The Supreme Court and the People
There is only one circumstance, as I read the Constitution, which authorizes the federal government to intrude or interfere with the governmental structure of a state. That would occur under the provisions of section 4 of article IV, which, in pertinent part, state: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government …. ” This was the question, if indeed there was a federal question, to be determined in the earlier Baker v. Carr and the reapportionment cases. To rely on the fourteenth amendment for authority to establish by judicial decree a new system of government for each of the fifty states is, first, to misread the history of that amendment and, second, to substitute political theory for constitutional law. In fact, to proceed on the theory of the Court is to ignore completely section 5 of that fourteenth article of amendment. I have often speculated to myself how the Court could be unable for almost one hundred years to find a means of enforcing the rights of individuals which were meant to be protected by that amendment, having actually to rely in the end on the Congress and its enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to achieve the purpose of the amendment, and then, in an almost casual manner, use power not expressed, implied, or intended in the amendment to strike down the legislative structure of every state legislature in the fifty states. This constitutes, I submit, an assumption of power by one branch of our government that is unequaled in our nation’s history.