Das Zeitalter des Richters

Alexander Hamilton, der bekannte Autor zahlreicher verfassungstheoretischer Schriften, die die Grundlage für die US-amerkanische Verfassung bildeten, hegte keinen Zweifel bezüglich der relativen Bedeutung der drei Staatsgewalten. Im Federalist Paper Nr. 78 schrieb er, die Exekutive gebiete über die ``Macht des Schwertes'', also über die Instrumente legitimer Gewaltanwendung. Die Legislative gebiete über die ``Macht der Geldbörse'' und lege daher alle Regeln fest. Die Judikative aber habe ``keinen Einfluss über Schwert oder Geldbörse'', sie sei ``weder mit Macht noch Willen ausgestattet, sondern lediglich mit Entscheidungsgewalt'', und das mache sie ``zweifellos zur schwächsten der drei Abteilungen der Macht''.

Hamilton sprach sich für die Unabhängigkeit der Richter aus, um ihre Position zu stärken und diese Maxime besitzt auch heute noch Gültigkeit. Darüber hinaus jedoch wird ein Beobachter zeitgenössischer Politik kaum wiedererkennen, wovon der große amerikanische Verfassungstheoretiker einst sprach.

Die Ernennung der Richter des obersten Gerichtshofes ist für den amerikanischen Präsidenten von außerordentlicher Bedeutung, weil das Gericht befugt ist, in wichtigen Fragen wie zum Beispiel bei der Gleichberechtigung der Ethnien Richtlinien vorzugeben. In Deutschland werden zahlreiche kontroverse politische Fragen von Minderheitsgruppen, die im Bundestag unterliegen, vor das Verfassungsgericht getragen.

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