Adam Bonin '97 Weighs In On The ‪ACA‬ Decision for Daily Kos

Excerpted from The Daily Kos:

Maybe John Roberts meant it:

I have told people, when pressed, that I prefer to be known as a modest judge. And, to me, that means some of the things that you talked about in those other labels. It means an appreciation that the role of the judge is limited; the judge is to decide the cases before them; they're not to legislate; they're not to execute the laws....

[Y]es, there will be times when either the executive branch or the legislative branch exceeds the limits of their powers under the Constitution or transgresses one of provisions of the Bill of Rights. Then it is emphatically the obligation of the courts to step up and say what the Constitution provides, and to strike down either unconstitutional legislation or unconstitutional executive action.

But the court has to appreciate that the reason they have that authority is because they are interpreting the law. They are not making policy.

And to the extent they go beyond their confined limits and make policy or execute the law, they lose their legitimacy. And I think that calls into question the authority they will need when it's necessary to act in the face of unconstitutional action.

Back in the mid-to-late 1990s, challenging the landmark Miranda decision was much in vogue in conservative legal circles, based on an obscure Congressional statute passed two years thereafter which ostensibly overturned it, but which Justice Departments both Republican and Democratic had refused to enforce. The case was finally teed up to the Supreme Court in the 1999-2000 term, and it seemed clear that Chief Justice William Rehnquist was set to build off the success of the Lopez decision and roll back this key Warren Court precedent.

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