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Should the Supreme Court be able to block ratification of an amendment to the...

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mfurfaro | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 10, 2013 at 3:51 PM via web

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Should the Supreme Court be able to block ratification of an amendment to the Constitution?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 10, 2013 at 4:01 PM (Answer #1)

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This is, of course, a matter of opinion.  There is no objective way to answer it.  My own view is that the Supreme Court should not be able to do this.

The job of the Supreme Court is to interpret the Constitution.  It is not the job of the Supreme Court to decide what sorts of things the Constitution can say.  The Constitution sets up a system for amendments to be created.  It does not say that the amendments have to be vetted by the Supreme Court.

A Constitutional amendment is, of course, a change to the Constitution.  When the Constitution changes, the Supreme Court has to accept those changes.  It then has a new document to interpret.  Its job is to interpret the document that it is given, not to say what that document can have in it.

So, the job of the Court is to interpret the Constitution.  If the Constitution changes according to the process that it sets out, the Supreme Court has no business saying that the changes are not constitutional.  By definition, when the Constitution changes, the new Constitution is constitutional.

Giving the Supreme Court the power to invalidate amendments would be like giving referees in the NFL the right to decide that they do not like the rule changes that have been ordered and that they will not allow those rules to be enforced.  This is not how a society of laws works.

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