The Role of The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has been making landmark decisions left and right over the last few days. Well, to be fair, mostly right. After the Supreme Court smacked down New York’s gun law, the court decided to overturn Roe v. Wade. Many people are celebrating and mourning the decisions that the court is rendering.
The Biden administration and other high-profile individuals are already stating their opinions and talking about how the Supreme Court has too much power. As much as these decisions are controversial, this is the Supreme Court’s role.
The Function of the Supreme Court
The Judicial system plays a fundamental and vital part in the United State’s constitutional government. The purpose of the Supreme Court is to interpret the law and Constitution. As a result, they have the power to decide what law is unconstitutional or not. The Supreme Court is kept in check because the Senate has to confirm all Supreme Court appointments, the House and Senate can impeach and try justices, and congress can change the number of justices on the Supreme Court.
There are multiple, important functions that the Supreme Court serves. First of all, it is the highest court and the last resort for justice for people. Secondly, it protects the civil rights and liberties of the people by making judgments on laws that infringe on the Constitution. This has the added benefits of making sure the majority is not passing laws that would harm the minority. Finally, judicial review reinforces that the other branches have limitations of powers. The most recent cases are examples of the Supreme Court doing its job.
New York Gun Law: Unconstitutional
The New York Gun Law was struck down by the Supreme Court recently. When the case was brought to the highest court in the land, it was being argued on constitutional grounds. According to the gun law, New York residents had to prove they had proper cause to carry a concealed gun. As a result, it put a limit on who could get a permit or have one. This was a question of Second Amendment rights, considering it affected the ability of citizens to bear arms.
In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court struck down the New York Gun Law. Justice Clarence Thomas’ majority opinion made it clear why the law was considered unconstitutional. This law prevented “law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms in public.” Furthermore, the law made defense a “second class right.” Overall, the Supreme Court expanded gun rights in New York because it was unconstitutional to limit access to guns based on if a citizen can justify owning one.
It’s important to emphasize that this action is not circumventing existing laws that make it illegal or difficult for many people in our society to own a firearm.
Roe v. Wade: Government Overreach
The United States is losing its minds over Roe v. Wade being overturned. However, it shows that the Supreme Court is doing its job. Since 1973, abortion standards have been decided on the federal level. This was because Roe v. Wade argued that abortion was protected by the 4th amendment because the privacy of the mother and her choices should be respected. This has resulted in people assuming abortion itself is a protected, constitutional right.
So, when Dobb v. Jackson brought the federal law into question, the Supreme Court had to decide if abortion access should be decided by the federal government or the state government. When the decision came down, the Supreme Court made it clear that abortion was not a constitutional right and that the federal government had no right to restrict the states’ authority. While the decision is controversial, the Supreme Court is functioning as it should.
The Justices determined Constitution and current laws could not control a state’s right to determine when a woman can get an abortion.
Supreme Court Does Not Rule on Feelings
Due to these recent cases, political leaders and activists are calling the Supreme Court illegitimate or corrupt. However, this is not about personal feelings. As stated previously, justice is blind. Although the Justices are not completely unbiased, their job is to interpret laws as constitutional or not. It is not about how people will react or feel about their decision. It is about whether the laws are just. They are meant to be a check on the Legislative and Elective branches of government. They cannot and should not be swayed by what these individuals want. The role of the Supreme Court is to uphold the laws of the land, regardless of what the minority or majority of the people want.