U.S. Supreme Court COOPER v. AARON, 358 U.S. 1 (1958) 358
U.S. 1 COOPER ET AL., MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS, INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT, ET AL.
v. AARON ET AL.
CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT. Fn No. 1.
Argued September 11, 1958. Decided September 12, 1958.
Opinion announced September 29, 1958.
…Article VI of the Constitution makes the Constitution the “supreme Law of the Land.” I
n 1803, Chief Justice Marshall, speaking for a unanimous Court, referring to the Constitution as “the fundamental and paramount law of the nation,” declared in the notable case of Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177, that “It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.” This decision declared the basic principle that the federal judiciary is supreme in the exposition of the law of the Constitution, and that principle has ever since been respected by this Court and the Country as a permanent and indispensable feature of our constitutional system. It follows that the interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment enunciated by this Court in the Brown case is the supreme law of the land, and Art. VI of the Constitution makes it of binding effect on the States “any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” Every state legislator and executive and judicial officer is solemnly committed by oath taken pursuant to Art. VI, cl. 3, “to support this Constitution.” Chief Justice Taney, speaking for a unanimous Court in 1859, said that this requirement reflected the framers’ “anxiety to preserve it [the Constitution] in full force, in all its powers, and to guard against resistance to or evasion of its authority, on the part of a State . . . .”Ableman v. Booth, 21 How. 506, 524.
No state legislator or executive or judicial officer can war against the Constitution without violating his undertaking to support it. Chief Justice Marshall spoke for a unanimous Court in saying that: “If the legislatures of the several states may, at will, annul the judgments of the courts of the United States, and destroy the rights acquired under those judgments, the constitution itself becomes a solemn mockery . . . .” United States v. Peters, 5 Cranch 115, 136.
A Governor who asserts a [358 U.S. 1, 19] power to nullify a federal court order is similarly restrained. If he had such power, said Chief Justice Hughes, in 1932, also for a unanimous Court, “it is manifest that the fiat of a state Governor, and not the Constitution of the United States, would be the supreme law of the land; that the restrictions of the Federal Constitution upon the exercise of state power would be but impotent phrases . . . .” Sterling v. Constantin, 287 U.S. 378, 397-398….
We have forwarded these excerpts from Sup. Ct. decisions to our big list for your information. The American Coalition for Fathers and Children For Membership information call 1-800-978-DADS, or see ACFC’s homepage at: http://www.acfc.org American Fathers Coalition – 2000 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Ste. 148 Washington, D.C. 20006 1-800-978-DADS (3237) firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.erols.com/afc Subject: On Fundamental Rights & Mocking The Constitution
In condensing the collection of decisions, it came to me that we are obsessed with the rights of the individual, while at the same time forgetting that one person’s rights become another person’s burden. Yet, all of the intelligent and clever legal and constitutional arguments that are being made have one underlying concern. They are made to demonstrate the presence or absence of the validity that one’s right’s can be made to be inferior to another one’s. At the base of all of this is that no-one exists in isolation. We all are parts (or at least should be) of systems that themselves are parts of levels in a hierarchy of systems comprising civilization.
The very foundation of the whole hierarchy of civilization is the group of social systems made up by these systems: husband-wife; parent-child; sibling-sibling; the family comprised of all of them; and, last but not least, the system of the extended family. Some have recognized that and the one very profound truth arising out that fact: any system is greater than the sum of its parts, but only then if all of the parts interleave, communicate, mesh and function well with one another. All of these clever arguments ignore one important aspect. That is the obligations of an individual to the social systems of which he is a member.
Thereby we ignore the needs and rights of all systems within society, because to demand one’s rights requires that someone else is obliged to grant them. By ignoring obligations, each entity will feel entitled to enforce its rights, if necessary, to the extent that it will rob others of theirs. What we have then is not a well-functioning society anymore that is better than the sum of its parts, but rather a conglomerate of entities, or better yet, a mob – at worst, the end of civilization as we know it. It appears that the best legal minds have not come to terms with that truth, or else they would not be so terribly confused as appears to be the case in the bewildering array of judgments relating to the basic social system of society: the family. Would it be totally unrealistic to ask our legal minds to consider not only whether the state might have rights that are superior to those of the individual, but to think of the family unit in terms of a legal entity that has rights as well – with obligations and rights in relation to both, all of its members and the state?
Would it be totally strange to ask our legislators to consider addressing the rights and liberties of the family and, in connection with that, the obligations that an individual has toward the family and the state? Consider what would happen if we were to build the only one of the Ten Commandments that contains a promise as a constraint into constitutional rights: “Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Why are we surprised and dismayed that we can’t do well without it? Are we truly that smart that we can afford to ignore the wisdom that civilization lived by for thousands of years? -WHS