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Friday, January 26, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court as Decider: A Conflict of Interest in Federalism Cases?

As to whether the supreme courts of particular American states, or republics, should be able to declare the general (U.S.) government’s health-insurance mandate unconstitutional in the sense of being an encroachment of the government of the union beyond its enumerated powers, it is typically presumed that the U.S. Supreme Court is the rightful and proper umpire--the court of last resort on disputes on federalism applied to particular legislation. Forgotten is the argument made by Thomas Jefferson against that court’s suitability owing to its institutional conflict of interest in contests between the U.S. Government, of which the U.S. Supreme Court is a branch, and a government of one of the several states.  Typically, we do not consider how the conflict of interest can be solved. We do not “think outside the box.” Rather, we feel resigned to have branch of one of the parties of the dispute act as the final decider short of a constitutional amendment.

The full essay is at "The U.S. Supreme Court as Decider."