The Supreme Court has positioned itself as the protector of the Constitution since the days of Chief Justice John Marshall.
In the seminal 1803 case of Marbury v. Madison, Marshall wrote: “It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is. … [And] the Constitution is superior to any ordinary act of the legislature.” From that moment forward, every American institution has deferred both to the court’s interpretation of the Constitution and to the Constitution’s applicability to specific cases.
That deference has come from presidents, legislators, states, businesses, organizations, advocacy groups, and individuals convinced that the court’s interpretation was wrong. It has come from judges and justices convinced that the court’s majority took the Constitution to places it was never intended to go.
This deference to Supreme Court rulings about the meaning and applicability of the Constitution has provided a pillar of stability to the rule of law throughout the history of the United States.
At the same time, the court has taken this awesome responsibility seriously. Every justice—liberal or conservative, activist or originalist—has recognized the protection of the Constitution’s integrity as an integral part of the job. If the Supreme Court fails to stand for the Constitution, the Constitution itself will lose all meaning. It will cease defining the rule of law, and instead become a collection of historically interesting if increasingly dated guidelines and recommendations.
Read the rest in Epoch Times.