Boyd Matheson: Supreme Court justices wear robes, not superhero capes

Return To Article

Commenting has temporarily been suspended in preparation for our new website launch, which is planned for the week of August 12th. When the new site goes live, we will also launch our new commenting platform. Thank you for your patience while we make these changes.

  • American First Merced, CA
    Feb. 24, 2019 5:33 p.m.

    All water under the bridge now, democrats have seated activist judges on every court in the land starting largely with Bill Clinton, so it can be of no surprise the the courts are legislating now. If President Trump seeks to use this same power to save the United States from socialism then so be it, I just thank God the timing was right for the survival of the nation. I do not see the democrats existing as a vehicle of authority and influence in the United States past the next election if they lose.

  • TMR Pasadena, CA
    Feb. 21, 2019 8:20 a.m.

    I agree with Matheson’s overarching theme, but he taints his credibility by the partisan cheap shot against Justice Roberts for his vote and role on Obama Care. It could be argued easily that Justice Roberts was doing precisely what Matheson is recommending; instead, he doused the expectation of the Right that he would put on his super-hero cape and knock down Obama Care. The problem with partisan-infused editorials is that when you preach principles, you eventually end up arguing against yourself. This editorial is case in point.

  • Speakingforme Pikeville, KY
    Feb. 21, 2019 7:25 a.m.

    Without changing anything of the role of the Judicial system, and given the highly politicized make up of the Supreme Court, is it not time to step back and take a good look of how things are? What would be wrong in allowing the Supreme Court decisions of 5 very political people to be reviewed by a Court consisting of the Chief Justices of each state's Supreme Court? I would have much more confidence in the decisions of our Judicial System.

  • hbeckett Colfax, CA
    Feb. 20, 2019 12:24 p.m.

    you can't be who you are not

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Feb. 20, 2019 10:55 a.m.

    Yeah, no. Granting relief and redress to folks when other branches of government have failed them is an important job of the courts. Telling folks to not seek such because it's not "proper" is basically saying "go to the back of the bus and wait your turn". There won't be a turn. We've seen this over and over.

    @Back Talk
    "Obama could have done much more with Obamacare, gay marriage, if only he would have allowed religious exemptions for some of the laws he passed."
    Like what?

    In case you forgot, there were no "religious" objections to the ACA until *after* it passed.

    As for SSM, the executive branch was only involved insofar as it stopped defending DOMA as constitutional.

    And it's not like, at the state level, including "religious exceptions" helped any. Religious activists were so opposed to SSM they included bans on civil unions and domestic partnerships in over 20 of their state constitutional amendments. In Colorado the Catholic Church threatened to pull out of charity services in the state if it passed a civil union bill that included every exemption they'd asked for.

    So not only are you wrong on Obama, you're wrong on there having been an acceptable compromise.

  • Thomas Thompson Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2019 4:59 a.m.

    "The pattern the president described isn’t new to his administration or to the current battle over border security and government funding. Sadly, it has become the new normal in Washington." It has indeed, and yes, it is sad. But the vast bulk of the blame for the current difficulties must be laid at the feet of none other than Donald J. Trump. He criticizes others for their unwillingness to "negotiate" with him when his only approach to the difficult issues with which we are confronted is to insist that it's his way or the highway. This is why so much of the federal government is at a standstill these days.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Feb. 19, 2019 1:03 p.m.

    Constitutional Amendments originate in Congress which for obvious reasons is not inclined to pass an amendment imposing Congressional term limits. An alternative method is to convene another Constitutional Convention, the first since 1787.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Feb. 19, 2019 5:56 a.m.

    Rarely to I agree with Matheson. However he has a good point.

    Our Congress and past ones, have ceded authority and power to the President. And the American people look to the Courts to defend themselves from an increasingly powerful Executive.

    Problem is, the Congress fails to act in the interests of their constituents, nor to act in the best interests of the country. This caused by the power of money needed for re-election.

    If We the People want Congress to be more responsive to our needs, we must eliminate the sewer of election bribery. And we must hold these elected representatives responsible for their actions, rather than submitting meekly to the siren song of incumbency and party loyalty.

  • TerraPack Sandy, UT
    Feb. 19, 2019 5:43 a.m.

