Right a Constitutional Wrong: Let Voters Overrule Supreme Court Decisions

Article excerpt

While agreeing with Robert Bork's proposition in "Slouching Towards Gomorrah" that the Supreme Court's rulings to override legislation should be limited by means of a constitutional amendment, I disagree with giving that oversight to Congress (see John Leo's Oct. 5 column, "Bork's Supreme Court broadside," Commentary).

Instead, let's give the power to override to the people. We can do this by enacting the procedures of initiative, referendum and recall (now available in many states) at the national level. We need a constitutional amendment that mandates that any state can put an issue addressed in a Supreme Court ruling on its ballot in the next regularly scheduled election.

The amendment should require that 2 percent of a state's registered voters sign petitions to protest the Supreme Court decision in order to get the issue on the ballot. Perhaps a special election could be called if 5 percent of registered voters sign petitions protesting a decision. The protest should have to pass by at least a three-fifths (or perhaps a two-thirds) margin in at least two-thirds of the states in order for a Supreme Court ruling to be repealed. …