In the October 27 issue, Don Carlson of Chapin was wrong when he wrote that the Founding Fathers established the role of our Supreme Court.

When we were a young republic, any constitutional issues were decided by certain members of Congress. later, it was Chief Justice John Marshall, in his decision of Marbury vs. Madison that established the role of our High Court, ever since.

Only the Supreme Court will decide whether or not a given law meets constitutional muster. If it does not, the court will strike it down. As it often has.

The notion of a potential judge being a conservative or liberal is more recent. When America moved beyond a republic to a more populated and complex society, the party system came to dominate the political landscape. eventually the two party system monopolizes and hence each side tries to get an advantage in high court decisions as we became a democracy. The UN describes us as a Federal Democracy. The late professor of our congressional history also said so in his book. Mr. Carlson was also wrong when he said we were not a democracy. The change was gradual, but it happened, the Pledge of Allegiance not withstanding.

There are different flavors of democracy. England has a parliamentary democracy where the Monarch is only a figurehead. In Scandinavia, they are called monarchial democracies where the king or queen plays and active role like our president. They are all democracies nevertheless, and so are we. A federal democracy.

The two candidates, Trump & Clinton, filed in their answers to the question of Supreme Court appointments. Trump was wrong when he said, “exactly as the fathers of our country planned it.”

They didn’t plan it, the way it turned out as I said before. John Marshall did. Clinton also failed when she gave her convoluted answer. It was a political speech instead of one that required a legal scholarly approach to the judgeships, and she taught law at the University of Arkansas.

 

Allan Ladd

Columbia