Saturday, January 23, 2010

Government Lesson ~ Supreme Court

An excellent lesson in the workings of the United States government has been in the news the last few days. In a 5 to 4 Supreme Court decision, the majority of justices concluded that corporations and unions have the same rights as individuals when it comes to political speech. Corporations had been banned since 1947 from using their profits to endorse or oppose political candidates. That is no longer the case.

There has been a lot of debate on both sides of the issue. It led me to wonder if a Supreme Court decision can be overturned by another part of the government. The following (quoted from WikiAnswers) is what I found:

"No single entity - not the President, Senate, House of Representatives, state Governors, nor anyone else - has the power to overturn a US Supreme Court ruling. Supreme Court decisions cannot be nullified by other parts of government.

If the Supreme Court strikes down a federal law, Congress can always modify the law until it is such that the Supreme Court does not consider it to violate the U. S. Constitution. Then they would have to vote to pass the new law, and the President would sign it.

  1. The Supreme court can overrule it's own rulings.
  2. Congress can rewrite a law to conform with Constitutional standards
  3. The Constitution can be amended. This would require a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress, and ratification by three-quarters of the states (actually, at least 39)."


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