About the US Supreme Court... Watch

Juichiro
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I was wondering:

a) why is it that the Supreme Court decided this week (and not earlier) to rule same-sex marriage legal?

b) Given that Presidents appoint members of the Supreme Court, wouldn't any President only appoint members who share their own political/social views?

c) What happens if next week the Supreme Court overturns current law and rules same-sex marriage illegal again? Is it possible?

d) Is there any limit to the extent to which the Supreme Court can change current laws?
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bittr n swt
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for C i hope it's possible. So annoying seeing my facebook news feed with people changing their stupid profile pictures to rainbows...just no
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Aj12
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(Original post by Juichiro)
I was wondering:

a) why is it that the Supreme Court decided this week (and not earlier) to rule same-sex marriage legal?

b) Given that Presidents appoint members of the Supreme Court, wouldn't any President only appoint members who share their own political/social views?

c) What happens if next week the Supreme Court overturns current law and rules same-sex marriage illegal again? Is it possible?

d) Is there any limit to the extent to which the Supreme Court can change current laws?

A) Because someone brought the case to the court, they don't launch cases independently

B) Yeah but there is a limit to how many justices sit on the court. The president cannot dismiss judges and replace them with ones he likes either. They have to wait for a slot to pop up.

C) I believe it is possible but unlikely. Congress could also simply change the law. They could pass a law stating Marriage is X, this would last until a new case was brought to the supreme court.

At least this how I think it works.
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SotonianOne
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(Original post by Juichiro)
a) why is it that the Supreme Court decided this week (and not earlier) to rule same-sex marriage legal?
Because it has never before been brought to the Supreme Court. They do not launch investigations independently.

(Original post by Juichiro)
b) Given that Presidents appoint members of the Supreme Court, wouldn't any President only appoint members who share their own political/social views?
Associate Justices have to be approved by the U.S. Senate in order to pass to minimise gerrymandering, however in the event of the ruling Senate majority being from the same party as the U.S. President it is indeed flawed.

However, there is generally a "Gentleman's rule" among Presidents that they shall appoint no more than 4 (half) of the Court within their term. The last time this has been breached is during Roosevelt 2, but his judges were close to retirement so it was expected.

Not protected by legislation but is protected widely by integrity, scrutiny and common sense.

(Original post by Juichiro)
c) What happens if next week the Supreme Court overturns current law and rules same-sex marriage illegal again? Is it possible?
Then it's illegal and it is possible. Supreme Court can even bring back slavery if they want to.

(Original post by Juichiro)
d) Is there any limit to the extent to which the Supreme Court can change current laws?
The Supreme Court's only legal and binding precedent is the U.S. Constitution as well as U.S. Congress legislation. They cannot literally do anything they possibly want, but are able to rule cases which do not conflict with the two above.
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flibber
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To add to this, the Supreme Court can be overruled if the Constitution is amended to state against the Court's ruling. But given that they have only been 27 amendments, the last being in 1992, and with congressional dysfunction, this won't happen in the forseeable future. Or we could have a Constitutional Convention, which some scholars believe is long overdue.
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Juichiro
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(Original post by Aj12)
A) Because someone brought the case to the court, they don't launch cases independently

B) Yeah but there is a limit to how many justices sit on the court. The president cannot dismiss judges and replace them with ones he likes either. They have to wait for a slot to pop up.

C) I believe it is possible but unlikely. Congress could also simply change the law. They could pass a law stating Marriage is X, this would last until a new case was brought to the supreme court.

At least this how I think it works.
A. Who did and why didn't someone brought it earlier?
B. And when do slots pop up? When the justices die?
C. So the Congress can change the same-sex marriage law? If yes, can then the Supreme Court change that change? Are you saying that the Congress and the Supreme Court can override each other's rulings?
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Juichiro
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(Original post by SotonianOne)
A.Because it has never before been brought to the Supreme Court. They do not launch investigations independently.



B. Associate Justices have to be approved by the U.S. Senate in order to pass to minimise gerrymandering, however in the event of the ruling Senate majority being from the same party as the U.S. President it is indeed flawed.

C.However, there is generally a "Gentleman's rule" among Presidents that they shall appoint no more than 4 (half) of the Court within their term. The last time this has been breached is during Roosevelt 2, but his judges were close to retirement so it was expected.

D. Not protected by legislation but is protected widely by integrity, scrutiny and common sense.



E.Then it's illegal and it is possible. Supreme Court can even bring back slavery if they want to.



