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Richard Davis: Americans losing confidence in Supreme Court

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  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    June 14, 2013 7:42 p.m.

    The loss of confidence in the Court mirrors the general loss of confidence in Government. The main reason for that loss of confidence has everything to do with a concerted effort from the right to convince the American voter that "government is not the solution it is the problem".

    Once convinced of that notion, many Americans fell for the ruse and began to elect people who do not believe in government, especially at the Federal level. Electing this kind of scare politician becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. By not supporting the notion that government has a legitimate role to play, The right has increasing left the political playing field to the wealthy and to large corporate interests. The U. S. supreme court has played into that narrative with decision like "Citizens United" which opened the door for unfettered political contributions which, of course give wealth donors and corporations a lot of influence over the Congress and the elected officials of the Executive Branch.

    But as for me, I lost faith in the Court when it appointed George Bush with the Bush v Gore decision, a bad decision on many levels, with an enormous negative impact on both history and outlook.

  • dave Park City, UT
    June 14, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    It seems that those that are "losing confidence in [the] Supreme Court" are those that do not understand the concept of the Supreme Court. The Court is a dispassionate arbiter of the law of the land. Public opinion, religion, political persuasion and personal opinion are irrelevant. You may agree or disagree with the decisions but they are the supreme law of the land that you must abide.

  • Oldcoach Hurricane, 00
    June 13, 2013 4:37 p.m.

    Citizens United is the worst decision ever made by the Court. As soon as corporations start registering for the draft and fighting in a war I will believe they are individuals. Money has corrupted politics to such a degree that the people no longer have any control over candidates. (evidence--John Swallow)

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    June 13, 2013 2:29 p.m.

    Roland,

    Again, a "wink wink" understanding is called implicit. We both agree on the meaning of the text. But it is an implicit mention of slavery, not explicit. The government did not explicitly say that there were no constitutional conflicts with slavery until the Dred Scot decision. Mr. Davis is correct. I am correct. You are correct. You just seem to not want to acknowledge it.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 13, 2013 12:37 p.m.

    To Claudio: I disagree completely.

    "The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person."--This section deals with the slave trade, everyone understood what it meant. It says that the slave trade may continue without interference until 1808. After 1808 congress could pass laws regulating the slave trade. Everyone at the time knew exactly what his clause meant, even though they don't say the words "slave", "slavery" or "slave trade".

    Not only did the constitution make slavery legal, it forbade congress from enaacting any regulations or restrictions until 1808.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 13, 2013 12:17 p.m.

    The only reason I'm losing confidence in the Supreme Court recently is... it's becoming increasingly and increasingly POLITICALY motivated (not law based).

    The judicial branch was supposed to be immune to political concerns. They were spared elections so they didn't have to pander to constituents and party bosses. They were intended to be politically independent. But that is not the case today (on both sides).

    This is evidenced in the increasing number of split decisions (split directly down party lines).

    IMO Supreme Court decisions should almost never end up evenly split down party lines with the party with the most supreme court judges at the time prevailing. That's not how it was intended to work.

    I would THINK that the type of decisions the Supreme Court is faced with should almost always turn out practically unanimous. They SHOULD just be ruling on what the CONSTITUTION says (NOT expressing their OPINION or legislating what they think the Constitution SHOULD have said, in their opinion).

    I would think 9 people reading the same document would come to pretty much the same conclusions. UNLESS rulings are based on politics and personal opinion instead of strict interpretation of the LAW itself.

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    June 13, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    @J Thompson --

    "I don't agree with you. We are not free to shoot a gun unless we harm someone."

    Actually, gun laws are good examples of the "first do no harm" principle.

    Where the risk of public injury is high -- like in cities -- it's illegal to shoot a gun except under specific circumstances.

