Magazine article The Nation

Fast Eddie V. Honest Abe

Magazine article The Nation

Fast Eddie V. Honest Abe

Article excerpt

FAST EDDIE v. HONEST ABE

Attorney General Edwin Meese 3d is again trying to undermine the Supreme Court's role in protecting individual rights and liberties. This time he aims not at specific doctrines but at the very heart of the Court's role: the principle that its decisions are the law of the land, binding on all state and Federal government officials.

Meese criticizes the 1958 rulling in Cooper v. Aaron, in which the Court declared that its decisions are the "supreme law of the land,' as a "conclusion that would have shocked John Marshall.' In fact, Marshall had an expansive view of judicial power, but more important, Meese ignores the Court's specific ruling in Cooper v. Aaron. It rejected Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus's claim that the State of Arkansas was not bound to obey the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that school segregation was unconstitutional. The Attorney General seems to think that Faubus was right and that the other Southern legislatures that vowed to defy Brown were entitled to do so. …

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