Essay about The Constitutional Of The Supreme Court

Essay about The Constitutional Of The Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court has gained a tremendous amount of power since the states first approved of the rights and limitations set forth in Article III during the Constitutional ratification process. Some of this accumulated power, such as the ability to analyze the constitutionality of Congressional legislation, appears to be justifiable in most cases. However, there have been several instances, especially the recent Obergefell v. Hodges case, where the Court has seemed to overstep its boundaries by a considerable margin. The problem is that the extent of the Court’s power depends on the interpretation of its authority as stated in the Constitution, and the Court itself has been granted the primary right to Constitutional interpretation. As William J. Brennan Jr. wisely points out, the Court’s understanding of our founding document has far-reaching ramifications (Brennan 394). Therefore, it is important to not only understand the various theories concerning Constitutional interpretation, but also to know to which theories currently active Supreme Court justices and other government leaders adhere. In the following paragraphs I will expound on the viewpoints of Edwin Meese, III, a former attorney general, and William J. Brennan, Jr., a former Supreme Court judge, on Constitutional interpretation. I will close by contrasting the two viewpoints and explaining why I favor what Meese calls the ‘Jurisprudence of Original Intention.’
In his 1985 “Speech to the Federalist Society Lawyers Division,” Edwin Meese, III, was clear in where he stands with regards to judicial interpretation of the Constitution. Embracing what he calls the ‘Jurisprudence of Original Intention,’ Meese argues that the best way to read and apply the Constitution is to se...


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...d to interpret the Constitution in whatever way necessary to preserve the stability of society and to promote the dignity of human life (391-392). In several sections of the document, “The phrasing is broad and the limitations of its provisions are not clearly marked,” Brennan claimed (383); however, he also believed (in contrast to Meese), that parts of the Constitution are too specific. Thus, although our current understanding of certain principles might be the same as that of the Founding Fathers, Brennan believes that we cannot implement those principles in the same way that early government leaders would have (387). Perhaps Brennan’s most important claim was that judges should not give advice based on what they believe the Constitution to say; instead, they should speak on behalf of the people and on what the country as a whole would interpret it to say (385).

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