Is the Supreme Court just too Powerful?
As many people know, there are three branches of government, each with its own role and responsibilities. Laws are created by the Senate, enforced by the President, and interpreted by the Supreme Court. An ideal world would see these three branches working in harmony and balancing each other out.
As a result of extreme political polarization, the Senate is no longer relevant due to the fact that the country cannot seem to agree on ANYTHING. It is rare for meaningful legislation to pass because of its gridlock, and that may continue. Slews of executive orders can only do so much when it comes to domestic issues. When a new president takes office, the executive orders can easily be replaced, as we have seen.
Currently, the courts appear to be becoming more politicized. There seems to have been an inundation of bad faith legal cases and retrograde judges who rule based on their own political prejudices in the last domain of impartiality. It is very easy to challenge anything the Senate decides or the president writes into law in the courts. Another Supreme Court ruling is the only thing that could change a Supreme Court ruling.
Do the U.S. government's three branches have equal power? If so, would it be fair to say that the Supreme Court completely overpowers the other two branches? Let’s look into it…
Congress needs a simple majority in the house and a 60+ vote (filibuster) to get laws to the president’s desk. The president can veto any law passed to him, but Congress still has the option to press the issue with a 2/3 majority vote. We don't just want to stop anything from happening, but we want to make progress.
Congress can override the president, honestly. They can do so in many ways:
Refusing to confirm appointments
Counter-legislation if there are enough members of the opposition party
Obstructionists in Congress can even stop things without ever leaving Congress by having 50%+1 in the house, 1/3+1 in the Senate to prevent veto override, or 40 in the Senate to filibuster a decision.
Legislation cannot be passed solely by the president, however, he/she can gridlock and then create an executive order. The executive order comes from executive power. Executive power and orders can both be contested with a simple majority of either the courts or Congress.
The president needs a simple majority in the Senate just to confirm basic staffing. There’s no clear course for the president to push through a hostile court or even 50% of Congress if they choose to gridlock policy proposals. The president can veto congressional laws but has no recourse to a decision from the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court can be a very far-reaching group in terms of precedents they establish or shut down. They were also toxic before in this sense. This era was dubbed the Lochner Era and it eventually led to the Great Depression. There is absolutely no move the president can make after the courts have made it final.
Congress can only override the Supreme Court with a constitutional amendment. This move is very very unlikely and given the bad-faith actions recently made by the court, there’s no guarantee they won't “reinterpret” any constitutional amendment.
Is there really any fix for any of these? The different routes available to the legislature and executive seem to indicate that the intention wasn’t to promote gridlock. Clearly, the founders didn’t anticipate a gridlock that would last decades. I am not even sure they expected one at all. The founders also probably did not expect the massive amount of bad-faith actors…