Ignoring the Supreme Court?

Several conservative lawmakers and politicians have advocated this in the wake of recent rulings. And in fact, I was wondering what would’ve happened had the Court specifically kicked the ACA back to Congress for clarification, and congressmen explicitly and publicly said they wouldn’t (knowing that very few, if any, would actually have done so). Would the Court have just shrugged and said, “okay, I guess the law falls, then?”

Thoughts on either? What would actually happen if states, or people with statewide power, openly defied the Court’s rulings, either in general or in particular to the above?

“It depends.” (Universal answer!)

Back in 1957, President Eisenhower sent 1,000 soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division to Little Rock, AK, to enforce a court order.

Today, that probably wouldn’t happen. The President has more subtle ways of chastising a recalcitrant state government.

If the Congress is on the same side as the President, it’s a lot easier: they can just cut Federal Funding for projects in the state. That usually rouses Governors and State Houses to stop playing silly-buggers with the law.

They aren’t actually going to do anything. It’s all lip service.

A bigger question is what would happen if the Supreme Court came down on the opposite side of an issue from both the White House and the Congress, and they didn’t want to abide by the Court’s decision. Fortunately, that hasn’t happened for a long time – not since the Andrew Jackson administration, I think. And if I recall correctly, he did in fact ignore the Court’s decision.

If the Congress and the President disagreed, they’d probably go through the motions of writing a new law, specifically addressing the issues the Court raised.

We’re seeing this happen, constantly, with abortion, at the state level. The courts say, “Nope…” to waiting periods, parental notification, travel bans, etc. etc. And the states keep saying, “Okay, gotcha… Now, you have to have a mandatory pelvic ultrasound…”

If the SC had negated the ACA…and if both Congress and the President really wanted it…they’d just re-write it to correct the objectionable bits, and the whole ball game goes back to the coin toss again. Or first down. Or mixed metaphor of your choice…

You recall correctly.

From the Trail of Tears Wikipedia article.

If Congress or some conservative state attempted to simply ignore the Supreme Court’s decision, I would assume some same-sex couple would seek to force the issue. They’d go someplace and request a marriage license or request a justice of the peace perform their wedding. When their request was refused, they’d file a lawsuit requesting a writ of mandamus which is a court order directing a government official to perform a duty.

If there’s one issue on which all the Justices agree, it’s that they don’t want to see the authority of the Court being defied.

I don’t know that the Court has ever done this or ever even claimed the power to do this. They can remand a case to a lower court and order them to reconsider or retry it. But they have never claimed the power to remand a case to Congress (to the best of my knowledge).

The Court will simply say something like “We think that clause means that states that don’t set up their own exchanges can’t get subsidies.” Then they will shrug their shoulders and say “If that’s not what Congress meant, let them change it.” And Congress doesn’t need the Court’s permission to change a law and the courts will not necessarily enforce the changed law if they see a problem with it.

Couldn’t any politician refusing to follow the orders of the court be held in contempt?

Not necessarily, depending on what you mean precisely, they might be protected by the Speech and Debate Clause.

If they were ordered to vote or not vote on something, they would be protected. It would also be proper as the court has no business telling Congress what to do. The Court can strike down laws in part or in whole and inform Congress of the implications, but it can’t order them to take any particular type of legislative action.

Couldn’t the Feds just withhold ALL federal funding,( including wages, pensions, Medicare, roads, education), until they are in compliance?

I’m thinking if the state beauracrats aren’t getting their cheques, compliance could be swift!

They could, but that would require a Congress sympathetic to the Court’s decision, which isn’t always the case.

If a muncipal clerk refuses to issue a marriage license, you could sue and you would eventually get a judgment in your favor, at least in a federal appeals court. Of course, a local judge could rule against you and refuse leave to appeal, an order you could appeal. Eventually some judge would issue an order and if the clerk still refused he could be held in contempt. I don’t think it will go so far, howeve.

I mentioned this already in one of the other threads, but: besides the possibility of injunctions and contempt charges, state officials that try to block same-sex marriages could presumably now find themselves liable for damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Fortunately, before they froze their butts off up north, he realized his mistake and sent them to Little Rock, AR, instead.

No he doesn’t. Jackson didn’t “adhere to the Supreme Court’s mandate” because the Supreme Court didn’t mandate that Jackson do anything. Wilson Lumpkin, the Governor of Georgia, ignored the court for a few months, and then finally pardoned Worcester and Butler on condition they leave Cherokee land and not return to it.

Dog my cats! Blew it again!

(I’m in a competition with…ah…name withheld outside of the Pit…for being the SDMB member who makes the most errors of this variety.)