The Health Care Decision and the Future Role of the Courts in Upholding Constitutional Principles

Neither Left nor Right but Catholic

     The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the health care law is probably a disappointment to many readers of this column. One of the things many people are scratching their head about—and some expressing something like a feeling of betrayal—is why Chief Justice Roberts joined the majority. Obviously, I cannot “get into Roberts’ mind” to answer that question. One writer speculated that Roberts made the decision he did to protect the integrity of the Court as a non-political institution. Perhaps, but with half or more of the American public against the law it does not seem as if the Court would have suffered much damage to its reputation if it had decided the other way.

Newt Gingrich on Restraining Judicial Power: In Line with the Constitution (Mostly)

Neither Left nor Right but Catholic


By Stephen M. Krason

     Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich caused a stir during a media interview when he set forth his ideas about how the excessive exertion of judicial power should be checked. Among his claims were that a president could ignore unconstitutional U.S. Supreme Court decisions and that Congress could subpoena federal judges to make them justify questionable decisions and abolish lower federal courts. He was subsequently attacked for threatening judicial independence, and his comments were called “radical,” “frightening,” “irresponsible” and “outrageous” (these last two responses were from two former Republican U.S. attorneys general).

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