The Supreme Court - Don't Hang a Tire Swing From That Branch of Government
Updated: Aug 22, 2018
Okay. So here's the deal about the Supreme Court. They are the most fragile branch in the three branches of government. They don't have the power of the purse or the sword. Congress has the power of the purse. They can give money or take it away. The President and the Executive Branch have the power of the sword. That means they get to maintain a standing army, and sometimes to use that army to go to war.
But all the Supreme Court has is our respect for them. So even though Supreme Court justices are appointed for life, they still need the other branches to enforce their holdings sometimes.
One example of this is their groundbreaking decision in Brown v. Board of Education. After the Supreme Court held that the practice of requiring seperate schools for African American children was inherently unequal, schools were commanded to integrate Black students into what had been all white schools.
This made a lot of white people in the South really, really mad. (Unlike today, when the South is totally chill about race relations, and there are absolutely no Nazis parading through the streets with tiki torches chanting about Jews.) Even the governor of the state of Arkansas stood in the doorway of Central High School in Little Rock to block African American students from entering the building. President Eisenhower sent in the National Guard to take control of the situation. The National Guard held back the angry mob that had descended on the school, and escorted a handful of brave African American students into school that first day.