TX Gov. Perry and What He Would Change in the Constitution

  • #53
If one looks at Perry's words and not what some blogger says he said, I don't see any flops.

Yes he mentions that he thinks its "fine" that states are passing their own legislation regarding same sex marriage and says "that's their business". Then he, in another interview, "corrects" himself and says he thinks it is "fine" because they are executing their states rights but otherwise finds that it is not "fine" at all and even goes so far as to say that we need the Federal Marriage Amendment to be passed (I assume this one) in order to prevent such states and "activist judges" from forcing a standard of marriage on other states that they do not accept.
That full interview is here. Whether he has flipped or flopped or what ever he apparently, in his own words, says he supports an amendment to the constitution that would define marriage as only between a man and a woman. And that is the content from the OP which you apparently took issue with yes?
 
  • #54
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The Supreme Court has no enforcement arm. It relies upon the states, Congress, and the President to uphold the law as interpreted. So technically they can, and have, ignored the Supreme Court though this is certainly dangerous politically. It also does not nullify the Supreme Court decision so the Supreme Court may well continue to make decisions based on it regardless of whether or not congress likes it. They do still need to pass legislation or an amendment to actually override a Supreme Court decision.

I understand you are a lawyer. On your personal page you list your profession as "harassing people" which confirms to me that you must indeed be a lawyer. Just kidding. I wouldn't challenge the view of a professional, but if a court ruling can be ignored, what good is a court system? Can the police or a DA continue to hold a person for a crime when that person is acquitted of that crime by a court just because the DA doesn't like the verdict? Can a President ignore SCOTUS by continuing to enforce laws or pursue actions that the Court has struck down or dissallowed? Isn't that a violation of the Oath of Office?

As far as Congress is concerned, they also do not have an enforcement arm. There's not so much of an issue of Congress defying the court. It can pass unconstitutional laws and wait for the courts to strike them down. A SCOTUS decision doesn't usually require implementing legislation. Afaik, it has the force of law.

I think this is relevant to this thread because of concern that a President Perry might "pull a Jackson" and defy SCOTUS.
 
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  • #55
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I understand you are a lawyer. On your personal page you list your profession as "harassing people" which confirms to me that you must indeed be a lawyer. Just kidding. I wouldn't challenge the view of a professional, but if a court ruling can be ignored, what good is a court system? Can the police or a DA continue to hold a person for a crime when that person is acquitted of that crime by a court just because the DA doesn't like the verdict? Can a President ignore SCOTUS by continuing to enforce laws that the Court has struck down? Isn't that a violation of the Oath of Office?

As far as Congress is concerned, they also do not have an enforcement arm. There's not so much of an issue of Congress defying the court. It can pass unconstitutional laws and wait for the courts to strike it down. A SCOTUS decision doesn't usually require implementing legislation. Afaik, it has the force of law.

I think this is relevant to this thread because of concern that a President Perry might "pull a Jackson" and the defy SCOTUS.

Isn't the current President or his Attorney General selective about which laws they want to enforce?
 
  • #56
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Isn't the current President or his Attorney General selective about which laws they want to enforce?

I don't know. Can you give examples? In any case, my question is regarding the enforcement of rulings by the courts. Can the courts be ignored, especially when ruling on constitutional issues?
 
  • #57
I understand you are a lawyer. On your personal page you list your profession as "harassing people" which confirms to me that you must indeed be a lawyer. Just kidding. I wouldn't challenge the view of a professional, but if a court ruling can be ignored, what good is a court system?
I am not actually a lawyer so do not take my word as gold. I just have a hobby interest in law and have done some reading.

Can the police or a DA continue to hold a person for a crime when that person is acquitted of that crime by a court just because the DA doesn't like the verdict? Can a President ignore SCOTUS by continuing to enforce laws that the Court has struck down? Isn't that a violation of the Oath of Office?
I believe all lawyers are considered "officers of the court" and so have some responsibility to listen to judges. The Supreme Court are head of the federal courts so I would assume that any federal prosecutor would be bound to heed them as a matter of hierarchical authority. State courts are separate though. While I do not think the DA of a state or city would have such authority I think a state Governor may be capable of denying the release of a prisoner even if the Supreme Court acquitted them.

As for the President "enforc[ing] laws" I believe that the Office of the President is fairly limited there. They send the Attorney General to represent the law in court which is obviously going to be on the court's turf. The President also has authority over the military but the situations where the President may exercise such authority is limited. If the President utilizes the military to get their way they are only compounding their legal troubles. While Jackson may have gotten away with it I think it would be much more difficult today.

Also, if you were wondering about the state level, I believe that state and lower courts have some authority to instruct law enforcement in their jurisdiction for the purpose or enforcement. In contrast federal courts have no authority over any federal law enforcement agency except perhaps the tax courts over the IRS and of course their own bailiffs.

