Can We Please Have One Question About the Supreme Court in a 2012 Presidential Debate?

The composition of the United States Supreme Court is a major political issue over which the U.S. president has significant control. Yet during the first two presidential debates we heard exactly nothing from either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney about how they would each go about filling a future vacancy on the High Court. And it’s not like this is an academic question. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a 79-year-old who recently underwent treatment for pancreatic cancer, while both Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Anthony Kennedy have reached the none-too-spry age of 76. Any one of these three justices could conceivably retire in the next four years.

So in the spirit of democracy, I humbly submit this question about the Supreme Court for use in tonight’s debate free of charge:

In his recent decision upholding the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Chief Justice John Roberts said, “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

Do you agree with this statement? If not, please explain when you believe it is appropriate for the Supreme Court to nullify a duly-enacted law.

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  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    NO! THE ONLY QUESTIONS ARE

    1) ARE YOU VOTING FOR SCOTT BROWN INSTEAD OF ELIZABETH WARREN, EVEN IF YOU DON'T LIVE IN MASSHOLECHEWSHITS AND

    2) ARE YOU COMMITTING TO COMMENTING SERIOUSLY ON H AMPERSAND R FROM NOW TILL EVERMORE CAUSE SILLY COMMENTERS DRIVE AWAY THE CENTRISTS???!!

    THOSE ARE THE ONLY QUESTIONS!!!

    MY ANSWERS
    1)
    2)

    DID YOU SAY SOMETHING? HOW 'BOUT YOU GO FUCK YOURSELF?

    THE END.

    /super serial

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    HAHA!! ALSO, LA PREMIERE!

  • Auric Demonocles||

    In his recent decision upholding the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Chief Justice John Roberts said, “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

    Do you agree with this statement? If not, please explain when you believe it is appropriate for the Supreme Court to nullify a duly-enacted law.

    My answer:

    I do agree with that statement, although not with his assessment of whether this specific case falls under that criteria. The Court's job is not to protect people from political choices; it is to protect the people from violations of the Constitution. Therefore, the fact that a law is duly-enacted provides no protection from nullification. For example, when a duly-enacted federal law requires all citizens to engage in commerce when they were not engaged in interstate commerce, the Supreme Court should nullify it on the basis that this does not fall under the enumerated powers of the federal government.

    Also, any picture without alt-text should be nullified.

  • R C Dean||

    Auric, I think you are underestimating the scope of his statement.

    When he says that it is not SCOTUS's job to protect people from the consequences of their political choices, he is saying that it is not SCOTUS's job to overturn duly enacted statutes. All such statutes are the consequences of political choices after all.

    He is justifying extreme judicial deference to Congress and the President.

    What's even more ironic about it is that he made this statement while de facto amending a stature to convert it into a form that was politically toxic and could not have been passed.

    Apparently, he thinks it is SCOTUS job to save Congress from the Constitutional consequences of its actions. As passed, ObamaCare was unconstitutional, but Roberts was up to the job of converting it into something Constitutional, even though it could not have passed in that form.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Janice Rogers Brown--why not? What, you're a racist?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Sorry, the correct non racist answer is Barack Obama.

  • Pro Libertate||

    He should offer to resign in exchange for a Supreme Court appointment.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    He's just going to do both.

  • Pro Libertate||

    There was a rumor that Clinton wanted a SCOTUS nomination. However, if that were true, you'd figure he'd have tried for it during Obama's first two years.

  • John||

    I don't think the Republicans would have filibustered Clinton. They would have been happy to see him get out of public life. No one pays any attention to what the Court members say outside of their written opinions. It is a nerd job. Bubba would have hated it.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    YOU GUYS ARE NOT FOCUSED ON THE ONLY TWO QUESTIONS THAT MATTER!!!

    AND YOU WONDER WHY NO ONE TAKES LIBERTARIANS SERIOUSLY, AND THERE ARE LITERALLY NO WOMEN LIBERTARIANS, AND WHY THE BLOOD OF SCOTT BROWN'S DEMISE IS ON YOUR HANDS AND REASON'S FUTURE FAILURE TOO!!111!

  • John||

    Have you lost your mind?

  • Ted Levy||

    "Do you agree with this statement? If not, please explain when you believe it is appropriate for the Supreme Court to nullify a duly-enacted law?"

    Shouldn't that be:

    "Do you agree with this statement? If SO, please explain when you believe it is appropriate for the Supreme Court to nullify a duly-enacted law?"

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