America Divided
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20-04-2016, 06:43 AM (This post was last modified: 20-04-2016 06:56 AM by Lord Dark Helmet.)
Question America Divided
America has become polarized. And this polarization has worked its way into our courts, once the most trusted branch of government.

I was reading an article in The Atlantic that said from 1801 to 1940, less than 2% of Supreme Court cases were decided by a 5-4 split. From 1941 to the present that number has jumped to 16.5%. And in the most recent court during Roberts time as chief justice, over 21% have been decided by a 5-4 decision.

It appears that for the first 150 years of American history, the Supreme Court ruled based on the constitution. Most decisions were 9-0, 8-1 or 7-2. The only court cases that receive those kind of verdicts now are the non-political cases that are usually criminal justice, taxes, or procedural related. Most political cases now result in 5-4 rulings along party lines.

A poll by The New York Times/CBS News revealed that 75% of Americans believe that court decisions are now based on "personal or political views" rather than what the constitution actually says.

Our justices are now affiliated with political parties and make rulings based on the ideals of that party, not with the constitution. They base a ruling in an obscure reading of an amendment to cover something in today's time that the original amendment had nothing to do with (such as the recent gay marriage ruling). They rule based on what they want the constitution to say, not what it actually says.

Our justices are no longer impartial so having 3 branches of government is now redundant. America is not supposed to be a pure democracy. The majority is not supposed to be able to have complete control. If a majority can elect politicians that will choose justices that follow party lines instead of the constitution, the minority will not be represented and the republic is dead. It has almost reached that point. Having a supreme court that rules with the party that appointed them instead of the constitution pretty much makes them irrelevant. We might as well switch to a pure democracy and let the people vote directly for laws by majority and stop wasting money on "representatives."

"Evil will always triumph over good, because good is dumb." - Lord Dark Helmet
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20-04-2016, 07:42 AM
RE: America Divided
Yabut, if we do that we'll only have ourselves to blame.

Rolleyes

Don't let those gnomes and their illusions get you down. They're just gnomes and illusions.

--Jake the Dog, Adventure Time

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20-04-2016, 09:45 AM (This post was last modified: 20-04-2016 10:03 AM by epronovost.)
RE: America Divided
I would be of the opinion that basing court decision solely on a document over 200 years old in a society that so dramatically changed and faces so different issues now than in the past is a bad idea. If the role of the Suprem Court is to administrate justice, then they need to rely on their judgement and morals as much as on the letter of the law else it could seriously diminish our trust in that justice system. Back when decision where more unanymous, the «majority» barely represented 10 to 20% of the total population that stood under those laws. In my opinion, those decision always were based on «personnal political and social views». Those views were simply more homogenous. The Supreme Court is composed of much more diverse persons than in the past. The division isn't along Party lines. There is no such thing as a party line in America, at least not in the sense that Canada or Britain as it for exemple. Just reading the «party line» of Democrates and Republican will show you that they even hold contradictory positions and encompass a wide political spectrum. Democrates and Republican switched roles in the past. The division in the Supreme Court is alongst whose liberal or conservative. At the moment Democrates represent liberals while Republicans represent conservatives. As libertarians and socialists gain influence and as liberals and conservatives changes over time, another switch might very well occur.

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20-04-2016, 09:59 AM
RE: America Divided
And how did the voter get this way? Decades of ill-informed edu-tainment on TV masquerading as news. The evening news used to be seen as a public service provided by networks in exchange for tax-subsidized infrastructure. But at a certain point (maybe the 1980s'?) news programming began to be thought of as just yet another profit center and was designed more with ratings and advertising dollars in mind and became much less about informing the public about actual issues. So much of our news reporting is ideologically-driven and sensationalized nowadays that it comes as no real surprise to me that the front-runner candidate in one of our two major parties is a reality TV celebrity.
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20-04-2016, 02:43 PM
RE: America Divided
(20-04-2016 09:45 AM)epronovost Wrote:  I would be of the opinion that basing court decision solely on a document over 200 years old in a society that so dramatically changed and faces so different issues now than in the past is a bad idea. If the role of the Suprem Court is to administrate justice, then they need to rely on their judgement and morals as much as on the letter of the law else it could seriously diminish our trust in that justice system. Back when decision where more unanymous, the «majority» barely represented 10 to 20% of the total population that stood under those laws. In my opinion, those decision always were based on «personnal political and social views». Those views were simply more homogenous. The Supreme Court is composed of much more diverse persons than in the past. The division isn't along Party lines. There is no such thing as a party line in America, at least not in the sense that Canada or Britain as it for exemple. Just reading the «party line» of Democrates and Republican will show you that they even hold contradictory positions and encompass a wide political spectrum. Democrates and Republican switched roles in the past. The division in the Supreme Court is alongst whose liberal or conservative. At the moment Democrates represent liberals while Republicans represent conservatives. As libertarians and socialists gain influence and as liberals and conservatives changes over time, another switch might very well occur.

The correct way is to change the Constitution. The wrong way is to interpret the Constitution to fit an agenda. The law is the law. Don't like the law? Change it. The Constitution was written that way to prevent a 51% majority from infringing on the rights of others. In order to make a major change, many things must happen. A super majority of Americans would want the change. They would need to elect enough representatives in their states to have to votes to make an amendment. This guarantees that a LARGE majority want that amendment. This process is being circumvented utilizing activists judges that "interpret" the Constitution in accordance with their political leanings. The intention of the founders is completely ignored, especially by liberal judges as they try to be on the right side of history.