    Where the risk of public injury is low -- like in the country -- gun laws are more relaxed. For instance, I live out in the country. Here, I can shoot off a gun as much as I like -- provided I do so in a "safe" manner (don't shoot it towards other people's houses and so on). In fact, I specifically called up my local police to verify this fact, soon after I moved here.

    @wrz --

    "We're talking about dispatching a totally separate entity"

    Nope. It's not "totally separate" as long as it requires a uterus. Until then, the woman has the right to control her own body.

    If you don't like abortions, then work to decrease the NEED for abortions. Volunteer for teen education. Hand out contraceptives.

    Don't sit around whining about how terrible abortions are. Do something constructive.

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    June 13, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    @wrz --

    "It's not the marriage arraignment that's at fault."

    Don't try to make this about any one religion or culture.

    As Chief Justice Bauman stated in that 2011 Canadian decision: "Polygamy's harm to society includes the critical fact that a great many of its individual harms are not specific to any particular religious, cultural or regional context. They can be generalized and expected to occur wherever polygamy exists."

    Once again -- the courts recognize these dangers, even if you don't.

    "Would you please explain how so-called incest...is harmful to either party?"

    Most incest involves parent and minor child. The harm there is obvious.

    Adult consenting incest is usually outlawed because of the risk of genetic defects in offspring -- harm to offspring.

    We can argue about infertile adult incestuous couples if you like -- but there will be vanishingly few of these to worry about.

    "my neighbor was 21 when he married his wife at age 15."

    So what? I might drive home drunk one night and make it home safely. That doesn't mean drunk driving should be legalized.

    Laws are about the **risk** of harm, not about the **certainty** of it.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 13, 2013 6:57 a.m.

    @Try My Best;

    You're best is clearly not good enough. Marriage has never, ever been "one man/one woman only".

    You are the one's trying to change the definition of marriage to that. You can even find that historically, same-sex couples were allowed to marry in many ancient civilizations, so your argument about the definition fails yet again.

    A SCOTUS ruling that same-sex couples deserve to be treated equally by the government (including the use of the word "marriage") is really the only valid ruling if we are to adhere to the equal treatment clause (Amendment 14).

    Try a little harder please.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    June 13, 2013 1:41 a.m.

    "...the court should not only consider the legal issues of a case but also majority opinion as well."

    This is soooo dangerous! Just because a majority thinks that something is right, doesn't make it right. If only the Supremes were guided by what is right in spite of what is popular or politically correct.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    June 12, 2013 11:09 p.m.

    Roland,

    So you agree? Everything you mentioned is "implicit" in nature, not explicit. The Dred Scot decision was the first explicit governmental acknowledgement that slavery was constitutional.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    June 12, 2013 11:07 p.m.

    @plainbrownwrapper:
    "Polygamy is known to convey serious risks to women and children -- and courts recognize these risks, as I've shown in previous discussions."

    It's not the marriage arraignment that's at fault. It's the teachings of the participants... as we can easily see in a certain religion in the mid-east... as I've shown in previous discussions.

    "Likewise, incest and child marriage harm children."

    Would you please explain how so-called incest (i.e. marrying a close relation including a sib) is harmful to either party?

    As for child marriages... my neighbor was 21 when he married his wife at age 15. They have been married for 55 years, have a nice family and a loving relationship.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    June 12, 2013 10:48 p.m.

    I'd have much more confidence, in the SCOTUS, if all the judges were extreme hard core conservatives...

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    June 12, 2013 8:50 p.m.

    @j Thomas
    I have no idea wthat you were attempting to argue with your strange reasoning in your first paragraph given plainbrownrappers comment and given the fact that they clearly do present a potential harm to others but please explain your claim that equal protection under the law for something that presents no harm to society equates to changing the definition of that law?

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 12, 2013 5:56 p.m.

