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How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 26, 2015 07:09PM
Are there cases when the Supreme court decided that something is legal, and then many years later that it was illegal? What time between those cases? In other words, what is the earliest date that someone could challenge the decision taken today?
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: June 26, 2015 07:20PM
It was my impression that Supreme Court decisions are unchallengable - that's why it is called the Supreme Court.

Or maybe it's that they are unappealable?



It is what it is.
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Re: The science of why stepping on Legos makes you want to die
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: June 26, 2015 07:26PM
It's my understanding that the Supreme Court can choose to hear a challenge to a previous decision, but that historically, they only do so when the previous case was a very long time ago ( prior to any sitting justice being on the court... Which, historically, can be quite a long time itself).
The decisions are not appealable in the traditional sense, but should a particular facet of law cover ground that has already been ruled on, the court can choose to hear a challenge brought from lower courts, or they can refuse to hear the case, in which case the lower court decision stands.



Paul F.
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----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

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Eureka, CA
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: Z
Date: June 26, 2015 07:33PM
Short of amending the constitution...
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Re: The science of why stepping on Legos makes you want to die
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 26, 2015 07:53PM
Quote
Paul F.
It's my understanding that the Supreme Court can choose to hear a challenge to a previous decision, but that historically, they only do so when the previous case was a very long time ago ( prior to any sitting justice being on the court... Which, historically, can be quite a long time itself)....

Thanks!
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: Janit
Date: June 26, 2015 07:56PM
Things can change more quickly in some circumstances. In 2003 Lawrence v. Texas overturned the previous decision of Bowers v. Hardwick (1986). The first decision upheld the constitutionality of sodomy laws, the second reversed this decision. At the time this was a landmark case, paving the way for the changes that lead to today's marriage decision.
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: billb
Date: June 26, 2015 07:59PM
Quote
space-time
Are there cases when the Supreme court decided that something is legal, and then many years later that it was illegal? What time between those cases? In other words, what is the earliest date that someone could challenge the decision taken today?

Plessy v Ferguson was a Supreme Court Decision that was overruled almost 60 years later by Brown v. Board of Education

Congress can also make an amendment to the constitution allowing what a Supreme court decision makes if it based on the Constitution.



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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: June 26, 2015 08:03PM
It really is not that uncommon for a SCOTUS decision to be reversed by a later SCOTUS decision. Usually it is a different group of judges, but not always.

Such a case that immediately came to mind is Plessy v Furguson decided in 1896 and overturned in 1954's Brown v. Board of Education. Likewise Betts v. Brady of 1942 was overturned 20 yrs later in 1963 by Gideon v Wainwright.

Perhaps one of the quickest reversals was the 11th amendment case of Sterrett v Mothers& Childrens rights Organization was was decided in 1973 and overturned the following year (1974) by Edelman v Jordan.

Of course there is also the possibility of changing the constitution which can render a SCOTUS ruling mute. If an amendment was successfully added to the constitution that declared marriage to strictly be one man/one woman, then todays ruling would not carry any weight.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: Janit
Date: June 26, 2015 08:05PM
An interesting article on judicial changes of mind:

[www.nytimes.com]
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: MarkD
Date: June 26, 2015 09:51PM
The Dred Scott decision in 1857 was essentially overturned by the passed of the 14th Amendment shortly after the Civil War.
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: J Marston
Date: June 26, 2015 10:30PM
Minersville School (1940) was overturned by West Virginia Board v. Barnette (1943). This was an important case, settled in the midst of WW II, on whether the pledge of allegiance could be made compulsory in schools.

Robert H. Jackson wrote:

"If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us."
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: Buzz
Date: June 26, 2015 10:42PM
Amongst the Congress, the Supreme Court and the various Amendments to the Constitution itself, there are numerous contradictions...

Prohibition -> ON = 18th Amendment
Prohibition -> OFF = 21st Amendment

That's the beauty of our system; there are checks and balances to hopefully (eventually) get things right. Obvously getting the right people in office so that happens in the best possible fashion is fodder for the other side. Kudos for such keen interest the system.
==
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: Michael
Date: June 27, 2015 06:17AM
Here's a surprisingly (to me) long list of overturned decisions:
[en.wikipedia.org]
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: RgrF
Date: June 27, 2015 07:03AM
Quote
space-time
Are there cases when the Supreme court decided that something is legal, and then many years later that it was illegal? What time between those cases? In other words, what is the earliest date that someone could challenge the decision taken today?

One of the wonders of the original establishment of powers was that none of the the three branches of government could become dominant, that both the executive and legislative were subject to judicial interpretation.

