Abstract

[In] the United States . . . the Supreme Court took upon itself the right, despite the fact that it was not explicitly so authorized in the Constitution, to determine whether a law made by the people's representatives in Congress suits or contradicts the Constitution, and it [the Court] has the power to void a law, even if the large majority of the people and their representatives support it, on the grounds that the law violates the Constitution. And so the [U.S.] Supreme Court turned into a preserving, hindering force, which prefers property rights over human rights. And when it was decided, in the United States, to impose income tax, the rich came to argue before the Supreme Court that the law contradicts the Constitution, and the Supreme Court voided the inheritance law [sic], making it necessary, eventually, to amend the Constitution. But if thirteen out of forty-eight states had objected to the amendment, then the thirty-five remaining states and the two-thirds of Congress could not have amended the Constitution, and the people's wish to impose income tax would have failed utterly. There was a second case where Congress regulated child labor, and the Supreme Court . . . voided this law on constitutional grounds. And so it is a bit strange that here [in Israel], parties in favor of "progress" and proponents of the "powers of tomorrow" enthusiastically seek such a regime.—[Then-Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, in a 1950 Israeli parliamentary (Knesset) debate on whether to draft a constitution (Report of the Committee for the Constitution, Legislation and Law on a Constitution for the State and Debates in the First Knesset 66 (1952) [Hebrew]].

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-201x
Print ISSN
1084-9513
Pages
pp. 80-118
Launched on MUSE
2005-02-24
Open Access
No
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