The Myth of Supreme Court Omnipotence
Alexander Hamilton did not believe that Supreme Court was omnipotent - or at least, he didn't say so publicly. In Federalist 78, Hamilton described the power of the judiciary under the text of the 1787 Constitution, and why it was so weak in relation to the other two branches of government:
[T]he judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them. The Executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community. The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated. The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.
This simple view of the matter suggests several important consequences. It proves incontestably, that the judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power; that it can never attack with success either of the other two; and that all possible care is requisite to enable it to defend itself against their attacks. It equally proves, that though individual oppression may now and then proceed from the courts of justice, the general liberty of the people can never be endangered from that quarter; I mean so long as the judiciary remains truly distinct from both the legislature and the Executive.... liberty can have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, but would have every thing to fear from its union with either of the other departments... 
Hamilton's view is constitutional theory; the most powerful power of government, the power to make law, would not be given to an unelected body. This concept of legislation by elected representatives (who are accountable to the people for their actions) is the heart of the 1787 Constitution (as amended by the Seventeenth Amendment), found in Article I, Section I - if you're looking for a "cornerstone", that's where you'll find it (the cornerstone itself has a cornerstone, the paragraph immediately preceding it, more commonly known as the Preamble).
In line with this idea that the most powerful of the powers should be in the hands of elected officials, we shouldn't be surprised to find that the 1787 Constitution gives Congress the power to limit the Supreme Court in a vast number of ways.
These rules, designed to maintain accountability, create a subtle, but real pressure, on the Court to "tow the line". The myth of Supreme Court omnipotence lies behind the false view that we have a "guarantee" that the Bill of Rights will be "enforced". If the Court isn't omnipotent in law, then the guarantee is illusory.
Let's see how omnipotent the Court is. We'll start with the number of members of the Court. Many people believe that this number is fixed for all time, which would prevent encroachments on the judicial power. But this isn't true.
The Supreme Court must meet every year.
While Article I, Section IV, Clause II says that the Congress shall assemble "at least once in every Year", there is no such provision for the Supreme Court. Under the authority of the "Necessary and Proper" clause in Article I, Section VIII, and the appellate jurisdiction regulation in Article III, Section III, Congress currently begins the session on the first Monday in October (see 28 U.S.C §2), but it doesn't have to. It could begin the next session on the last Monday in October, year 3963.
Under the Constitution, the Supreme Court session
must be for a fixed length of time.
Nope. There's no Constitutional provision that the Court's session must even be a session of significant length, nor that sessions held be of significant value. In fact, Congress has the power to shut down the Court entirely! Article I, Section IX, clause VII allows no money to be drawn from the Treasury except that which is appropriated. Consequently, Congress can withhold all funds from the court, other than the salaries of the judges, which cannot be reduced during their tenure (Article III, Section I), but can be reduced thereafter to $1, or even a penny. With no way to conduct legal research, no lights to see by, and no guard to unlock the door to the building, there would be no significant session.
To some, this idea of withholding jurisdiction of subject-matter is a "fatal flaw" in the Constitution; to others, it is a "safety-valve" against judicial usurpation of power. There are good arguments for both points of view. But however you want to characterize it, the power of Congress to prevent the Supreme Court from deciding the unconstitutionality of a law isn't just a paper tiger - this tiger bit. The myths tell us the Court is all-powerful, but the reality tells us otherwise.
The case was Ex Parte McCardle, 7 Wall 506 (1869), required reading for first-year law school students around the country. Seeking to protect blacks and federal officials in the South from harassment, Congress passed the Habeas Corpus Act in February 1867, which expanded the Supreme Court's jurisdiction to review denial of writs of habeas corpus. . After a round of post-Civil-War political bickering, Congress turned around and repealed the portion of the act which extended the Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction over habeas corpus writs on March 27, 1868, over President Johnson's veto. 
This case came about when McCardle, a southern editor, was arrested for his anti-Reconstruction writings. He took his case to the Court. A year later, on April 12, 1869, Chief Judge Chase spoke for the Court, holding (quite properly) that Congress had removed the Court's jurisdiction over the McCardle case :
The provision of the Act of 1867, affirming the appellate jurisdiction of this court in cases of habeas corpus, is expressly repealed. It is hardly possible to imagine a plainer instance of positive exception.
We are not at liberty to inquire into the motives of the Legislature. We can only examine its power under the Constitution; and the power to make exceptions to the appellate jurisdiction of this court is given by express words.
What, then, is the effect of the repealing Act upon the case before us? We cannot doubt as to this. Without jurisdiction the court cannot proceed at all in any cause...
It is quite clear, therefor, that this court cannot proceed to pronounce judgment in this case, for it has no longer jurisdiction of the appeal; and judicial duty is not less fitly performed by declining ungranted jurisdiction than in exercising firmly that which the Constitution and the laws confer. 
In Daniels v. Chicago & Rock Island Railroad Co., 3 Wall 250 (1866), the court reaffirmed the legitimacy of this power, holding that the power of the Court was "wholly the creature of legislation." 
If we view the text of the Constitution as controlling our government, we can see that the Supreme Court is far from the "guarantor" or "enforcer" of the Bill of Rights in the abstract; rather, it is allowed to enforce the Bill of Rights provided that Congress approves. The sad fact of the matter is that when we look to the text of the 1787 Constitution, we find that our "cornerstone [sic] of democracy [sic]" is a paper tiger -fierce on the page, toothless in the cage.
There is one final myth we'll explore; that
The Supreme Court will enforce the First Amendment when Congress violates the Amendment and has not removed Supreme Court jurisdiction over the Amendment.