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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #52)

Fri Mar 30, 2012, 06:08 PM

55. You're right - but that doesn't give them the power to strike down laws

For example, if Illinois passed a law saying it was illegal to videotape a cop in public (as they did), and you were arrested under it, and took it to SCOTUS, they could refuse to send you to jail because the law was, in their opinion, not consistent with the highest law in the land, the Constitution. That would *not* strike down the law - it would just mean that every prosecutor in Illinois would stop trying to enforce it because they knew they'd eventually lose at SCOTUS. Or at least most would. THEN the legislature of Illinois - the appropriate place for law-ending and law-making - would take up the law and revise it so that it could be enforced.

And even that is a stretch. SCOTUS in the first years of this nation almost *never* turned to the Constitution - they were, as you quoted above, simply the final court of appeals - the place where the buck finally stopped.

Thom

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