OP-ED: The Supreme Court: An Illegitimate Institution

OP-ED: The Supreme Court: An Illegitimate Institution

The United States Supreme Court is the head of the judicial branch, as it is the last stop for any litigant as the rulings of the court are the final rule of the land. As powerful as the Supreme Court is in maintaining the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches, unlike the other two branches, it has no enforcement powers. The court realized the vulnerability of their rulings in the case of Worcester v. Georgia (1832), a case regarding Native American land rights. The court ruled that the federal government had unconstitutionally seized Cherokee land, to which then-president Andrew Jackson infamously said, “(The court) has made (their) decision, now let (them) enforce it,” effectively ignoring the court’s decision and moving forward with the acquisition of Native American land. This complete disregard for the court’s authority completely revolutionized the approach the court now had to take to maintain some sort of credibility: ensure that public perception of the court is apolitical. Of course, that was the whole idea of the court from its founding, but the court now had to take more precautionary measures to establish its legitimacy, their most prominent tool for this being stare decisis. Stare Decisis is the principle that bounds the court to respect precedent, a doctrine that was egregiously violated as of this week. According to a leaked opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito, the court has drafted a ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade (1973) and Casey v. Planned Parenthood (1992), […]

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