    To Claudio: The word "slave" or "slavery" does not occur in the constitution. They used "importation of persons" to refer to the slave trade. The constitution mentions people who are "bound to service". And famously it just says "other persons", which everyone at the time understood to mean slaves.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    June 12, 2013 5:36 p.m.

    plainbrownwrapper,
    I don't agree with you. We are not free to shoot a gun unless we harm someone. Where I live, no shooting is allowed within city limits, regardless whether others are present or not. Where I live, the school zone speed limit is strictly enforced, whether there are children present of not. Where I live, stealing is always a crime, even when someone has "too much money for his own good".

    In other words, changing a definition to suit a "cause" is never right. If the "cause" is just, it doesn't need subterfuge.

    One old man,
    On the surface, some would agree with you, unless you told them that they couldn't buy their food, their clothing, their cars or their house from a "corporation. When the State gives a corporation the status of a person to enable it to do business, the State cannot restrict that business from speaking any more than it can restrain you from speaking. If you truly are offended by a corporation's speech, you are duty bound to boycott that corporation - even if it costs you dearly.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    June 12, 2013 5:25 p.m.

    re:MikeRichards
    "Even the most ignorant among us knows that the most "learned" judges in America should know the law and that they should be able to apply the law."

    Guess what?

    There are gaps in the law, despite legislators best efforts to craft straight-forward laws without "holes." A simple biblical example of gaps in law would be the commandment "thou shalt not kill." Simply applying the law would prohibit killing in self-defense situations would it not? Our Constitution provides a framework, which even after it was adopted, left the framers disagreeing on the "correct" interpretation.

    If applying the law were so cut/dried, black/white we wouldn't need the Supreme Court. We could use a computer to analyze the facts and spit out a result. The cases which typically make it to the Supreme Court are ones where there isn't a simple straight-forward answer.

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    June 12, 2013 5:16 p.m.

    Truthseeker, I agree, I think Citizens United was one of the worst decisions coming out of the court in years (perhaps since Dred Scott). The funny thing is that President Obama verbally chastised the court in the State of the Union about it, yet Mitt Romney supported it when he said, "Corporations are people, my friend."

    Mike Richards- there you go again. I'm sure your law degree and vast experience qualifies you to rule on often complicated Constitutional cases. The beauty of the Constitution is that it is very rarely a black and white document. The Founders created it that way. If it had been absolutely rigid, it would have fallen apart, along with this nation, years ago. You have 5/4 decisions because there are different ways of looking at things, different ways of interpreting things. Just because you don't like the outcome means, well, bupkis. You might want to go back and check on decisions- if they were all on party affiliation, then it would always be 5/4 according to you, but there are 6/3's and 7/2's and 8/1's and even, wait for it- 9/0's.

  • Informed Voter South Jordan, UT
    June 12, 2013 5:00 p.m.

    I think Roberts voted for Obamacare because he wanted to show the court was not locked into ideology, rather than ruling on the law. I was saddened and thought his rationale was political and way wide of the mark. Yes, I have no confidence in the court.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    June 12, 2013 4:44 p.m.

    I lost confidence in the Court that is now stacked with activist justices appointed by President Cheney and his little buddy when the came out with that ridiculous Citizens United decision that made WalMart and other mega corporations persons.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    June 12, 2013 4:38 p.m.

    @plainbrownwrapper:
    "It actually means that women have the right to control their own bodies."

    We're talking about dispatching a totally separate entity that is not 'there own bodies.'

    "If men could get pregnant, abortion would have been legal and universally accepted millenia ago."

    That's why the creator decided to have the way more compassionate female bear offspring. The creator perhaps erred in not realizing that some females would become so calloused as to dispatch a potential person.

    "Restrictions on abortion sound a LOT more appealing when you're not the one who has to suffer the consequences."

    The only sufferer in abortion is the dispatched fetus.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 12, 2013 4:32 p.m.

    Court cases are not judged on law, but on party affiliation; otherwise we would not have 5/4 decisions. Even the most ignorant among us knows that the most "learned" judges in America should know the law and that they should be able to apply the law. It is impossible to have 5/4 decisions that follow "party lines" unless those judges are incapable of fulfilling their duties. Only a judge who can be bought would "sell" his vote to the political party that appointed him to the bench; but, that is exactly what history has shown has happened.

