12
   

The will of the people

 
 
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 02:31 pm
@Khethil,
However a majority rule would essentially redefine what is an essential 'basic' right. A constitution can be changed or overthrown. An argument to precedent only holds water if that precedent is able to be defended by the minority (assuming that the majority is against it).
sumac
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 02:49 pm
@GoshisDead,
Your post reminds me of Proposition 8 in California.
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 03:29 pm
@GoshisDead,
GoshisDead wrote:
However a majority rule would essentially redefine what is an essential 'basic' right. A constitution can be changed or overthrown. An argument to precedent only holds water if that precedent is able to be defended by the minority (assuming that the majority is against it).

Correct - a conundrum to be sure.

If we all gather to make a society and decide to define what immutable 'right's we shall guarantee the individual, upon what basis might we decide? The majority's values?

Such a thing - those basic rights - must have a solid basis in the human experience and be of the most simple as to be applicable only to those attributes of humanity that all share.

Your point is well taken; however, though I believe such a 'list' is writable, I'd readily acknowledge that just about any collection of humans could find a reason to disagree to impasse.

Good point - thanks
Telamon
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Aug, 2010 10:57 pm
sumac wrote:

When, if ever, should the views of the majority of the populace be ignored?

Always, individuals are intelligent, people are imbeciles.


maxdancona wrote:

When the will of the majority violates human rights.

This is the reason we have rights guaranteed in the Constitution. The majority doesn't need their rights defended.



Sadly people have no rights, only privileges, best illustrated here I think~

“Now if you think you do have rights, one last assignment for you. Next time you're at the computer, get on the Internet, go to Wikipedia. When you get to Wikipedia, in the search field for Wikipedia, I want you to type in "Japanese Americans 1942" and you'll find out all about your precious f****** rights, Okay? All right. You know about it. In 1942, there were 110,000 Japanese American citizens in good standing, law-abiding people who were thrown into internment camps simply because their parents were born in the wrong country. That's all they did wrong. They had no right to a lawyer, no right to a fair trial, no right to a jury of their peers no right to due process of any kind. The only right they had: "Right this way" into the internment camps! Just when these American citizens needed their rights the most, their government took them away! And rights aren't rights if someone can take them away. They're privileges. That's all we've ever had in this country, is a bill of temporary privileges. And if you read the news even badly, you know that every year the list gets shorter and shorter.” ~George Carlin
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2010 05:39 am
@Khethil,
Quote:
If we all gather to make a society and decide to define what immutable 'right's we shall guarantee the individual, upon what basis might we decide? The majority's values?

Such a thing - those basic rights - must have a solid basis in the human experience and be of the most simple as to be applicable only to those attributes of humanity that all share.


In the United States, we did this. It is called the Bill of Rights and has protected the rights of many minorities against the mob.

To add to Setanta's point about the electoral college, the Constitution also set up a Supreme Court that is not elected and is very intentionally protected from the mob by their lifetime appointments. Members don't ever have to worry about election so they are free to make decisions based only on the law and the rights it establishes.

spendius
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2010 06:43 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Members don't ever have to worry about election so they are free to make decisions based only on the law and the rights it establishes.


And, in Roe Wade, they decided that the defenceless mite inside evolution's protective envelope had no rights. It was declared not a person. And who declared it not a person--they did. And 46,000,000 mites have been killed as a result. And a lot of money made from doing it.

They are often deadlocked at 4-4. Which is surprising if they are free to make decisions based only on the law and the rights it establishes.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2010 07:02 am
@Ragman,
Can you explain to me how it is that the constitution would be said to no longer impinge on "modern civilization?"

My response to J G Weed was based on an omnibus statement he made about history which happened not to have been true.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2010 07:40 am
@spendius,
Quote:

And, in Roe Wade, they decided that the defenceless mite inside evolution's protective envelope had no rights. It was declared not a person. And who declared it not a person--they did. And 46,000,000 mites have been killed as a result. And a lot of money made from doing it.


