This past week the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court ordered a stay, delaying the start of the trial of the case, Juliana v US. this is the second time that there has been a stay in the famous case, which seeks to force the US Government to pursue policies that would “keep warming in check.” Both the Obama Administration and the Trump administration (which submitted a 103-page argument to the Court asking for the stay) have argued that the case is problematic, in that it violates the separation of powers in the Constitution.
The plaintiffs, supposedly a group of young people, claim that their civil rights have been violated and they have demanded policy changes that would “protect their civil rights” from the effects of global climate change in the future.
This raises a number of questions, one of which is, what exactly is a “civil right?”
“Ultimately, both enforcement devices, constitutional oaths and constitutional popularity, presupposed that the Constitution spoke not merely to federal judges, but rather to all branches and ultimately to the people themselves.”
In considering the intention of the Framers with regard to the ToTaL separation of powers, it is easy to presume the doctrine of Judicial Review controls the process of determining any particular laws constitutionality. The argument of Marbury v Madison in 1803 essentially established the doctrine. As we have seen recently in California in the attempted ban on video games and even Prop 8, Judicial Review has become the established manner of ultimately deciding a laws standing under the Constitution. Read the rest of this entry