Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby got it right in his New Year’s Day column:
The Supreme Court can’t be absolute
NEWT GINGRICH’S presidential ambitions may be heading for the exits – opinion polls suggest that the former House speaker’s hour has come and gone – but his critique of judicial supremacy deserves to be taken seriously no matter what happens in Iowa or New Hampshire.
In a 54-page position paper , Gingrich challenges the widely held belief that the Supreme Court is the final authority on the meaning of the Constitution. Though nothing in the Constitution says so, there is now an entrenched presumption that once the court has decided a constitutional question, no power on earth short of a constitutional amendment – or a later reversal by the court itself – can alter that decision.
Jacoby goes on to quote a large collection of illustrious people and the historical record to explain what should be self-evident to anyone who considers the idea: five people should not be allowed to make laws for the entire country.
This is, of course, the power that the Court presently asserts.
Congress and the President have more right to judge the constitutionality of legislation than the Court since they also swear an oath to protect the document and are elected by the rulers: the people. They should assert it.