Supreme Court: You Need To Be Elected


Md Shifat, Contributor

The United States government has had many flaws and many problems throughout its existence, and it has dealt with these problems as best as it could. Our country’s government continues to improve, as there are still many problems within the government. Many believe the government is not doing enough- or doing too much. In our three branches of government- the Judicial, Executive, and Legislative- checks and balances exist in order to try and maintain balance within the government. There have been many times though in which one part of the government has taken more power than the other parts.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidency was a time when the Supreme Court was able to do a good job, keeping the balance among the 3 branches of government. With FDR having power over the executive and legislative branches of government, he was able to do just about anything, as long as he was able to get the bill passed. The Supreme Court did not like many of the things that were being passed by FDR, as they were considered to be unconstitutional. On May 25, 1936, the Supreme Court declared the 1934 Municipal Bankruptcy Act, also known as the Sumners-Wilcox Bill, unconstitutional, in a 5–4 decision. A decision, such as this, was meant to protect the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution which existed to protect the sovereignty of states. In times such as this, the U.S. Supreme Court was able to do its job in defending the American Constitution- stopping the other 2 branches of government from becoming too powerful.

Checks and Balances are in place to help protect the U.S. government, and to stop any of the branches of government from getting too powerful. Checks and Balances have been a part of the U.S. government since its creation, and first used by the U.S. Judicial branch on September 24, 1789. Since then, there have been many changes to the American government, whether the changes be in the Executive or Legislative Branch, or be about state powers. The Judicial Branch of the U.S. government has mostly been left unchanged, even though there have been multiple attempts to change or “fix” the system.

Both the Legislative and Executive branches of the government have given more power to the common people ever since its creation. America, as a country, has promised to give power to the people. The Judicial branch has lagged behind in that aspect. The Executive and Legislative branches has, on multiple times, given more power to the American people by expanding on who can actually vote for president. The 15th and 19th amendment both expanded the ability to vote for the U.S. President and Congress, from being just white men- to any American citizen. Even prior to the U.S. Civil War, American citizens were given more power in the Executive Branch when non-landowners were allowed to vote for President. The Legislative Branch had also had the 17th Amendment passed, during the Progressive Era, which made Senators elected officials- directly by the people.

The judicial branch of government is now the only one lacking, in giving the normal U.S. citizen more power in government. The Judicial Branch has far too much power in this country and lacks representation from the people. The American people deserve to have more of a say in the Judicial branch of government, through being able to give their voice in choosing the justices. The judges having lifetime tenure without having to be elected into government, giving them far too much power. In addition, the Executive nomination process has made the court partisan.

An unelected remnant of the past, can still be in power and have heavy influence over the government, even if the vast majority of the American people do not want them to be in power. The American age of retirement currently sits at 65 / 67 years old, and the average age of retirement is approximately 2 years earlier than that, a lot of times involuntarily. People at these older ages are considered, too old and unfit to work, yet there are people much older, who many in the younger generation consider to be already fossilizing.

These remnants of the past will not be there to experience the country they shaped through their unfairly given power. There needs to be either an election for the judges or term limits on judges. The younger generations have little to no power in our own country, and we will continue to have little to no power if only the older generation continue to be in power. There must be change.