Week 2 Discussion 1
“The Principles”. Please respond to the following:
In Marbury v. Madison, describe and comment about both Jefferson’s approach and Madison’s logic, and weigh the options.
– Explain if Jefferson’s approach could have worked.
– Discuss the significance of the case to the constitutional principles.
Analyze and discuss how the opinions in Griswold v. Connecticut reflect justices’ views about the roles of the judiciary and the legislature.
• In Marbury v. Madison, describe and comment about both Jefferson’s approach and Madison’s logic, and weigh the options.
– Explain if Jefferson’s approach could have worked.
Battle between Marshall (a Federalist) and Jefferson (a Democratic-Republican) continued throughout Jefferson’s time as president. Marshall was Chief Justice of the United States for 34 years. His mark on Constitutional interpretation, and his legacy, affect us still. Marshalls ruling that only the Supreme Court can declare a law unconstitutional) was almost minuscule compared to the actual scope of his decision that the Supreme Court can interpretively mold the Constitution to achieve what the justices believe are important societal and institutional goals.
Marshall, the Federalist interested in expanding federal power, actually avoided a political brawl with Jefferson since he did not order Madison to give Marbury his judgeship. But Jefferson could see what was coming. He was concerned less about the specifics of the Marbury case, and more about the general power Marshall had given the court. Jefferson went to his grave upset that the Supreme Court had “usurped” the power of judicial review. But Marshall would have known, before he wrote Marbury and even before the U.S. Constitution was ratified, that American colonial judges had struck down laws which violated colonial constitutions.
Discuss the significance of the case to the constitutional principles.
With Marbury v Madison in hand, the Supreme Court according to some judges and legal scholars has the right to fit the Constitution within the climate of current culture. It is almost like the Supreme Court has an ongoing Constitutional Convention among nine people since the justices do not permit anyone, including their law clerks, to attend case conferences.
Other judges and scholars not only disagree with that approach, they are appalled that nine unelected individuals, serving life terms, could possibly possess such power. After all, they declare, it is the people and only the people who can amend the Constitution. Although Marbury v Madison declares the Supreme Court has the final say over the Constitution’s meaning, Marshall never said the Court is all-powerful. In fact, the court turns away far more cases than it accepts.
Bos, C. (2016, April 17). The Case for Judicial Review. Retrieved October 10, 2016, from https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/THE-CASE-for-JUDICIAL-REVIEW-Marbury-vs-Madison
• Analyze and discuss how the opinions in Griswold v. Connecticut reflect justices’ views about the roles of the judiciary and the legislature.
In a 7-2 opinion by Justice Douglas, the Supreme Court held that the Constitution contains a right to contraception in marriage. The Court does not ground this right in any one particular provision of the Constitution, but argues that certain guarantees in the Bill of Rights have “penumbras” formed by “emanations” from those guarantees that “help give them life and substance.” These guarantees, found in the First Amendment, the Third Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, and the Ninth Amendment, create a “zone of privacy,” and this zone protects the right to privacy in the marriage relationship. Justice Potter Stewart explains the inappropriate weight that his colleagues gave to personal preference in their majority opinion.
Justice Stewart explains that though he thinks the Connecticut law forbidding contraceptives is “uncommonly silly,” and that he opposes it on practical, philosophical, and policy levels, such personal opinions are irrelevant to his duties as a judge.
Judicial Activism. (2016). Retrieved October 10, 2016, from http://www.heritage.org/initiatives/rule-of-law/judicial-activism/cases/griswold-v-connecticut
Week 2 Discussion 2
“The Constitution.” Please respond to the following:
Discuss the impact of Superior Court Justices who serve on the bench for decades. Do they reflect the prevailing norms better than elected legislatures? State why or why not.
The Constitution has always had several interpretations. Pick one amendment and provide an interpretation for and against that amendment.
Discuss how public administrators can juggle situations where two or more parties interpret the constitution differently.
• Discuss the impact of Superior Court Justices who serve on the bench for decades. Do they reflect the prevailing norms better than elected legislatures? State why or why not.
Over the years, various Acts of Congress have altered the number of seats on the Supreme Court, from a low of five to a high of 10. Shortly after the Civil War, the number of seats on the Court was fixed at nine. Today, there is one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices of the United States Supreme Court. Like all federal judges, justices are appointed by the President and are confirmed by the Senate. They, typically, hold office for life. The salaries of the justices cannot be decreased during their term of office. These restrictions are meant to protect the independence of the judiciary from the political branches of government. The Supreme Court plays a very important role in our constitutional system of government.
First, as the highest court in the land, it is the court of last resort for those looking for justice. Second, due to its power of judicial review, it plays an essential role in ensuring that each branch of government recognizes the limits of its own power. Third, it protects civil rights and liberties by striking down laws that violate the Constitution. Finally, it sets appropriate limits on democratic government by ensuring that popular majorities cannot pass laws that harm and/or take undue advantage of unpopular minorities. In essence, it serves to ensure that the changing views of a majority do not undermine the fundamental values common to all Americans, i.e., freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and due process of law.
