Samuel Worcester, a preacher, was conducting services on Cherokee territory. At some point, Georgia established legislation that made it “illegal” for white people to reside on Cherokee territory and expanded Georgia’s borders to include Cherokee territory. Worcester stayed put. He and other others were detained by Georgia “police” and given a four-year harsh labor term.
In Worchester v. Georgia, the US Supreme Court invalidated Georgia’s extension provisions in response to his appeal of his sentence.
According to John Marshall, who expressed the majority’s opinion in writing, the Indian tribes were “distinct, politically autonomous societies retaining their original inherent rights.” According to Marshall, the Cherokee were a country inside a nation, and treaties were negotiated to defend their privileges. According to Marshall, the Cherokee were free to reside anywhere they pleased.
Jackson, though, was in disagreement. Jackson supposedly said, according to urban legend, “John Marshall has reached his decision; proceed to let him enforce it.” His real words were as oppressive: “The supreme court’s decision has fallen stillborn, and they realize that it can not force Georgia to submit to its mandate.”
Jackson was the first president to take on the role of a proxy king by refusing to carry out laws that the Supreme Court ruled were unconstitutional. He disregarded the ruling of the Supreme Court.
Jonathan Turley once more raised his voice to warn that if the left had its way, we would be under the rule of tyranny in an opinion piece that appeared in The Hill this week. We are dangerously close to seeing a president ignore the court and refuse to uphold the constitution he pledged to safeguard and defend, just like Andrew Jackson did 185 years ago. Turley claims:
“In a recent public letter, political scientists Aaron Belkin of San Francisco State University along with Mark Tushnet of Harvard Law School urged President Biden to disobey Supreme Court decisions that they deemed ‘mistaken’ in the cause of ‘popular constitutionalism.’ They contend that Biden should merely stick to his own constitutional interpretation given the court’s ban on the consideration of race in college admissions.”
“It’s strange that the affirmative action issue is being used when surveys continually show that most people oppose using race as a factor in college admissions. Affirmative action in college admissions has been consistently rejected by voters, even among the most liberal states like California. More surveys reveal that the majority of people agree with the recent rulings of the Supreme Court.”
The three branches of government must work properly for America to function. If a bill is passed by Congress and complies with constitutional requirements, the executive branch will carry it out. The Supreme Court must invalidate those statutes if they are unconstitutional, and the executive branch is required to follow its rulings. The president is not allowed to simply operate as a king-by-proxy and disregard the Supreme Court.