A Virginia federal judge recently over turned the portion Obama's health care reform bill siting that the provision forcing American's to buy health insurance or be fined is unconstitutional. Personally, I agree with the judge but understand the desire for health care reform in this country. However, that is an article for another time. In this case, the legal system and the political system are working as planned. One is keeping the other in check.
However, a judge in California over turned the voter approved Prop. 8 law that was overwhelmingly approved by voters in that state. I ask, was the system of checks and balances supposed to be a check on and within the government itself ONLY, or is this check of the judicial branch supposed to be a check on the American people as well? Have the judges taken too much power unto themselves?
It seems to me that the Supreme Court, while human and prone to preferences and opinion as opposed to impartiality, is at least more than one judge. There is a deliberation's process and a practical group of high minded individuals (hopefully) render a decision. In both of the cases mentioned above, it is one judge, one opinion, that seems to be able to trump the opinion of the whole state, or even the nation in some cases.
Is there a need for change? My suggestion would be that any case where a voter approved law or proposition is voted in, or if the legislature passes a law, that the law be auto-reviewed for constitutionality by a panel of judges in either the state supreme court, or by a panel of federal appeal judges - NOT JUST ONE - if the vote is less than 60% in favor of passage (by legislative or voter approved laws). Where the vote is above 60%, legal action can be taken by individual parties but should also be required to meet a higher standard of proof as I don't believe that the judicial check and balance was meant to be in opposition to the majority vote. I could be wrong, but it seems that the voice of the people should be greater than the voice of one "activist" judge.