The decisions of the Supreme Court have an important impact on society at large, not just on lawyers and judges. The decisions of the Court have a profound impact on high school students. In fact, several landmark cases decided by the Court have involved students; Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District (1969) held that students could not be punished for wearing black armbands to school to protest the Vietnam War. In the Tinker case, the Court held that “students do not shed their rights at the schoolhouse gate.”
About the Supreme Court. (2016). Retrieved October 10, 2016, from http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/educational-resources/about-educational-outreach/activity-resources/about
• The Constitution has always had several interpretations. Pick one amendment and provide an interpretation for and against that amendment.
Gender inequality is so severe in the past that a proposal to add the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the United States constitution has to be made. It was introduced in Congress in 1923, but was only approved by 35 States 50 years later. But because 38 States has to approve the amendment to make it a law, its addition to the constitution remains a hot, controversial issue to this day. The Equal Rights Amendment was written by Alice Paul in 1923, just years after women were granted the right to vote by the 19th amendment. She was the founder of the National Woman’s Party and a suffragist leader. Since its introduction until 1972, the ERA was brought up in almost every session, but falls short by 3 states so it can be put into the Constitution. What would it mean if the Equal Rights Amendment becomes a law? What are its pros and cons?
Abolition of gender discriminating laws Once the ERA becomes part of the Constitution, all federal laws and family court laws that discriminate on account of sex would be completely abolished. Gender favoritism would become illegal as well as any prejudice shown based on gender. Although it won’t stop people from holding specific views, it will minimize gender discrimination. It would also be easy to take legal action against anyone who violates the law.
Equal rights are made for all The US Constitution does not guarantee that citizens’ rights are protected and equally held by everyone. But with the addition of the ERA, everyone will now have legal civil, human, and diplomatic rights from any and all types of prejudice. It would also clarify the legal standard for court rulings on cases related to gender discrimination, which is currently absent. At present, nearly everything women receive has to go through the courts where officials have an opportunity to use ‘protective laws’ to place women in their rightful place in society, effectively ending further arguments. But when the ERA is passed, all forms of gender discrimination will no longer be tolerated and legal rulings will have a set standard.
Problems with the language used The language used on the Equal Rights Amendment is considered tricky that may lead to the lack of gender equality and confusion. It also leaves plenty of room for interpretation, which is why those who oppose the amendment say that it will take away some rights for women, while adding others. For instance, in states where there are laws that require husbands to support their wives and families, the ERA will cause problems. But, as it is, unless they are divorced or separated, the court can’t do anything if the husband chooses not to support his wife. Opposition also claims that the benefits women enjoy today under the Social Security, Sexual assault and Protective Labor laws will be taken away because of the ERA. But proponents say that it would be extended to include men instead.
Can cause problems with the Constitution When the ERA was first introduced, a major concern is how it can influence the way laws will be made, what with it being confusing. When added to the constitution, it can cause more problems, especially with whatever laws that will be made following it.
7 Strongest Pros and Cons of the Equal Rights Amendment. (2015). Retrieved October 10, 2016, from http://connectusfund.org/7-strongest-pros-and-cons-of-the-equal-rights-amendment
• Discuss how public administrators can juggle situations where two or more parties interpret the constitution differently.
It is assumed here that an administrator is one who directs the activities of other persons and undertakes the responsibility for achieving certain objectives through these efforts. Within this definition, successful administration appears to rest on three basic skills, which we will call technical, human, and conceptual. It would be unrealistic to assert that these skills are not interrelated, yet there may be real merit in examining each one separately, and in developing them independently.
Technical skill involves specialized knowledge, analytical ability within that specialty, and facility in the use of the tools and techniques of the specific discipline.
Human skill is the executive’s ability to work effectively as a group member and to build cooperative effort within the team he leads. As technical skill is primarily concerned with working with “things” processes or physical objects, so human skill is primarily concerned with working with people. This skill is demonstrated in the way the individual perceives and recognizes the perceptions of his superiors, equals, and subordinates, and in the way he behaves subsequently. As used here,
conceptual skill involves the ability to see the enterprise as a whole; it includes recognizing how the various functions of the organization depend on one another, and how changes in any one part affect all the others; and it extends to visualizing the relationship of the individual business to the industry, the community, and the political, social, and economic forces of the nation as a whole. Recognizing these relationships and perceiving the significant elements in any situation, the administrator should then be able to act in a way which advances the over-all welfare of the total organization. The relative importance of these three skills seems to vary with the level of administrative responsibility.
At lower levels, the major need is for technical and human skills. At higher levels, the administrator’s effectiveness depends largely on human and conceptual skills. At the top, conceptual skill becomes the most important of all for successful administration. This three-skill approach emphasizes that good administrators are not necessarily born; they may be developed. It transcends the need to identify specific traits in an effort to provide a more useful way of looking at the administrative process. By helping to identify the skills most needed at various levels of responsibility, it may prove useful in the selection, training, and promotion of executives.
Katz, R. L. (2014). Skills of an Effective Administrator. Retrieved October 10, 2016, from https://hbr.org/1974/09/skills-of-an-effective-administrator
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