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In Ring v. Arizona, 536 U.S. 584 (2002), the United States Supreme Court struck down the state of Arizona's death penalty procedure as violative of the Sixth Amendment's right to trial by jury. The Ring case is noteworthy because the Supreme Court upheld the identical procedure under the same constitutional provision twelve years earlier in Walton v. Arizona, 497 U.S. 639 (1990). The Ring case raises a serious constitutional issue because the high Court reaffirmed its decision upholding Arizona's death penalty procedure twice during those twelve years. The issue is this: what recourse does the state of Arizona have against arbitrary and unconstitutional conduct by the Supreme Court? The brief answer is that the state of Arizona has no constitutional recourse to redress its constitutional injury. Furthermore, neither Congress nor the president has a practical and effective means addressing their constitutional grievances with the federal courts. The author offers two constitutional amendments to cure this constitutional conundrum: (1) the repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment; and (2) a two-thirds congressional override of federal judicial constitutional decisions.

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College of Law






Northern Illinois University Law Review

Suggested Citation

Kory A. Atkinson, Comment, In Defense of Federalism: The Need for a Federal Institutional Defender of State Interests, 24 N. Ill. U. L. Rev. 93 (2003).

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