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US Supreme court a court or a political body ?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by otago, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    "Republic" denotes the formal attribution of sovereignty in the "people" or "nation"; it's an essentially legal category. "Democracy" means what it sounds like, and is something that exists in degrees. That's why it's possible for both Ireland and Cuba to be "republics", despite one being a functioning parliamentary democracy and the other being a one-party state, while both France and Britain can be "democracies", despite one formally investing political sovereignty in the French nation, and the other in an hereditary monarch.
     
  2. otago

    otago Chieftain

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    If they had done a full recount in Florida and Gore was found to have won the most votes after Bush had been appointed what would have happened ?

    Would Gore have been sworn in on Bush's place, or does the will of a majority of the Supreme court over ride the will of the voters ?
     
  3. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    Technically, the election has a constitutional deadline--once the votes are read before Congress, it's game over. So if the votes are read after the Supreme Court decision and before this hypothetical reversal is discovered, Bush is still elevated to the Presidency (barring another lawsuit being filed, since this is unprecedented). If both happen before the final vote is tallied, then I don't know, I'd have to read the decision (and all the concurring/dissenting opinions as well, because some of the justices could have established provisions for how they would vote differently if something like this would have happened).

    I'm not sure if the decision specifically ordered the recount to end. If so, then this hypothetical could not happen.
     
  4. Arwon

    Arwon

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    Best I could manage at 3am while drunk.

    I think what I mean to say is, not having a single codified document, there's a greater degree of parliamentary supremacy so the constitution of UK law would be more malleable. So if something were ruled unconstitutional or the equivalent, it'd be easier for parliament in the UK to override that with new legislation.
     
  5. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Judicial review as it exists in the US and Australia (as examples) can't really occur without a written constitution. The UK does not have a constitution in that sense. As far as I understand it, Parliament (i.e. the Queen + Commons + Lords) can essentially do whatever it likes (and so amend the various aspects of its unwritten 'constitution' as it sees fit), only really subject to the political necessity of not doing unpopular things, and correspondingly, its realistic ability to enforce its will. That's only 'democratic' to the extent that the Commons holds more sway than the other branches of Parliament.
     
  6. Neonanocyborgasm

    Neonanocyborgasm Chieftain

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    The Supreme Court is clearly, to me, a political body. Its function is not to decide on matters of law, but on the whether a law is constitutional or not. They are charged with determining whether a law meets with the spirit of the Constitution, and if it does not, may repeal that law by decree. The court also does not hold its proceeding like a normal court, with witnesses and presentations of evidence. Rather, it holds discussions with opposing counsels on the constitutional merits of the matter up for discussion. It can be thought of as a kind of anti-legislature, destroying what it believes to be unjust laws enacted by the legislature. That may sound lofty, but it is also highly subjective. The justices have to determine what is in the spirit of the Constitution and what isn't, and sometimes, they pick and choose what they observe and what they ignore, and personal bias clearly encroaches. Only their numbers (9 justices) minimize the possibility of abuse.

    These days, the court is rather conservative. Most of the justices were appointed under Republican presidents, and while there is nothing holding them accountable to their benefactors (their appointments are for life), history has demonstrated that their rulings tend to be predictable.
     
  7. Flying Pig

    Flying Pig Utrinque Paratus Moderator

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    Yes, but the idea doesn't make sense to us - our constitution would come into effect before the passing of a law (most of it is conventions, which are basically gentleman's agreements between the different MPs not to do certain things. As such, the invocation of those (famously in 1909 that the House of Lords should not reject a budget passed by the House of Commons) has to be done before an action is taken, and if they're broken there's nothing that anyone except Her Majesty the Queen (and even then a similar convention encourages her not to) can do to enforce them.
     

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