Tag: court ruling

America’s Six Worst Supreme Court Rulings in History

By Jack Parkos | United States

The Supreme Court has been a heated topic in the news lately, with Justice Kennedy announcing his retirement. Now, President Trump has the job of appointing someone for this position. Hopefully, his crucial pick will defend the Constitution and its principle of liberty.

The Constitution gives the Supreme Court the power to deem laws unconstitutional. However, from time to time, justices make very serious mistakes and side against the Constitution. To understand how important President Trump’s decision is, we need to look at times when the Supreme Court got it wrong. While they have overturned some, others are still law.

1. Roe V. Wade

The very nature of abortion opposes liberty. In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the 14th amendment protects the right to an abortion. Ironically, the amendment promising equal protection under the law declared that certain human lives are not equal. Furthermore, this ruling interfered with the Tenth Amendment, which guarantees states’ rights.

Clearly, the Constitution does not declare abortion a right. But with one ruling, the Supreme Court declared it so. In doing so, they interfered with the interests of states and of the Constitution itself. The document, in fact, was supposed to prevent the federal government from doing such a thing. Despite this, seven justices sworn in to protect the Constitution failed to do so. As a result, millions of innocent babies have passed away.

2. Maryland V. King

This important ruling occurred just five years ago. The Supreme Court ruled that police can take a DNA swab of someone arrested for a serious crime with no warrant. All of this may now legally occur before a jury rules that someone is guilty in court. This is clearly a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s privacy guarantee.

The court claimed this would only be necessary for violent crime. This includes murder, rape, assault, theft, and more. The key part, however, is the “more”. Government could easily declare any criminal to be violent to use this ruling and get the swab. Right now, the government says owning a marijuana plant is a crime. Is it unreasonable to think they would soon demand taking DNA of someone who hasn’t even been proven guilty of owning such a plant?

3.  Helvering v. Davis

In 1937, the Supreme Court ruled by a vote of 7-2 that the Social Security Act of 1935 did not violate the 10th Amendment. Thus, they allowed for a tax on employers to occur. But ,that was only the beginning. The Supreme Court also declared that Congress may spend money on “the general welfare”.

By doing so, they also allow Congress to interpret the general welfare clause of the Constitution. However, Congress has no constitutional right to do so. Ironically, the branch that does have such power simply ceded it to another. Allowing Congress to interpret one clause of the Constitution opens the door for them to do the same with others. This is not only a threat to our Constitution but more importantly, to our liberties.

4. Buck V. Bell

When we think of eugenics, we often think of the Nazis’ cruel policies. But did you know that there is a Supreme Court ruling that models eugenics, and that it still stands today? This is the 1927 case of Buck V. Bell. The ruling of this case, by a vote of 8-1, decided that the state could forcefully sterilize 18-year-old Carrie Buck. The court used Buck and her mother’s mental health issues as justification.

The Supreme Court rejected the idea that forced sterilization violated Bell’s 8th and 14th Amendment rights. Instead, they ruled that it was in the State’s best interest to have Bell (as well as her mother and daughter) forcefully sterilized as they were “feeble-minded”. Justice Oliver Holmes even stated that “Three generations of imbeciles are enough”. At the Nuremberg trials after World War II, Nazi eugenics doctors actually cited Holmes as evidence to their own defense. Clearly, such a practice is cruel and barbaric.

5. Dred Scott V. Sandford

The ruling of this case is often considered the worst ruling in US history, and for good reason. In it, the Supreme Court declared that African Americans, free or slave, were not American citizens and lacked constitutional rights. Many historians agree this was the worst ruling in American history. While the 14th Amendment and Civil Rights Act of 1866 gave African Americans full citizenship, it is still a shameful moment in history.

6. Korematsu v. United States

Following the attack of Peal Harbor, FDR’s Executive Order 9066 called for thousands of Japanese American citizens to be thrown in internment camps without due process. Of course, the act is in every way unconstitutional. But, with a 6-3 vote, the court declared that the “Need to protect against espionage, outweighed the rights of Americans of Japanese descent.”

