The Ashwander Rules: A Bad Decision Making System

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The Supreme Court of the United States has made many bad decisions throughout history. Whether that be the decision of the Court itself, their decision making process, the reasoning, or just by accepting the case for review can all aid in what makes a bad decision. Justice Louis D. Brandeis created a set of rules known as the Ashwander rules in his concurring opinion of Ashwander v Texas Valley Authority 1936. These guidelines were created to help the Court and future justices determine what kind of cases should or should not be accepted, and if they are accepted, what kind of things to stay away from or adhere to. The Ashwander Rules, also known as the Brandeis Rules are: No friendly suits meaning the two sides cannot have the same interest…show more content…
Glenn Phelps and Graduate Assistant Emily Schnurr in the Spring 2015 semester came up with their own set or rules that the Court should adhere to known as the P.S. (Phelps-Schnurr) Commandments for the Prevention of SCOTUS Bad Decisions. From this point, this will be shortened to the P.S. Commandments. The P.S. Commandments are reasons why some of the decisions that the Supreme Court made in the past are bad ones. Some examples are: Thou shalt not announce a legal principle and then refuse to apply it, thou shalt not use purely partisan reasons, and thou shalt not grant standing to a third party, to name a few. This class also analyzed and concluded the Top 10 Worst Supreme Court Decisions. They are Marbury v. Madison, Bush v. Gore, Dred Scott v. Sandford, The Flag Salute Cases (Minersville School District v. Gobitis, West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette), Hammer v. Dagenhart, Plessy v. Ferguson, Korematsu v. United States, Roe v. Wade, Bradwell v. Illinois, and Buck v. Bell. All of which are considered bad decisions for varying reasons. As for the number 11 spot of the worst Supreme Court decisions, there are many potential candidates. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission is arguably the 11th worst decision made by the Supreme Court because when it held that corporations were protected under the First and Fourteenth Amendments as having the same rights as people to spend…show more content…
Their goal was to cast a shadow over this candidate and place her in the negative views of the electorate. In 2008, Citizens United completed the production of this documentary and they set out to air it on broadcast television (Sitaraman, 2014). As Citizens United was well aware, doing this within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary violates the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. This set into motion the historical case Citizens United v Federal Election Commission 2010. Before the Supreme Court, this case was compared to the precedent set in Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, which was dealing with a similar issue. It was expected of the Court to rule on the narrowly formed question originally presented, could this conservative lobbyist group, Citizens United, show their film? Citizens United argued that Section 203 of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act violates the First Amendment and when applied to their documentary and its related advertisements, and the sections 201 and 203 were also unconstitutional when applied to the circumstances (Sitaraman, 2014). The United States District Court denied their order. Section 203 was not unconstitutional. The District Court also held that The Movie was not directly degrading towards Clinton

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