    Why even claim that the Court uses the Constitution as the "steel rule" against which they measure "justice"? Why not just let political parties tell us what "justice" means?

  • plainbrownwrapper Nashville, TN
    June 12, 2013 4:23 p.m.

    @wrz --

    "If that be the case it should also protect those who prefer myriads of other marriage aberrations such as polygamy, minors, sibs, groups, etc."

    It does.

    "Equal Protection" means that **everyone's** civil liberties are protected AS LONG AS they don't harm anyone else. This applies to EVERYONE.

    Public safety has always been a valid legal reason for limiting personal freedoms.

    Polygamy is known to convey serious risks to women and children -- and courts recognize these risks, as I've shown in previous discussions.

    Likewise, incest and child marriage harm children.

    There is no inequality here. It is the EQUAL application of legal and moral principles -- especially "first do no harm" -- that declare these other forms of marriage to be unacceptable.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    June 12, 2013 4:14 p.m.

    @Hutterite:
    "The inscription on the building in the photo says 'Equal Justice Under Law.' Protecting those of the same gender who want to get married seems to fit the description nicely."

    If that be the case it should also protect those who prefer myriads of other marriage aberrations such as polygamy, minors, sibs, groups, etc.

  • Try My Best South Jordan, UT
    June 12, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    I have no problem with same sex couples forming unions with all the privilage of marriage. Just coin another word. Marriage is already taken. It is a union of a man and woman.

  • TN Vet Columbia, TN
    June 12, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    Just because something is legal does not make it right. Slavery was legal at one time.

  • James B. Young SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 12, 2013 3:15 p.m.

    Citizens and the DNA cases are far worse than Obamacare or Roe v. Wade to the civil liberties of America.

  • ParkCityAggie Park City, Ut
    June 12, 2013 3:08 p.m.

    the abortion debate going on here is a bit of a non sequitur, and the leaps to try and connect the dots are fraught with logical fallacies (public funding for abortions is illegal since 1970, but Planned Parenthood, the #1 abortion provider receives public funds, therefore abortions MUST paid for by public funds). So drop it, it's not germane to the subject of the article.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    June 12, 2013 2:53 p.m.

    Citizens United stands front and center as one recent reason people have lost confidence in the Supreme Court.

    In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations and unions have the same political speech rights as individuals under the First Amendment. It found no compelling government interest for prohibiting corporations and unions from using their general treasury funds to make election-related independent expenditures. Thus, it struck down a federal law banning this practice and also overruled two of its prior decisions. Additionally, in an 8-1 decision, the Court ruled that the disclaimer and disclosure requirements associated with electioneering communications are constitutional.

    Perhaps "the most blinkered sentence in the opinion was surely Kennedy’s sonorous prediction that the “appearance of influence or access” by corporations on the political process “will not cause the electorate to lose faith in our democracy.”
    (Jeffrey Rosen, Politico)

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    June 12, 2013 2:49 p.m.

    @RanchHand
    Huntsville, UT

    Citizens United may be part of the reason for any loss of confidence.

    12:57 p.m. June 12, 2013

    [Agreed - the worst SCOTUS decision in years!
    With upholding Bush's Patriot Act as a neck and neck 2nd,
    and Selecting Bush back in 2000 a distant 3rd.]

    @pragmatistferlife
    salt lake city, utah

    So Mtm you were ok with Roe v Wade?
    7:36 a.m. June 12, 2013

    [Voted BEST come back of the day, month, and so far this year! haha]

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    June 12, 2013 2:46 p.m.

    Roland,

    The constitutionality of slavery was never explicitly acknowledged until the Dred Scot decision in 1857. Until that time, it was simply and implicit right. The Dred Scot decision formalized slavery into constitutional law. Clearly, Mr. Davis could not give a more detailed description in an editorial, nor would he be expected to. I understood what he meant as would most people familiar with the history of slavery and the law.

