The original intent of the Constitution was first encroached upon in the 1803 Supreme Court ruling in Marbury v. Madison. This ruling changed the role of the court from adjudicating cases to determining the constitutionality of laws. Some historians agree with this ruling while others think it overstepped the bounds of original intent by granting undo powers unto the Supreme Court, the third branch of government. I stand with the latter.

A mere nine lawyers of the same flesh and blood as you and I, subject to their own ideologies, are somehow expected to be above it all and determine constitutionality of laws made by elected officials. From these decisions there is no recourse, and 300 million people must conform to them.

Some decisions - Dred Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, and Korematsu v. United States. - have been particularly egregious, and are now thought of as patently wrong. Beginning with Franklin Roosevelt, presidents began "packing the court" with judges who would be sympathetic to their views.

This led to a misuse of the commerce clause under Article 1 of the Constitution and many incursions on private-property rights. Some judges have openly lamented the constraints of our Constitution in making decisions, despite their oath to uphold it.

The time has come to rein in this judicial activism with an amendment that limits the terms of Supreme Court justices and creates a method to overturn decisions with a supermajority of both houses of Congress.

JAMES M. SPICKARD

Tuckerton