In many countries that sort of constitution would simply be annulled once the executive sent troops into the judicial, that's something that's not yet happened here in the US.
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: sekker
Date: June 27, 2015 08:53AM
I'm posting from Germany after spending a week in Budapest. Hungary is in a mess.

These Supreme Court rulings makes me proud to be an American. We may make a mess of things, but there are times where we do seem to get it right.

The process may be chaotic, but we make meaningful progress where other countries can readily get stuck.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/27/2015 08:54AM by sekker.
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: bfd
Date: June 27, 2015 02:35PM
When democratic rule essentially excludes a minority - and a minority with a bona fide gripe about their constitutional rights - the task of the Supremes is to make it right for those groups.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/27/2015 02:35PM by bfd.
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: June 27, 2015 05:31PM
Quote
bfd
When democratic rule essentially excludes a minority - and a minority with a bona fide gripe about their constitutional rights - the task of the Supremes is to make it right for those groups.

Rubbish. That's the role of the legislative branch, or of the states, not of the Supreme Court. Read Justice Alito's dissent, here: [www.supremecourt.gov]

/Mr Lynn
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: davester
Date: June 27, 2015 07:18PM
Quote
mrlynn
Quote
bfd
When democratic rule essentially excludes a minority - and a minority with a bona fide gripe about their constitutional rights - the task of the Supremes is to make it right for those groups.

Rubbish. That's the role of the legislative branch, or of the states, not of the Supreme Court. Read Justice Alito's dissent, here: [www.supremecourt.gov]

/Mr Lynn

That's got to be one of the worst legal opinions I've ever read. Alito spouts half truths and creates straw men (e.g. "It [the decision]will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. E.g., ante, at 11–13. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent."). It's pretty clear that his argument would apply exactly to denying the right to racial intermarriage, though he seems to suggest (without proof) that that is not a related issue.

Also, why are you disagreeing with bfd's point that the supreme court is the place to go for minorities with gripes about constitutional rights. That is EXACTLY what they are for. That is not the proper role for the legislature or the states at all.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/27/2015 07:19PM by davester.
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: June 27, 2015 08:01PM
Quote
davester
Also, why are you disagreeing with bfd's point that the supreme court is the place to go for minorities with gripes about constitutional rights. That is EXACTLY what they are for. That is not the proper role for the legislature or the states at all.

It is not the prerogative of the Court to invent 'constitutional rights': [www.powerlineblog.com]

/Mr Lynn
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: davester
Date: June 27, 2015 11:20PM
Quote
mrlynn
It is not the prerogative of the Court to invent 'constitutional rights':

This is nonsense. The only people bring up this idea that there is a request to invent constitutional rights are the ideologues Scalia, Thomas and Alito. They are completely ignoring the concept of equal protection under the law. Based on their logic, interracial marriage would still be illegal.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: RgrF
Date: June 27, 2015 11:51PM
Notwithstanding the wailing and bleating from the far right, the Supreme Court has one overriding imperative and that imperative is to decide constitutional law.

That this Court with it's conservative majority doesn't do their bidding on all issues is interesting since they never spasmed over the Citizens United ruling or anything else that fell within their very, very narrow world view.
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: sekker
Date: June 28, 2015 06:14AM
Keep in mind that the only reason something like this comes to the SC is because of an issue with the law. Once the Defense of the Marriage Act was shown to be on faulty legal grounds, it was the responsibility of the legislative branch to fix it if the majority wanted to define a marriage the way it wanted to (ie only between a tall and a short person).

The SC did not write any laws directly here at all.

By the way, the legislative branch could still make a change. But I personally think the horse has left the barn.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/28/2015 06:15AM by sekker.
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Re: How often can Supreme Court of the US rule on an important decision like this one today?
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: June 30, 2015 07:44AM
Quote
mrlynn
Quote
bfd
When democratic rule essentially excludes a minority - and a minority with a bona fide gripe about their constitutional rights - the task of the Supremes is to make it right for those groups.

Rubbish. That's the role of the legislative branch, or of the states, not of the Supreme Court.

/Mr Lynn

You're right, Mr Lynn, it is the legislatures' role and responsibility to create laws that enshrine the rights of minorities. However, in the event that legislatures fail to do this in accordance with the protections afforded by the Constitution, it is absolutely the legitimate role of the Supreme Court (as well as the role of state supreme courts, U.S. District and Circuit courts, etc.) to issue opinions that direct legislatures to do just that.

Absent this authority, we would still have segregated schools, anti-miscegenation laws, male-domination of husband-wife marriages (absolute control of property), and restrictions on who is allowed to use birth control and when. In each of these cases, legislatures had failed to recognize the constitutional rights of minorities in its laws, and the Court intervened. Appropriately.



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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