America Goes Judge Shopping
“Congress shall make no law” says it all. The goal of the founders in ratifying the Constitution and the Bill of Rights was to protect the rights of men by restricting the power, scope, and authority of government. One brilliant provision to keep our government in check was the separation and balance of powers. Another was the expressed limits to the authority of the federal government with all other rights being reserved to the states and the people.
Therein lies the reason the battle to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will be a watershed event for America. Justice Scalia will go down in history as one of the most important and formidable justices in the history of our nation in that he served to give our country breathing room to finish strong in the course of human events. It all has to do with the very foundations of our constitutional republic and the goal of the American experiment. In modern day terms, the battle Scalia epitomized has to do with a view of the Constitution as originally intended versus that of a living document.
Originalism bounds judicial interpretation to the intent of the founders who crafted the document. This view holds that our Constitution must be enforced as it is written or it is no longer a constitution. Alternatively, to view the document as living otherwise allows activist judges and politicians to say it means what they want it to mean today regardless of the historical context and content.
Of course, the founding fathers allowed that future generations could amend the Constitution to deal with exigencies and the document itself outlines the process to do just that, something that has been done numerous times in the past. However, in this day and age, activist politicians would rather not run that gauntlet when they can simply reinterpret the Constitution with help from their allies legislating from the bench. Not to be outdone, President Obama of course believes he is above both the Court and the Congress by virtue of his phone and pen in hand.
Our founding fathers established the world’s first nation of free men. Free as it pertains to the exercise of their unalienable rights, rights that come from God not men. These rights, by definition, never change which is why there has never been any great impetus to change the Constitution! Nor can these unalienable rights be taken away or undermined except by an abuse of power. Nevertheless, the right to free speech is being undermined by political correctness and speech codes. The right to bear arms, in essence, the right to personally defend all your rights, is under assault by various and nefarious gun control measures. The right to freedom of religion is being eclipsed via the Obamacare mandate that infringes on the conscience of religious organizations. The right to private property has barely survived having been pummeled by long-standing environmental regulations and extreme tax measures.
The task before us today therefore is stark. Find another Scalia to save our Constitution.
First published at Santa Barbara News-Press
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