The United States Supreme Court is the highest Court in America. When the Court enters an opinion that deals with a Federal Statute, Federal laws, or the United States Constitution, their decision is controlling over all other Federal Courts and State Court that also interpret Federal Constitutional Amendments. In other words, the State Courts must apply the United States Supreme Court’s interpretation of the U.S. Bill of Rights, however the State Court are free to apply their own State Constitutions in such a way as to grant greater protections to their residents. This is often seen in cases involving the right of privacy. There are some States that have broad and sweeping privacy right protections that far exceed those granted by the Federal Constitution.
People have a difficult time understanding how the United States Constitution can change over the years. The fact is the Constitution has not changed. But the world around the Constitution continues to change and mechanize in ways the founding fathers could never appreciate or plan when they drafted the Constitution. If the concept of the Constitution is not evolving, then the document would hardly make sense in our computerized, fast-paced world. For example, the Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures. When the Constitution and Bill of Rights were drafted, cars and planes did not exist. Computer and telephones did not exist. Are these forms of communication and travel to be excepted from any Constitutional protections because they did not exist at the time of the Bill of Rights?
How the United States Supreme Court interprets the Constitution has been a source of serious legal debate since the first opinion was written. Over the years the debate has moved into open public debates and disagreements because of topics like gun control, abortion, speech, and religious issues. Today, the debate and battle is as polarized as it has ever been. Regardless of how one feels about any individual issue, there is one concept brought forth by the founding fathers that has not changed. That is the concept of individual protections and the limiting the power of the central government. To put it in a nutshell, the founding fathers, the men who drafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, had personal experience with an abusive government. The checks and balances they put in place over the branches of government, and the elevating of individual protection through the Bill of Rights, had come to them from their personal experiences and were a gift to future generations . Let’s never forget our history.
Here is a link to an interesting Blog providing a summary of recent United States Supreme Court decisions:
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.