"Evil will always triumph over good, because good is dumb." - Lord Dark Helmet
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20-04-2016, 03:26 PM
RE: America Divided
(20-04-2016 02:43 PM)Lord Dark Helmet Wrote:  
(20-04-2016 09:45 AM)epronovost Wrote:  I would be of the opinion that basing court decision solely on a document over 200 years old in a society that so dramatically changed and faces so different issues now than in the past is a bad idea. If the role of the Suprem Court is to administrate justice, then they need to rely on their judgement and morals as much as on the letter of the law else it could seriously diminish our trust in that justice system. Back when decision where more unanymous, the «majority» barely represented 10 to 20% of the total population that stood under those laws. In my opinion, those decision always were based on «personnal political and social views». Those views were simply more homogenous. The Supreme Court is composed of much more diverse persons than in the past. The division isn't along Party lines. There is no such thing as a party line in America, at least not in the sense that Canada or Britain as it for exemple. Just reading the «party line» of Democrates and Republican will show you that they even hold contradictory positions and encompass a wide political spectrum. Democrates and Republican switched roles in the past. The division in the Supreme Court is alongst whose liberal or conservative. At the moment Democrates represent liberals while Republicans represent conservatives. As libertarians and socialists gain influence and as liberals and conservatives changes over time, another switch might very well occur.

The correct way is to change the Constitution. The wrong way is to interpret the Constitution to fit an agenda. The law is the law. Don't like the law? Change it. The Constitution was written that way to prevent a 51% majority from infringing on the rights of others. In order to make a major change, many things must happen. A super majority of Americans would want the change. They would need to elect enough representatives in their states to have to votes to make an amendment. This guarantees that a LARGE majority want that amendment. This process is being circumvented utilizing activists judges that "interpret" the Constitution in accordance with their political leanings. The intention of the founders is completely ignored, especially by liberal judges as they try to be on the right side of history.

The intentions of the Founding Father are useless to us. Trying to determine and base your judgement of what is right or wrong based on what a historical character would have thought about it, is called the historian fallacy. The opinion, of the Founding Fathers which were diverse and sometime contradictory, doesn't help us determine if a ruling/law should be passed or not in our current situation even if judges, who aren't expert historians mind you, could know with certainty what would the Founding Father think about a certain subject (which no one can). The US constitution is a written document. All documents are interpreted if only because our language isn't crystal clear and applicable in all situation. This document was always interpreted up to a certain point. The idea that a judge is free to «interpret» the law to administer justice in a more humane, efficient and just way is enshrined in the legal tradition of the US and the rest of the Commonwealth. This concept has a massive weight too. It was designed in such a fashion should a judge be faced with a clear situation of injustice for which the law has no answer, or even a contradictory answer, to act on it and correct it. Waiting for a potential constitutional amendment isn't pragmatic or even intelligent in such a situation, how long would this injustice continue while waiting for the popularity of an idea, irrelevant to its truth, usefulness or necessity, to grow enough for it to be corrected? Such a wait would have consequences that might not be tolerable. Sure, being wary of judges abusing of their power in such a fashion is sensible, but I wouldn’t worry about the current situation that much. Judges «activism» isn’t such a plague, but the nomination process for the judges and the fact that their position is almost permanent is much more problematic in my opinion. It leads to much more problems than judges using their power in a more proactive fashion. If America seems divided on many issues it’s mostly because more people, diverse people, have a voice in politic now than ever before.

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20-04-2016, 04:47 PM
RE: America Divided
The whole basis of this point is part of the dividing status...

It's as if.. what the constitution "says" is the all be it standard and not how it reflects reality and how court of law has changed the meaning. It being a living breathing document open to shifting with time was made apart of it, but to what extent that occurs is different to people. In no where does it indicate that only interpreting that openness through actual change the "right" way and how the founding fathers THEMSELVES acted in those first few decades doesn't fit that manner.

Right there is a difference in how you view it and why there is a contrast. It wasn't even until during that divisional time that the strict, constitutional it is what it says, came about more prominently in the 80s with the justices.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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20-04-2016, 04:51 PM
RE: America Divided
Seriously????


Is this the first fucking election you've ever seen?????


Civility in politics went shit-all right after George Washington left office............

.......................................

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20-04-2016, 04:52 PM
RE: America Divided
(20-04-2016 04:51 PM)onlinebiker Wrote:  Seriously????


Is this the first fucking election you've ever seen?????


Civility in politics went shit-all right after George Washington left office............
Before, if you count the Newburgh Incident.

But one advantage of being a historian is you've seen all this before. The current crop of politicians are positively polite compared to the GOP in the 1930s.
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20-04-2016, 04:57 PM
RE: America Divided
(20-04-2016 04:52 PM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  
(20-04-2016 04:51 PM)onlinebiker Wrote:  Seriously????


Is this the first fucking election you've ever seen?????


Civility in politics went shit-all right after George Washington left office............
Before, if you count the Newburgh Incident.

But one advantage of being a historian is you've seen all this before. The current crop of politicians are positively polite compared to the GOP in the 1930s.

And they don't drink nearly as much. That's not a good thing.

#sigh
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