I would point out that women have rights too, and as a society we need to have a way to determine these issues. You and I apparently disagree on this issue. But that is not relevant to this discussion. In any rate the Constitution gives the Supreme Court the power to make these decisions.

There are certainly times when you are happy that the Supreme Court stepped in against the will of the majority. Did you agree with Brown v. Board of Education, or Loving v. Virginia?

No one likes every decision of the Supreme court. But as a whole, I am damn glad that we have such a institution to defend rights against the will of the majority. Nothing is perfect, but there is no question that the Judicial branch has been a key part of our history and our system of government.



Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2010 08:35 am
@Setanta,
OK. Sorry, I made a hasty lecture on my part. Carry on.

During the Bush Administration Fed suspended the Constitution as it wasn't convenient.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2010 11:10 am
@Ragman,
Particularly with his "signing statements," Mr. Bush attempted to do an end-run on the constitutional limits of his power. But Mr. Cheney's administration (never fool yourself about who was in the driver's seat) almost never won if challenged in court. Mr. Bush's silliness affected to permanent change in the power equations or the methods of operation.
0 Replies
 
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2010 11:55 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
I would point out that women have rights too, and as a society we need to have a way to determine these issues.


In the case of women who don't know that ******* causes babies to be conceived I can agree with you up to a point. Those who do know and then have recourse to abortion are beyond my pale if not your's.

Quote:
In any rate the Constitution gives the Supreme Court the power to make these decisions.


Obviously but the discussion was about law and rights in your own post. Which law? Whose rights? The law is used in many countries for all sorts of reasons.

Quote:
But as a whole, I am damn glad that we have such a institution to defend rights against the will of the majority.


Like the USSC defended black rights all those long years. And Indian rights. And US citizens who looked oriental. And now in Az anybody who looks suspicious.

Quote:
Nothing is perfect.


With 46,000,ooo abortions since R/W that's for sure. The fact that most of them are secret tells its own story.

Quote:
but there is no question that the Judicial branch has been a key part of our history and our system of government.


Something has to be. Like here, the Judicial branch works to promote the Judicial branch. If we didn't have elections it would run amok.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2010 05:05 pm
Ignored by who?

Any minority ignores the will of the majority at it's peril.

The US Constitution is, as has been noted, designed to protect minorities from the tyranny of a majority, but, as also noted, the Constitution can be changed by a majority.

Has an amendment to the Constitution ever been ruled "unconstitutional" by the Supreme Court?

I suppose if it was poorly worded it could be, but otherwise it doesn't seem possible. None of the original articles are deemed unamendable, are they?

As a side note, the notion that a majority position can be proven beyond a doubt to be utterly unfounded is pretty far fetched. Besides, who would get to make that determination? A minority.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2010 05:35 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Indeed true Finn, the supreme court's function is to intepret the constitution. If there is an amendment to the constitution it cannot be unconstitutional.
hawkeye10
 
  2  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2010 05:45 pm
@sumac,
Quote:
When, if ever, should the views of the majority of the populace be ignored?


Never.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2010 06:10 pm
@GoshisDead,
Sometimes we do need to state the obvious.
Pemerson
 
  2  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2010 06:29 pm
The will of the people could not be ignored
We vote
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Wed 1 Sep, 2010 07:29 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
None of the original articles are deemed unamendable, are they?


Oh yeah. The Twelfth Amendment, ratified in 1804, changed the mechanism of the Electoral College. So the process of changing the original articles began rather early.

This is about the best online copy of the constitution i have found, and it indicates within the text those portions of the constitution which have been amended.
0 Replies
 
GoshisDead
 
  2  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 12:08 am
@roger,
seems like people weren't getting the obvious. or i wasn't getting that they may have been getting it.
0 Replies
 
HexHammer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 09:55 am
@sumac,
sumac wrote:

When, if ever, should the views of the majority of the populace be ignored?
When it's ignorent ..illegal ..immoral and unethical?
spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 2 Sep, 2010 11:04 am
@HexHammer,
When is that?
 

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