As far as Congress is concerned, they also do not have an enforcement arm. There's not so much of an issue of Congress defying the court. It can pass unconstitutional laws and wait for the courts to strike it down. A SCOTUS decision doesn't usually require implementing legislation. Afaik, it has the force of law.
Congress has some control over the military and is capable of sending the National Guard to enforce its will in the states to whatever extent military force is actually capable of enforcing any particular law.

I think this is relevant to this thread because of concern that a President Perry might "pull a Jackson" and the defy SCOTUS.
I am not sure he could really get away with it depending on what it is. I read analysis of the Supreme Court decision regarding prisoners at Guantanimo which theorized the decision prescribed no action because the court was worried that Bush would ignore them and set a precedent.
 
  • #58
Isn't the current President or his Attorney General selective about which laws they want to enforce?

If the Attorney General does not go to court over any particular case that does not mean that the law is not going to be enforced. It happens and typically another lawyer is found to handle the case.
 
  • #59
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I don't know. Can you give examples? In any case, my question is regarding the enforcement of rulings by the courts. Can the courts be ignored, especially when ruling on constitutional issues?

The Black Panther voter intimidation case comes to mind.
http://www.judicialwatch.org/news/2011/aug/court-orders-obama-justice-department-justify-some-its-withholdings-black-panther-scan [Broken]

The various immigration battles can be cited - basically, the states claim they have the right to enforce immigration laws - even if the Federal Government chooses not to:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/01/AR2010110104018.html
"Bea did not make his position clear during Monday's argument, but he sharply questioned Arizona's attorneys. "Your argument that a state can take a look at whether the federal government is not enforcing its laws. . . . You can enforce laws for the federal government?" he asked. "If I don't pay my (federal) income taxes, can California sue me?''

Whatever the result, the panel's decision is the first step on a long road: legal experts expect the case to reach the Supreme Court. It is unclear when the panel will rule.

The Justice Department lawsuit, filed in July, triggered opposition from Republicans but praise from civil rights groups"
.

also:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/201...s-alabama-over-controversial-immigration-law/

"The sponsor of the Alabama law, Republican state Rep. Micky Hammon, defended it Monday.
"The Obama administration and the federal bureaucrats have turned a blind eye toward the immigration issue and refuse to fulfill their constitutional duty to enforce laws already on the books. Now, they want to block our efforts to secure Alabama's borders and prevent our jobs and taxpayer dollars from disappearing into the abyss that illegal immigration causes," Hammon said.
"Allowing hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to run unchecked under the radar threatens our homeland security and insults those who come here legally," he added.
In a Department of Justice statement, Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said immigration enforcement is the job of the federal government. "
 
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  • #60
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Congress has some control over the military and is capable of sending the National Guard to enforce its will in the states to whatever extent military force is actually capable of enforcing any particular law.

Afaik, Congress can authorize federalizing the National Guard and did so in 2005. I don't know if that's a standing authorization or if it must be renewed from time to time. "Normally" Guard units are under the control of the states. Clearly, National Guard troops are currently serving in the US military and therefore under the actual control of the Executive . Congress can delegate and recall authority to and from the Executive when that authority is not specified in Article II of the Constitution. Also, only Congress can authorize funding to the executive and can influence policy this way. However afaik, Congress does not directly administer any enforcement unit. I don't see how it could.

http://www.stateline.org/live/details/story?contentId=170453
 
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  • #61
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The Black Panther voter intimidation case comes to mind.........'

The various immigration battles can be cited - basically, the states claim they have the right to enforce immigration laws - even if the Federal Government chooses not to:
Whatever the result, the panel's decision is the first step on a long road: legal experts expect the case to reach the Supreme Court. It is unclear when the panel will rule.

The Justice Department lawsuit, filed in July, triggered opposition from Republicans but praise from civil rights groups"

Then the courts will decide. And whatever they finally decide will be the law until a future Court decides otherwise (or until the laws are changed according to a constitutional process.).
 
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  • #62
Afaik, Congress can authorize federalizing the National Guard and did so in 2005. I don't know if that's a standing authorization or if it must be renewed from time to time. "Normally" Guard units are under the control of the states. Clearly, National Guard troops are currently serving in the US military and therefore under the actual control of the Executive . Congress can delegate and recall authority to and from the Executive when that authority is not specified in Article II of the Constitution. Also, only Congress can authorize funding to the executive and can influence policy this way. However afaik, Congress does not directly administer any enforcement unit. I don't see how it could.

http://www.stateline.org/live/details/story?contentId=170453

Article I, Section 8; Clause 15 tells what the grounds are for calling up the Guard.

Clause 15 provides that the Congress has three constitutional grounds for calling up the militia -- "to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrection and repel invasions." All three standards appear to be applicable only to the Territory of the United States.
http://www.arng.army.mil/aboutus/history/Pages/ConstitutionalCharteroftheGuard.aspx [Broken]
I underscored the relevant bit. There are several more notes on that page regarding the law on the topic of the Guard.
 
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