Much Like The US Supreme Court, The United Nations Has No Power To Enforce Its Own Laws

The US Supreme Court and the United Nations share a common challenge: the lack of direct enforcement power over their respective laws and resolutions.For the US Supreme Court, its decrees require the backing of the executive branch to be effective. This was evident in the aftermath of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, which declared racial segregation in public schools unconstitutional. However, without universal acceptance of this ruling, the Supreme Court had to rely on the Cooper v. Aaron decision to mandate desegregation (Ultimately Arkansaw Central High transferred ownership to a private company and never desegregated). This led to the federal government deploying the National Guard and 101 airforce paratroopers to enforce integration at a school in Arkansas, highlighting the court’s dependency on external forces for enforcement.

Similarly, the United Nations relies on member states to execute its resolutions. While the UN can pass resolutions, it depends on the formation of coalitions by member countries to implement them. Not all countries may agree to participate or ratify UN treaties, leaving the organization without the means to enforce its own decisions independently.

Drawing a parallel to the UN’s situation, individual states within the US have at times chosen to disregard Supreme Court rulings. A historical instance is the Dred Scott decision, where despite the court’s ruling, some states independently granted citizenship to African Americans. Furthermore, President Lincoln’s administration openly stated that the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Dred Scott case would not influence its policies, underscoring the limits of the court’s authority.

Both the US Supreme Court and the United Nations operate within systems where their ultimate power is curtailed by the need for cooperation and enforcement by other entities, reflecting the intricate balance of power and sovereignty in international and federal structures.

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