Purely by chance, certainly, Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Wednesday that Texas would consider challenging the 1982 Supreme Court decision that requires the states to educate illegal immigrant children within its jurisdiction. And why not? Certainly, just like abortion, there isn’t an anti-immigration stance that is too extreme for the MAGAs. And, helpfully, the SCOTUS just let everyone know that all previous decisions are back in play.
“Stare Decisis” is a remnant from the days when attorneys protected their place in the legal world by resorting to Latin as a means to say “the thing is decided.” Stare decisis, or simply “precedent,” was and remains a necessary restraint on SCOTUS decisions or the SCOTUS simply becomes another political institution, an extension of Congress with a slightly different job description, overturning itself every five to six years. The Constitution becomes as malleable as the next controlling vote and dependable Constitutional rights don’t really exist.
And so Texas may go for it, according to the Austin Statesman:
Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that Texas would consider challenging a 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring states to offer free public education to all children, including those of undocumented immigrants.
“Texas already long ago sued the federal government about having to incur the costs of the education program, in a case called Plyler versus Doe,” Abbott said, speaking during an appearance on the Joe Pags show, a conservative radio talk show.
“And the Supreme Court ruled against us on the issue. I think we will resurrect that case and challenge this issue again, because the expenses are extraordinary and the times are different than when Plyler versus Doe was issued many decades ago.”
Times are different. Yes, Greg, times are always different, and a similar argument can be made about nearly any case. It is not that the “times are different” which serves as the impetus for this push. It is that the court itself is different, more amenable to serving the people that put them in their seats.
The great Earl Warren, a giant among Chief Justices, was appointed to the court after serving as governor of California. He was appointed because people believed he had good judgment, was a good person, qualified, and cared about the American people. No one knew his views on Constitutional rights. How different today, when Justices know why they are on the court and how they better vote. As the court becomes more political, that “lifetime appointment” thing could start becoming less guaranteed, too. Unless this country changes course, it will only get worse.
Jason Miciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, while also studying scientific philosophy, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact for speaking engagements or any concerns.
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