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Court can strike down acts of Congress
 
 
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Saturday, June 30, 2012
From Print Edition
 
 

 

RAWALPINDI: The powers of legislature are limited, said Supreme Court of the United States in its judgment in the case entitled ‘National Federation of Independent Business’ et al. v. Sebelius, secretary of health and human services, et al. It says, our deference in matters of policy cannot, however, become abdication in matters of law.

 

Quoting Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 176 (1803), the SC says, “The powers of the legislature are defined and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the constitution is written.”

 

Our respect for Congress’s policy judgments thus can never extend so far as to disavow restraints on federal power that the constitution carefully constructed. “The peculiar circumstances of the moment may render a measure more or less wise, but cannot render it more or less constitutional.” Chief Justice John Marshall, A Friend of the Constitution No. V, Alexandria Gazette, July5, 1819, in John Marshall’s Defense of McCulloch v. Maryland 190–191 (G. Gunther ed. 1969).

 

And there can be no question that it is the responsibility of this court to enforce the limits on federal power by striking down acts of Congress that transgress those limits. Marbury v. Madison, supra, at 175–176.