    Mountanman,

    The government has always been able to call whatever they want a tax and thus, be within constitutional bounds to do so. The ACA ruiling didn't pull that one out of a hat. It has been an explicit principle of the Constitution since it was ratified. It is in fact, one of the few explicitly mentioned powers of government. The Court's purpose is to declare a law constitutional if it can be. One of the government's arguments was in fact that the ACA's individual mandate was a tax. It was not their primary argument, but it was argued. The Court acted as it was supposed to be; interpreting the law on its face, not on its popularity.

  • Danish American Payson, UT
    June 12, 2013 2:39 p.m.

    I have often wondered what the Obama Administration had on Chief Justice John Roberts to blackmail him into the awful decision on ObamaCare. After all, the basis for his opinion wasn't even argued by the Government attorney's. With all the corruption we have seen come out of Obama's Administration the blackmail makes sense.

  • plainbrownwrapper Nashville, TN
    June 12, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    @wrz --

    "I suppose what that actually means is... you can dispatch anyone provided you do it in the privacy of your bedroom."

    It actually means that women have the right to control their own bodies.

    If men could get pregnant, abortion would have been legal and universally accepted millenia ago.

    I am looking forward to the day of artificial gestators. Then we'll see how many men really want to take care of and raise all those babies that could be saved by technology.

    Restrictions on abortion sound a LOT more appealing when you're not the one who has to suffer the consequences.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 12, 2013 2:26 p.m.

    The Supreme court has swung now to an activist court with justices who can only vote a predictable way. Confidence in the court to rule based on the constitution with no political flavoring - no? None. Add to that list other federal govt agencies and institutions including congress, the IRS , the State dept, and on and on... You have corruption as never before and it just so happens to have exploding under guess who.... Barack Obama. No surprise here.

  • southmtnman Provo, UT
    June 12, 2013 2:12 p.m.

    Who cares? That must be why SCOTUS judges are not elected!

    Those Founding Fathers must have known something that Mr. Davis missed.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 12, 2013 2:04 p.m.

    @Mountanman
    "The effort to defund Planned Parenthood was voted down in the Senate by a 58-42 vote. "

    Planned Parenthood does things other than abortions. Their funding goes to their other services.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    June 12, 2013 1:24 p.m.

    I also agree with Mountanman. But... I lost faith years in SCOTUS years ago when they ruled on abortion telling us it falls under right to privacy. I suppose what that actually means is... you can dispatch anyone provided you do it in the privacy of your bedroom.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    June 12, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    Then what is Prof. Davis' solution or alternative? Have judges elected? Require regular voter approval to retain their office? Put issues up for a popular referendum? The Founding Fathers were virtually unanimous in the absolute importance of an independent judiciary. Though it is impossible to be completely objective and unbias, I trust the judges, who are experts on the Constitution, rights and the law, over the whims of the general public with little knowledge and education in those areas. The Court has made very unpopular decisions throughout its history. That alone shows that they rule exclusively on a law's constitutionality instead of popular opinion and have less bias than the general public.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 12, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    Citizens United may be part of the reason for any loss of confidence.

    Majority rule is nothing more than mob rule and if it violates the rights of others then it should not be considered in any rulings; just because the majority thinks one way doesn't necessarily make it the right way.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    June 12, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    1857 Dred Scott

    Scott, an African-American slave, had asked a United States Circuit Court to award him his freedom because he and his master had resided in a state (Illinois) and a territory (Wisconsin Territory) where slavery had been banned. Chief Justice Roger Taney, writing for the court, held that Scott, as a person of African ancestry, was not a citizen of the United States and therefore had no right to sue in federal court. This holding was contrary to the practice of numerous states at the time, particularly Free states, where free blacks did in fact enjoy the rights of citizens, such as the right to vote and hold public office. In what is sometimes considered mere obiter dictum, the Court went on to hold that Congress had no authority to prohibit slavery in federal territories because slaves are personal property and the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution protects property owners against deprivation of their property without due process of law.

