Would you please explain what the author means by the following quote?  1. "The judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the...

Would you please explain what the author means by the following quote?

 

1. "The judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution...it may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgement; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgements."

 

Asked on by dogcrazy

2 Answers | Add Yours

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The Judiciary branch is the only part of the Federal government that is unelected.  Once nominated and approved, they are in their offices for life or until they resign, barring a crime or inability to do their jobs.  This means they are completely insulated from popular will.  Rather than interpret the Constitution in a way that will get them re-elected, they can concentrate on legal interpretations.  This allows them to protect ethnic, religious and political minorities without fear of voter retribution.

So the court feels it is legal and right to protect the right of the KKK to stage a protest march, even though that act is highly unpopular in America.  In this way they are a sort of guardian of the democratic principles contained on the Constitution.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The important part of this quote is the part about the judiciary having neither force nor will.  This is why, he says, the judicial branch is the one that is least likely to take away our rights.  What he means by the line about force or will is that the judicial branch cannot force anyone to do anything.  It has no army, it has no police force.  It has to rely on the executive branch to carry out its commands.  Therefore, the executive branch could pretty much veto anything the judicial branch says.

Think of the example of the "Little Rock 9."  The Supreme Court said the school had to be integrated.  But they could not force the school district to integrate.  The school district only integrated when President Eisenhower sent in troops to force it to do so.  This means that the Supreme Court didn't really force integration -- the President did.

So the Court has no way to force people to obey it and that is why it is the least dangerous branch (according to this quote).

We’ve answered 318,990 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question