Legal System in the USA

Legal System in the USA

Amendments to the Constitution of the United States including the Bill of rights were done to reduce impact from what is termed tyranny of the majority. Citing Den (2009), it serves to protect citizens from the power of the national authority and in essence, from the manipulation of the majority. This is done through safeguarding individual property. In the case of Kelo vs. New London, the primary issue to raises an eyebrow is the effect of how the term “public use” has been interpreted and used to support the transfer of private property from one person to another (Somin, 2015). In the case, the Supreme Court decided that New London would be given the properties owned by private individuals for its development plans. It further went to say that the U.S Constitution supported the plan since it was seen as not breaching the public use requirement. Such has set a ban on the state from taking privately owned land without fair reparation.

The Court, therefore, decided that public use is comparable to “public purpose.” Owners of the land challenged these acquisitions in the state court. It was on the basis that the New London Development Corporation debased the Connecticut prohibitions against wrongly acquiring property with unfair recompense. The emergence of the issue of whether the case revealed an unjust and easy way of transferring private property to a specific body certainly seem astonishing since I thought this should be a fact in the United States legal system. In Kelo, the decision concluded that possessing property for economic development warrants a genuine reason to be termed public purpose (Somin, 2015). However, I concur with this because I believe courts must analyze such takings keenly to identify any private benefits than the intended public ones.

Another issue in the legal system of the U.S that sure does surprises is the way Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) acted in the case of same-sex marriage. DOMA imposed restrictions and disability to such people deeming their marriage fake even after the state recognized them as dignified (Kahn, 2013). In the case of U.S v Windsor, two same-sex couple Windsor, and Spyer married. Unfortunately, Spyer died and left her spouse an estate, and she went ahead and claimed it. The legal system that umbrellas the Defense of Marriage Act denied her the claim based on the federal laws’ definition of “spouse.” The definitional meaning states that a “spouse” is an individual of the opposite sex in the status of either a wife or a husband (Kahn, 2013). However, I thought; nonetheless, this provision does not hinder any state from developing laws that allow same-sex marriage. I think DOMA, in this case, violated the equal protection or the due process and went against the principles and enacted laws of the Federal government.

Many judicial rulings have affected public policies overtime and their effects felt by minorities beyond the courtroom. Policies touching on politics, economy, or social are influenced to favor only a few while the majority are discriminated (Den, 2009). It could be precisely in the equitable distribution of public benefits, proper housing services, medical care, and land ownership.


Justice is every law’s priority, and although it makes just a small part, the legal system strives to focus on it being felt by the majority. The Court did not consider the individual justice in Kelo and issue of whether private property rights still exist emerged. In the case of U.S v Windsor, DOMA sought to treat Windsor’s’ marriage as lacking respect and based on this denied her rights to claim her estate. The paper also touched on the effect of judicial decisions on public policies, and it shows how certain sectors could be influenced just to infringe on the rights of minorities.



Den, O. R. C. (2009). Judicial review in an age of moral pluralism. Cambridge: Cambridge

University Press.

Kahn, R. (2013). Understand United States v. Windsor and the Symposium Contributions Using

Unidirectional and Bidirectional Models of Supreme Court Decision Making. Case Western Reserve Law Review, 64(3), 1293-1339.

Somin, I. (2015). The grasping hand: Kelo v. City of New London and the limits of eminent domain.


Do you need an Original High Quality Academic Custom Essay?