Popular Sovereignty Controversy

855 Words4 Pages
Popular Sovereignty Although all interpretive methods must grapple with the issue of stare decisis, the issue is particularly acute for originalists due to the potentially radical discontinuity between original meaning and modern doctrine. An unmediated enforcement of original understanding of the Constitution would likely reverse countless precedents and impose unacceptably high costs in terms of the rule of law. On the other hand, upholding a precedent despite its variance with the original understanding undermines the very legitimacy of legal review according to most theories of originalism. Focusing on the most common normative basis for originalism, popular sovereignty, the article identifies those cases capable of a principled application of stare decisis and those judicial errors that ought to be…show more content…
For example, Michigan's proposal urges "the federal government to halt its practice of imposing mandates upon the states for purposes not enumerated by the Constitution of the United States." While well-intentioned, such symbolic resolutions are not likely to have the slightest impact on the federal courts, which long ago adopted a virtually unlimited construction of Congressional power. But state legislatures have a real power under the Constitution by which to resist the growth of federal power: They can petition Congress for a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution. Article V provides that, "on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states," Congress "shall call a convention for proposing amendments." Before becoming law, any amendments produced by such a convention would then need to be ratified by three-quarters of the states.  Separation of
Open Document