Digital Raven (digitalraven) wrote,
Digital Raven
digitalraven

Laws

From figg and cairmen

As evidenced by Katie Couric, Sarah Palin is unable to name any Supreme Court Case other than Roe v. Wade.

The Rules: Post info about ONE Supreme Court decision, modern or historic to your lj. (Any decision, as long as it's not Roe v. Wade.) For those who see this on your f-list, take the meme to your OWN lj to spread the fun.

Let's go for the big one: Marbury v. Madison. Why? Because it contains this defining gem:
It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department [the judicial branch] to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases, must of necessity expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the courts must decide on the operation of each. So if a law [e.g., a statute or treaty] be in opposition to the constitution: if both the law and the constitution apply to a particular case, so that the court must either decide that case conformably to the law, disregarding the constitution; or conformably to the constitution, disregarding the law: the court must determine which of these conflicting rules governs the case. This is of the very essence of judicial duty.

If then the courts are to regard the constitution; and the constitution is superior to any ordinary act of the legislature; the constitution, and not such ordinary act, must govern the case to which they both apply.

Those then who controvert the principle that the constitution is to be considered, in court, as a paramount law, are reduced to the necessity of maintaining that courts must close their eyes on the constitution, and see only the law [e.g., the statute or treaty].

This decision is thus the foundation of judicial review, the very understanding that laws that are unconstitutional aren't valid laws.
Tags: memesheep
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