  • Commenter88 Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 12, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    I have enjoyed Davis' two editorials that I have read so far. It is refreshing to read examined thoughts.

    I think the answer is to expose ALL higher court decisions to more scrutiny by the literate public. The problem is that our own local courts seem very eager to invoke gags to stop speech and access to documents regarding their own processes. This may be further tested in this blogging age.

    However, since I have been reading more SCOTUS opinions, I have acquired a degree of respect for their analysis, even when I disagree or they seem to miss a key piece of logic.

    I have also acquired a measure of respect for our own Utah Supreme Court by regularly reading their opinions. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said regarding my study of the opinions issued by our Court of Appeals.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    June 12, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    I think twin lights has hit on the biggest reason for the polls, it is not a change in the courts it is the drifting to extremes in our politics that has lead to people viewing the courts unfavorably. I do also agree anytime the courts take up a controversial issue those with strong feelings one way or the other are going to grow more distrustful, it is just basic human nature not a sign of shifts in the courts.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    June 12, 2013 10:55 a.m.

    Partisanship has always been ugly. But it reached a new low when the Republicans decided to oppose virtually everything proposed by the Democrats (particularly the president they vowed to ruin), no matter how moderate or even conservative the proposal might be.

  • plainbrownwrapper Nashville, TN
    June 12, 2013 10:54 a.m.

    @mg scott --

    " It seems that when Democrats appoint liberals, they stay liberal. When Republicans appoint judges, it becomes a tossup as to where they end up politically. "

    Let's see. Liberal judges stay liberal, and conservative judges become liberal.

    IOW, conservative judges get "converted" to liberalism as they learn more about the Constitution, and as they gain more experience in working with it on a daily basis.

    Hmmm. That might give you a clue about which side is TRULY protecting that Constitution.

    ;-)

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 12, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    I think the waning confidence is directly related to increasing political extremism in the country. The political center is being hollowed out. So, decisions that do not cater to one extreme or the other get less respect from both sides. Decisions that do go one way or the other are rejected out of hand by the other side and there are fewer in the middle to at least be partially persuaded.

    In the end, our nation is an agreement to get along and work together for certain common goals. We formalized that agreement first via the Articles of Confederation and then via the Constitution. But in spite of ANY document, governance requires civility and some ability to moderate ones views for the betterment and advancement of the whole. We are losing that quality and that does not bode well for our nation.

    We have sown seeds of nastiness and divisiveness. The law of the harvest tells us what we will reap. Karma if you will.

    Read Washington's Farewell Address for an indictment of parties and partisanship like no other. He was as a prophet for our nation.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    June 12, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    Re: plainbrownwrapper

    I absolutely remember that he was a Bush appointee. And once again, it would seem that Roberts may go the way of a Seuter who was another Bush appointee, namely HW Bush. I long for the day when a Supreme Court judge appointed by a Democrat President, like Obama, becomes a conservative. It seems that when Democrats appoint liberals, they stay liberal. When Republicans appoint judges, it becomes a tossup as to where they end up politically. As I said above, what I want is non-partisan constitutional first Judges. But as long as the judiciary is as much political as any other part of government, then I want conservative judges appointed as much as liberals want liberal ones.

    Last post.

  • plainbrownwrapper Nashville, TN
    June 12, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    @mg scott --

    "The only way a judge could be non partisan is if he were living in sequestration like jurors for their whole lives. John Roberts I believe has delt the worst political blow to the country by allowing Obamacare."

    You do remember that it was BUSH who appointed Roberts -- right?

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    June 12, 2013 9:36 a.m.

