How Can Jeb Bush Override the FL Courts?

Regarding the feed tube issue, I don’t understand how the Governor of a state, and its legislature, override the decisions of the courts? Aren’t there suppose to be checks and balances at each level of government?

Does this mean everytime the courts make a decision, the governor has the final say? That’s almost like passing a bill of attainder. I mean, why even have the courts in FL? Let’s let Jeb make all our decisions for us…

Maybe someone can explain how this can be…

  • Jinx

The courts do not make the laws. They interpret and apply them. So, if Legislature A and Executive B complete a law, then Court C must uphold that law.

Of course you have a lot of courts trying to legislate via weirdo rulings like the Pledge of Allegience case, but that’s a pit topic.

There is nothing in the law that says that a legislature cannot change underlying law in response to an unpopular court decision, as long as the change is itself constitutional (there are serious questions in this case as to whether the hastily passed amendment is constitutional or not, but that’s a different question).

When a court issued a (fairly stupid, IMO) striking down the “Do Not Call” list, the Congress quite quickly passed an amendment to the law to correct the (purported) defect, and everyone agreed that this action was a Good Thing.

Please note that this post does not in any way address the merits of the Florida action.

Without dealing with the specifics of this case, I’ll give a quick “drive-by” answer:

The courts interpret the law, the legislature makes the laws. It’s that simple.

If the courts have ruled that under the law, the outcome is not what the legislature wants, the legislature can change that by PASSING A NEW LAW.

Some may be confused and think that charges of an “activist” court can “make” laws, but this is just a criticism by those who don’t agree with the courts interpretation of the laws (which, I have to admit, may in some cases be an accurate critisicm). When dealing with the Supreme Court, however, they are still interpreting the law (the US constitution), and ANY DECISION can be overridden by passing a new law (in this case, legally changing the constitution). It is only because it is so difficult to pass a new constitutional ammendment that this is rarely done.

I think the OP’s question is a frightening look at how much the public has come to expect courts to have the final say.

As everyone else in the thread has said, the courts’ job is to interpret the law. If the legislaure passes, and the governor signs, a new law, the courts may not ignore it. They may find that the new law conflicts with another law; in that case, they must work to find an interpretation that harmonizes and gives effect to both laws.

They may find that the law conflicts with an existing provision of the state or federal constitution. Since the state constitution is the supreme law of the state, and no mere act of the legislature may overturn its provisions, the courts may then declare the law unenforceable. Similarly, the federal constitution is the supreme law of the entire country, and neither a state legislature or Congress may pass a law that overturns any federal constitutional provisions.

Each part of the government has its own role to play, in other words. The courts may not write law, but they may find that the existing law, including the constitutions, offer specific (and heretofore unknown) guarantees.

  • Rick

Yes, and that does not mean “courts reign supreme, forever and ever, amen, all bow down and worship judges”. Checks and balances mean that all three of the branches of government have some ability to check (halt) the activity of another.
Courts: Have the power to rule on disputed matters that have not been settled by a law passed by legislature. Also have the power to rule regarding laws that conflict with each other or with a higher law.

Legislatures: Have the power to pass laws and (at least in theory) restrict funding for the executive and courts.

Executive: Has power of magistracy (decides priority of enforcement of laws), may also extend pardons and clemency.

Jeb Bush did NOT “override” any court at all. The court made a lawsuit decision in an area for which there was no immediately appropriate legislation–within their rights to do so.

The state legislature passed a new law–within their rights to do so.

The governor enforced that law–his duty to do so.

However, the PARTICULAR law in question may be unconstitutional on the basis of excessive particularity, at which point, a court will hold that higher law must prevail and overturn the legislature’s actions.

No, it’s an opinion. I believe there’s a forum here for that also.