F. The Supreme Court's only legal and binding precedent is the U.S. Constitution as well as U.S. Congress legislation. They cannot literally do anything they possibly want, but are able to rule cases which do not conflict with the two above.
A. Why wasn't it? Maybe they could have achieved this earlier if the did.
B. What is gerrymandering?
C. But the President is not forced to honour it, right?
D. Integrity and common sense did not prevent slavery or world wars, why would it prevent this especially when just being hungry affects you chances of getting a harsher/softer sentence?
E. Crazy! This where I hinting btw.
F. So they must obey the Constitution and the Legislation? What if any of them said that slavery is legal? Would they be unable to make slavery illegal? :0

Thank you for the information, btw. I am very ignorant about law.
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afern
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(Original post by Juichiro)
A. Who did and why didn't someone brought it earlier?
B. And when do slots pop up? When the justices die?
C. So the Congress can change the same-sex marriage law? If yes, can then the Supreme Court change that change? Are you saying that the Congress and the Supreme Court can override each other's rulings?
A. Jim Obergefell sued Ohio after his husband, John Arthur, died because Ohio wouldn't recognise the marriage and therefore the rights that Obergefell had as Arthur's spouse.

B. When a justice dies or steps down (usually due to health/age problems), being a Supreme Court justice is a life-term.

C. Congress can't technically change the law. However, they can pass laws that lessen the effect of the law or that negate it. Because of how the checks and balances system works though they can't complete undo court precedent (the Supreme Court's decision.) One of the ways to negate a Supreme Court ruling is to propose an amendment to the Constitution, but that would be unlikely to work in this case as amendments need approval from 75% of states to pass.
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afern
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(Original post by Juichiro)
A. Why wasn't it? Maybe they could have achieved this earlier if the did.
B. What is gerrymandering?
C. But the President is not forced to honour it, right?
D. Integrity and common sense did not prevent slavery or world wars, why would it prevent this especially when just being hungry affects you chances of getting a harsher/softer sentence?
E. Crazy! This where I hinting btw.
F. So they must obey the Constitution and the Legislation? What if any of them said that slavery is legal? Would they be unable to make slavery illegal? :0

Thank you for the information, btw. I am very ignorant about law.
A. For a case to get to the Supreme Court it has to get through a bunch of other courts first, and each of those rulings has to be challenged by either the defendant or the plaintiff/prosecution.

B. Gerrymandering is basically redrawing district/county lines to influence voting. So if you've got a republican county, and democrat county and one on the middle that's split, a politician might gerrymander that middle county to make it easier for him to win it.

C. No, a President isn't forced to honour it, but it's pretty rare for 4 justices to step down during one Presidency.

D. I'm going to be honest here, I don't really know how to answer this!

E. It truly is crazy.

F. The Constitution is the law of the land basically, if any state government passes a law that directly disagrees with the constitution (let's say the state banned African Americans and women from voting) that law would be nullified. If Congress passed an amendment nullifying the 13th Amendment (which outlawed slavery) then slavery would be legal until either another amendment was passed outlawing it, or a Supreme Court ruling ended it. No legislation outside the Constitution could bring back slavery though because the Constitution has precedence over other legislation.
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Juichiro
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(Original post by afern)
A. Jim Obergefell sued Ohio after his husband, John Arthur, died because Ohio wouldn't recognise the marriage and therefore the rights that Obergefell had as Arthur's spouse.

B. When a justice dies or steps down (usually due to health/age problems), being a Supreme Court justice is a life-term.

C. Congress can't technically change the law. However, they can pass laws that lessen the effect of the law or that negate it. Because of how the checks and balances system works though they can't complete undo court precedent (the Supreme Court's decision.) One of the ways to negate a Supreme Court ruling is to propose an amendment to the Constitution, but that would be unlikely to work in this case as amendments need approval from 75% of states to pass.
Thank you

A. How did you go from Ohio to the Supreme Court?
C. So instead of erasing laws, they pass new laws that negate the previous ones? :0 That's insane. In 2000 years from now, the number of laws will be impossible to manage. :0 "One of the ways to negate a Supreme Court ruling is to propose an amendment to the Constitution, but that would be unlikely to work in this case as amendments need approval from 75% of states to pass" Woah, interesting.

Thank you for all the info
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afern
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(Original post by Juichiro)
Thank you

A. How did you go from Ohio to the Supreme Court?
C. So instead of erasing laws, they pass new laws that negate the previous ones? :0 That's insane. In 2000 years from now, the number of laws will be impossible to manage. :0 "One of the ways to negate a Supreme Court ruling is to propose an amendment to the Constitution, but that would be unlikely to work in this case as amendments need approval from 75% of states to pass" Woah, interesting.