    OHBU

    To further one of your points, the kind of Judge I want on any court is the one that will for example, profess a hatred for guns and the 2nd Amendment, BUT, will nevertheless rule in favor of the right to keep and bear arms because that is what the constitution says. The dangerous judges are the ones who will find some convoluted way to rule in favor of their own wants. Roe v Wade was an example of such.

    In addition to my first post, I actually think that if the Supreme Court were located in say Omaha Nebraska, many judges would rule differently because they would be out from under the pressure of D.C. politics

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    June 12, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    Re: one vote

    Are you serious? Where do the Tea Party not respect the law? They may want to change it yes, but so does every other political group. And to say what you said in light of all that we are finding out about this current administration, respecting the law seems pretty low on Obama and Holders list right now.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    June 12, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    The court only has the power to interpret the law as it is written, according to the constitution. It is not the Supreme Court's job, for example, to decide on the merits of Obamacare. Public opinion should absolutely NOT be taken into account by the court. The design was made such that public opinion should drive what laws are being created and the court only rules on its constitutionality. If an opinion is so problematic, the people do have the power to overturn the court (in theory) by amending the constitution.

    Also, I guarantee if there were public opinion polls throughout history, the court's approval rating would have been as low as it is any time they took on truly controversial topics. Civil rights, abortion, health care, gay marriage, and affirmative action are sure to upset a lot of folks. Some of those negative votes might be restricted to one issue, while they approve of the remaining.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 12, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    @ Roland.The effort to defund Planned Parenthood was voted down in the Senate by a 58-42 vote. Tax payers therefore are paying for abortions. Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider received $350 million in taxpayer funds last year alone.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    June 12, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    Only the radical tea party conservatives. Everyone else respects the law.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    June 12, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    I think the "lifetime" appointment is really a bad idea for all judges. And, if there is belief that judges are supposed to be non partisan politically, then why do Presidents appoint conservative or liberal judges? That the judiciary is blind and non political is the biggest joke of all. The only way a judge could be non partisan is if he were living in sequestration like jurors for their whole lives. John Roberts I believe has delt the worst political blow to the country by allowing Obamacare. That decision will rock the foundations of America for decades. But, we can all be happy for Justice Roberts, as I'm sure that he and his family are getting all the D.C area "A" list invitations that they would have lost if he had ruled using the Constitution.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 12, 2013 8:21 a.m.

    The inscription on the building in the photo says "Equal Justice Under Law". Protecting those of the same gender who want to get married seems to fit the description nicely.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 12, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    It has been illegal to use federal tax funds to pay for abortions since the 1970's.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 12, 2013 7:43 a.m.

    New flash for you pragmatist! Our tax dollars are paying for abortions. So the government is forcing taxpayers to buy abortions, thanks to Roe v Wade. Where exactly is that written in the constitution?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 12, 2013 7:36 a.m.

    So Mtm you were ok with Roe v Wade?

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    June 12, 2013 7:31 a.m.

    I agree with Mountainman the Obamacare case was the straw for me. I have zero confidence in the U.S. government period.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 12, 2013 6:54 a.m.

    I lost any confidence in the SCOTUS when they ruled that Obamacare was constitutional as a TAX when Obama promised over and over again it wasn't a tax! Now the federal government can force us to buy and do anything, all they need to do is call it a tax. "Tax" now can mean anything and now really means nothing!

  • panbobor Colorado Springs, AP
    June 12, 2013 2:31 a.m.

    The Supreme Court was not designed to respond to democratic forces in the same way that the other brances of government do. In fact, courts in general are essentially "anti-democratic" institutions. They are supposed to adhere to the law regardless of what the general population thinks. Whether that happens in practice is another issue, of course.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 12, 2013 12:36 a.m.

    Mr. Davis teaches political science at BYU? Yet he thinks that it was a Supreme Court decision from 1857 that made slavery "constitutional"? Such constitutional illiteracy should be unacceptable in a Jr. High School Civics instructor.