This ruling allowed the state to take thousands of innocent people from their homes. FDR’s actions were blatantly tyrannical. It resembles something a dictator might do, not the leader of the free world. However, the court allowed it because of the strongest emotion known to man, fear.

In the internment camps, the state did not find a single Japanese American spy. While the court eventually overturned this ruling, it remains a constant reminder on the importance of wartime liberties.

The Future of the Supreme Court

Trump’s upcoming decision is very important. His pick will interpret the Constitution and the rights we hold. Perhaps he or she may dangerously violate the Constitution, or perhaps he or she will help overturn the stains in the court’s history. For America to thrive, he must nominate a justice who will preserve the Constitution, and protect our Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.


To support 71 Republic, please donate to our Patreon, which you can find here.

Featured Image Source.

Advertisements

Where is the Outrage over Alfie Evans’ Mistreatment?

By Isaiah Minter | United States

One story getting little attention from the mainstream media is the story of Alfie Evans, a terminally ill toddler prevented from leaving Britain for medical treatment. Alfie has spent more than a year in a semi-vegetative state, suffering from a neurodegenerative disease. Over this span, he was kept alive in the critical care unit of Alder Hey Hospital by artificial ventilation. Unfortunately, since then, a conflict has ensued between the hospital and Alfie’s parents, Tom Evans and Kate James.

As a result of Alfie’s unresponsiveness to active treatment, the hospital suggested that he be taken off life support. The parents disagreed, and his case was referred to the Family Division of the UK court, only for the court to rule in favor of the hospital. Alfie’s parents appealed the decision, only to lose that appeal and watch the Supreme Court dismiss the case.

Moreover, High Court Justice Anthony Hayden struck down the plan to take Alfie to Rome for medical treatment and stated that Alfie’s life support be ended on Monday morning.

In the hours after Alfie was taken off ventilation support, hospital staff refused to provide the toddler with ventilation and hydration. If Alfie’s parent were to do this, they would be charged with child abuse, but under Britain’s system of socialized medicine, it’s simply a hospital decision reinforced by a court ruling. An evil action doesn’t magically become permissible because individuals with power perform it.

It is nothing short of tragic for the life of a human being to be in the hands of someone other than oneself or one’s own family. Why Anthony Hayden gets to be the arbiter of the life of a toddler is beyond my understanding. Haden is a human being no nobler than Alfie’s parents, nor is the life of his child the one being ruled upon. The incentives of the two parties are very different: if Hayden is wrong, he does not lose a beloved child and his judicial tenure will go on. On the other hand, the loss of a child is a heart-wrenching moment for any parent, and Alfie’s parents will bear a price should they choose the ‘wrong decision.’

I use the term wrong decision loosely, as it is the only reasonable decision offered thus far, and yet the most shunned. If Alfie is guaranteed to be knocking on death’s door, it makes little sense to strip the parents of any remaining comfort they can enjoy with their child and accelerate his demise by starving him of life necessities. It must be emphasized that Alfie Evans is breathing without life support as I am writing this, contra the opinions offered by his doctors.

For all the talk of a ‘right’ to healthcare in this country, it is surprising that there is not more concern over this issue. Senator Bernie Sanders, for example, spent his campaign decrying the American medical care system for denying care to poor Americans because of an inability to pay but has failed to speak on Alfie being denied medical care due to the British government. Ideological consistency is lacking in today’s politics.

In a broader sense, Alfie’s case is one of many examples illustrating the destruction of parental sovereignty across a  range of issues, education and healthcare in particular.  Hardly has any evidence been put forth showing benefits of this trend. I like to think the Western world can do better for our children, but perhaps I am overly optimistic.

The underlying theme in all of this, that Alfie’s parents are prevented from even choosing their own child’s treatment plan while he is dying, is nothing short of state cruelty. The economist Thomas Sowell once said:

The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best.

The great danger that Alfie Evans is dealing with, and one that must be stressed to Progressives who want the government to adopt a bigger role in these issues, is that when you allow the government to decide what you need, you inadvertently allow it to decide what you do not need.


Featured image source.