Thank you for all the info
A. I don't know the details of the beginning of this case, but in general cases start in district court (trial court) where a regular trial happens. If the outcome of the trial is appealed by either side it then goes to circuit courts which are appeal courts. If a case cannot be resolved in appeals court it continues to go up through the system until it reaches the top appeals court which is the Supreme Court.

C. Absolutely! But once a law gets negated you can basically forget about it because the new law takes its place. Sort of like how the 18th Amendment (prohibition) doesn't need to be used in court ever because the 21st Amendment overturned it.

No problem, I'm glad I can put my US civics lessons to use!
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Aj12
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(Original post by Juichiro)
A. Who did and why didn't someone brought it earlier?
B. And when do slots pop up? When the justices die?
C. So the Congress can change the same-sex marriage law? If yes, can then the Supreme Court change that change? Are you saying that the Congress and the Supreme Court can override each other's rulings?
You can't go straight to the supreme court I don't think. You have to go through the lower courts first which takes time and money. Not many people are willing to do that.

Or retire.

Yes. The courts job is to interpret laws and ensure they are constitutional. Each time a new law is made a challenge could be launched against it. They cannot override each other but there are ways around it. The court interprets a law, congress then writes a new one overriding the old law so the court would then have to reinterpret that law if a challenge was brought against it.
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Juichiro
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(Original post by afern)
A. I don't know the details of the beginning of this case, but in general cases start in district court (trial court) where a regular trial happens. If the outcome of the trial is appealed by either side it then goes to circuit courts which are appeal courts. If a case cannot be resolved in appeals court it continues to go up through the system until it reaches the top appeals court which is the Supreme Court.

C. Absolutely! But once a law gets negated you can basically forget about it because the new law takes its place. Sort of like how the 18th Amendment (prohibition) doesn't need to be used in court ever because the 21st Amendment overturned it.

No problem, I'm glad I can put my US civics lessons to use!
Do you study US law?

(Original post by Aj12)
You can't go straight to the supreme court I don't think. You have to go through the lower courts first which takes time and money. Not many people are willing to do that.

Or retire.

Yes. The courts job is to interpret laws and ensure they are constitutional. Each time a new law is made a challenge could be launched against it. They cannot override each other but there are ways around it. The court interprets a law, congress then writes a new one overriding the old law so the court would then have to reinterpret that law if a challenge was brought against it.
Sounds like a Dance of Judges.
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Aj12
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(Original post by Juichiro)
Do you study US law?



Sounds like a Dance of Judges.
I don't think it would happen, too much time and effort for congress to try to contradict the supreme court.
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Juichiro
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(Original post by Aj12)
I don't think it would happen, too much time and effort for congress to try to contradict the supreme court.
They could use IT to speed up stuff.

Are you a lawyer or a law student?
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anosmianAcrimony
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(Original post by bittr n swt)
for C i hope it's possible. So annoying seeing my facebook news feed with people changing their stupid profile pictures to rainbows...just no
Yeah we definitely need to curtail the rights of millions of people for the sake of your Facebook feed.
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afern
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(Original post by Juichiro)
Do you study US law?



Sounds like a Dance of Judges.
No I live in the States right now so in middle school I had a US government class and in my second year of high school I had a US History class

Hahaha great name for it!!
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gladders
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The Supreme Court cannot consider hypotheticals. All cases before it must be relating to real people, institutions, and situations. So the reason the court case didn't come any sooner is due to a number of reasons, including the recent, sudden expansion of gay marriage rights in certain US States and the Full Faith and Credit issues that brings up, and the clash between federal and State laws. That, and the willingness of someone to have their lives brought into temporary chaos while litigation is undertaken, plus cost. That, and the risk that they could lose the case unless the precise circumstances of the case mean their argument is unassailable. A slightly different set of circumstances could have given the Supreme Court a means of not mandating that equal marriage is a general right that the States cannot touch.

If I remember correctly, it went straight to the Supreme Court because the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction over any cases that involve a State as a defendant or prosecution.

Strictly speaking the Supreme Court doesn't legislate, although in declaring certain laws incompatible with the Constitution it does get accused of that a lot. It's unusual for the Supreme Court to make broad, sweeping statements like they made last week. Normally they rule on technical issues, so that while a law may be incompatible in the form it currently is in, it's possible to achieve the same ends with a law that is slightly modified by Congress.
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Aj12
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(Original post by Juichiro)
They could use IT to speed up stuff.

Are you a lawyer or a law student?
Neither, so someone might come along and contradict everything I just said.
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Juichiro
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(Original post by Aj12)
Neither, so someone might come along and contradict everything I just said.
Then you bring your hammer and counter-attack with a constitutional amendment.
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