Supreme Court Constructionism

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As the years have gone by the Supreme Court has changed several times over. The Court, once made up by white male Americans, now includes justices who are black, female, young and come from a variety of different backgrounds. Although the makeup of the Court has changed, the fundamental issues faced by the Court have not. In fact, the Court has always faced the philosophical battle between strict constructionists of the Constitution and loose constructionists. This battle of philosophy is prominent between Justice William J. Brennan and Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. In order to understand this philosophical battle, one must first understand the difference between interpretations. A strict constructionist of the Constitution is a person…show more content…
Rehnquist was appointed to the court in 1971 and in 1986 was moved up to Chief Justice by Ronald Reagan. Rehnquist served on the court for 34 years and had a strict interpretation of the Constitution. He believed that the Constitution should be followed word for word, as the Framers intended. During his time on the court, three cases demonstrated this interpretation of the Constitution. In 1973, one of the most important cases of American history came forth to the Supreme Court. This case is known as Roe v Wade. In Roe v Wade the court was asked to vote on whether or not abortion should be legalized throughout the United States. Rehnquist, along with justice White, were the only two justices that voted against the legalization of abortion. Rehnquist stated that the Constitution did not embrace a woman’s right to an abortion. Another case that demonstrates his interpretation of the Constitution is shown in Furman v Georgia. In this case, Rehnquist voted that capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, should be allowed and was not a cruel or unusual punishment. The third case in which Rehnquist beliefs were shown was in the 2000 Bush v Gore case. In Bush v Gore, the court had to decide where or not the manual recounts of votes in Florida violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Constitution. Rehnquist, along with seven other justices, voted to end the recount of votes in Florida. These three…show more content…
Although I do agree with both these justices, I slightly lean more towards Brennan. I agree with Rehnquist when it comes to the death penalty. I personally believe that the death penalty is not a cruel or unusual punishment and should be implemented throughout the country. If a criminal gets the death penalty, I believe that the deserves it full heart sadly, yes there might be innocent people on death row but that should not mean that the death penalty should be abolished. I agree with Brennan on issues such as freedom of the press and abortion. I don’t think that the press should be censored or stopped in anyway, because in my own opinion the press is the only way that people find out about major news stories and scandals. I am also a strong pro-choice advocate and believe that abortion should be legalized throughout the country and remain that way. A woman should be allowed to get an abortion is she wants to and I don’t find it right for people to want to take that right
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