In the past few years we have seen the United States Supreme Court hand down decisions that boggle our 21st Century minds. The Citizens United case allowed millionaires to regain their excessive influence in political funding. You can now expect political races to cost anywhere from $5 million for a state representative seat to $1 billion to get into the White House. States can utilize federalism to protect us from SCOTUS decisions that may hinder our freedoms. Local representatives can create laws for the local needs, laws can include the changing needs of society and reflect regional values.
There are nearly 7400 state house and senate political leaders passing more legislation than any other branch while applying their expertise in direct representation. Unlike SCOTUS, these directly elected representatives have a confined responsibility to their direct voters. They create laws that may not infringe upon the Constitution but add quality of life for the people. As an example, Maryland Democrats are currently invoking federalist rights to create an abortion rights bill that will protect their direct voters. SCOTUS may overturn Rose v Wade or dismantle it through excessive guides to increase the burden for abortions, but it doesn’t mean abortion is illegal. The abortion debate would return to the states jurisdiction-referendums are easier to pass than winning a SCOTUS decision. SCOTUS is not the be all end all of the people’s rights.
Literalist Vs Interpretive
Unlike state representatives, SCOTUS cannot always rely on societal variations in their decisions. There are two main types of SCOTUS judges-literalists and interpretives. The literalist, Clarence Thomas as an example, relies on the exact wording of the Constitution to decide. Even though our Constitution is over 200 years old, the exact text is adhered. As an example, our Constitution restricted women from voting. Women’s suffrage succeeded with state by state advocacy. Our society, not our Constitution had changed, and pressured state representatives advocating for the law. SCOTUS had never advocated for the women’s vote, though equality is stated in the first section of the Declaration of Independence. We the people made the change.
Interpretive decisions are based on changes in American society. In the Plessy v. Ferguson case of 1896, SCOTUS institutionalized separate but equal. By 1954 in the Brown v Board Of Education case, that cases precedence was overturned. What had changed in those years? Society, the Constitution was the same. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is an interpretive justice consistently dissenting and mentioning the need for the Constitutional rights and liberties to reflect our current society. As our SCOTUS becomes heavily Conservative, expect more literalist decisions. These decisions can be countered with state laws to enforce our regional and 21st Century needs.
Regional Needs First
A quick glance at the 2016 election map proves that regional, urban, suburban and rural cultures have different agendas. SCOTUS may not visualize the regional differences in laws that are needed for different people. The issues in cities and in suburbs are significantly different while starker between cities and rural areas. When SCOTUS decides upon a laws legality or the rights of the people, which people are they deciding for? Immigration laws are a prime example. The Immigration and Nationality Act enforces deportation for certain crimes while illegal immigrants are a core of some regional workforces. If ICE was to begin enforcing deportation, three states workforces would dwindle-Texas, Florida and California. These agricultural economies rely on high migrant, usually illegal, workers. If SCOTUS rules that ICE can enforce the above Act, which is occurring, who will work the farms? No more orange juice or grapes? Laws affect each region differently, so people must enact state laws on every level of governance to counteract. Chicago became a sanctuary city with the state soon following. These politicians know their illegal immigrants produce more than crop yielding-they oil the entire economic wheel. Each state and region have their own needs and SCOTUS decisions do not have to be the law of the land.
States Rule, SCOTUS Decides
America is a mirrored reflection of the beginning of the 20th Century. From the SCOTUS Janus case which decreased the power of unions to monopolies such as Microsoft, history is repeating itself. We can learn from our past to create a brighter and more stable future. Use your direct resources and representatives for your legal needs. SCOTUS will change over time with upcoming retirements but it doesn’t mean you must retire your rights.