On Sunday, Ben Carson, the 64-year-old retired neurosurgeon from Baltimore who launched his presidential bid earlier this month, raised some eyebrows when he criticized the current balance of power between the government branches of the country.
This weekend he appeared on Fox News and made some interesting comments especially about the relationship between the U.S. President and the U.S. highest judicial authority. He said that the President was by no means bound by the decisions issued by America’s top court.
Carson went on and explained that the discussion remained open since there were a lot of issues to discuss. He also stated that the currently relationship between the two branches of government does not accurately reflect its “original intent.”
But the presidential candidate did not stop there while decrying the current separation of powers in the U.S. He said that the only branch that has the constitutional authority to issue laws was the legislative branch, not the judiciary.
The U.S. separation of power is nearly three hundred years old. It was reasserted by the U.S. Supreme court in 1803 in the decision related to the Marbury vs. Madison case. Back then, although the Constitution didn’t mention the possibility, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the judicial branch the power to asses whether laws were constitutional.
Additionally, during the Watergate scandal the roles of the judicial and executive branches become somehow intermingled when President Nixon agreed to comply with the U.S. top court’s orders, which led to a constitutional crisis.
And Carson seems to aim at restoring the key government functions to their initial state. But this was not the only controversial statement he publicly made. In January, long before he announced his start in the presidential race, he said that Congress was entitled to remove or reprimand the federal judges that fail to “carry out their duties in an appropriate way.”
However, according to law experts, Congress can only remove judges when found guilty of committing major offenses such as treason or bribery. Carson said that judges failed to carry out their duties in an appropriate way when they amended state constitutions on marriage equality issue rather than leave that problem to the states involved.
Carson is well known for his stance on the same-sex marriage issue. He said on various occasions that he opposed such unions on both political and religious grounds.
Additionally, since he is a devout Christian he also tries to apply biblical principles on various topics. For instance, he recently said that the U.S. tax code should adopt some of the guidelines stated in the Bible such as a 10 percent flat tax that everyone should pay, regardless of their wealth.
He made that statement in January and said that his solution was both simple and fair since a poor member of society who makes 10 bucks will have to pay a tax of $1, while a rich person who makes $1000 will have to pay $100. But when critics complained that this solution would hurt the poor individual more than it would hurt the rich one, Carson replied that there was no intention of hurting the “rich guy.”
Image Source: Washington Post