that many forget when the conversation involves the Constitution of the United States of America...this document is not "set in stone", with clear lines of demarcation as to "do this, dont' do this". It is a "living document", one that is subject to change, upon following specified procedures. Those procedures are not simple and easy, which actually is a good thing, as then it would be subject to too many insignificant social viewpoint swings that seem to occur very often. This is where our "founding fathers" had great insight, probably from dealing with "royal decrees" that were set in stone, that changed based upon the mood of the ruling monarch.

Wow, that turned into a rather lengthy comment! Sorry about that.

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We share some ignorance, AV

by john.a.wills In reply to U. S. Constitution

Neither of us has actually read the Court's Opinion in the Obamacare case. You and I may have different sources of information. Or we may just have reacted differently to the same information.

Imbler vs Pachtman decided that a deputy DA could not be sued under the Civil Rights Act for malicious prosecution: Pachtman had knowingly elicited perjured evidence and as a consequence Imbler had spent 9 years in prison. The exception the Court made is not to be found in the Civil Rights Act.

If you think that Roe vs Wade should not have been taken up by the federal courts, you are forgetting the 13th and the 14th Amendments, and the theoretical part of the Declaration of Independence. I have read the Opinion in Roe (and, for that matter, in Imbler).

This is coming as a new response to the original posting because TR has again gone loopy: the capability of responding to a later post has disappeared today.

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