    Furry1993 - MSC, UT..said,

    "One problem, Boyd Matheson. Given the way trump is stacking the courts..."

    You need to come back from fantasy land, Furry1993. You got everything backwards.

    First; all presidents put in/nominate the people they believe will sustain their party's philosophy, including Obama...!!! This is the way our top court has been shaped for nearly two centuries.

    Second: Much of the case load that gets to the Supreme Court is determined by the decisions of the various District Courts. Minority Senate Democrats have been stalling all Trump District Court appointments out of spite for the Garland blockade by the Republican Senators. This is without precedent in the Senate, at this scale of obstruction.

    Third: It is ultra left Democrats who are talking about really stacking the courts after 2020, the way Roosevelt did. By legislating additional places on the court, the court philosophy can be reversed in one fell swoop from what the voters wanted in the last/previous presidential election.

    Things can only go down hill from here. The tit for tat grudge match between Dems and Repubs will get worse because it reflects the desires of mercurial voters.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    Feb. 18, 2019 11:33 p.m.

    The duty of the courts is to interpret the terms of the constitution and statutes as a reasonable person would understand them at the time enacted. The "liberals" on the Supreme Court have stated they don't like to be constrained by the meaning of the Constitution. They have repeatedly created new "rights" that are not in the Constitution nor in the 200 years of Supreme Cpurt's history. They have invented new rights and claimed dishonestly that we should follow them purely on their fiat. The "conservatives" want to keep the courts within the boundaries of the law as defined by the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and statutes. That predictability is an important part of justice.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Feb. 18, 2019 9:17 p.m.

    Except that Ginsburg lady. She seems to have super powers!

  • There You Go Again St George, UT
    Feb. 18, 2019 7:24 p.m.

    If the SCOTUS is to simply call balls and strikes as Mr. roberts lectured Americans, why all the superhero 5 to 4 decisions that fall along political lines?

    Mr. roberts simply fills the role the republicans have established for him.

    He was scorched by republicans for his efforts during the administration of President Obama.

    Going forward he will meekly follow the lead of republicans.

    The reputation of the SCOTUS has been diminished by the republican political cartel.

    Look for more of the same going forward.

  • sman columbia, MS
    Feb. 18, 2019 6:34 p.m.

    Backtalk how about everyone pay a 39 percent fed tax. Because we deserve it. After State and local tax we will be all be paying half our income in taxes. It's time for people and politicians stop telling us what we should pay and cut spending.

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    Feb. 18, 2019 4:04 p.m.

    The State Sponsored Media on both sides will need to pressure their respective sides to compromise and think of the Common Good rather than their own political agendas. Not sure how long you will need to wait to see that happen.

    Obama could have done much more with Obamacare, gay marriage, if only he would have allowed religious exemptions for some of the laws he passed.

    For Republicans, stop protecting the rich with unnecessary tax cuts. It took Obama nearly 8 years to get back to the higher (39%) rate they deserve. Then the Republican gave it right back to them.

    Both sides felt that Corporate tax reform was needed but not as low as it went. What was left out was fair taxes on money earned by hedge fund managers that doesnt get taxed as income; other types of investment income, and cutting the benefits that Trump gave to Property Developers like himself. A lot of unfairness could have been corrected if the Common Good was thought of first.

    The State Sponsored media needs to help lead the way.

  • Furry1993 MSC, UT
    Feb. 18, 2019 12:31 p.m.

    One problem, Boyd Matheson. Given the way trump is stacking the courts, especially the Supreme Court, he is putting in place at all levels of the judiciary a regime that will pretty much rubber-stamp anything he chooses to do. We are getting more and more close to a judicial regime obedient to trump and the far right extreme -- in effect an imperial presidency or, to be blunt, a dictatorship. He is appointing people who, he thinks from their writing, will show him due deference We need centrist justices, not justices obedient to the far right extreme and especially not justices who will rubber-stamp trump. He is, sadly, a clear and present danger to our country that has found a place to happen.

  • Jamchild Centerville, UT
    Feb. 18, 2019 11:37 a.m.

    If you want congress to start doing its job, start writing op-eds calling out our local members of congress for their inaction and deceit rather than always blaming far-off presidents.