It’s mid-January and the Iowa Caucuses are not quite three weeks away. We’re tired of discussing the issues—like where the candidates stand on national suicide by open borders. Whatever shall we talk about? I know, let’s consider the weighty question of whether Sen. Ted Cruz is a natural-born citizen!
Donald Trump is skeptical. Lawrence Tribe, who teaches what’s alleged to be constitutional law at Harvard, says that whether Cruz is qualified to serve as president under Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution is hardly settled law — because the Supreme Court hasn’t had an opportunity to misinterpret it yet.
Some conservatives think that being born to an American mother (albeit in Canada) isn’t enough to qualify. They believe “natural born” means that not just you, but both of your parents were born in the United States. While the left continues to use the Constitution as a battering ram to demolish morality and representative government, we’re reduced to such silly arguments.
For Republicans, the Constitution is a political prop. Every two years, they take it out, dust it off, and pledge eternal devotion – then, when activist judges use it to bend the people to their will, the elephants in ladies undergarments do nothing to stop them, other than beating their gums. For Democrats, the Constitution is a tool to transform society – to impose on the nation by fiat what they could never get through the political process.
On January 6, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore issued an administrative order instructing probate judges not to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Unlike those who worship or grovel at the feet of Obergefell, Moore notes that such licenses violate an amendment to the Alabama Constitution, adopted by 81% of the state’s voters in a 2006 referendum, and SCOTUS can’t change the order of the universe on a whim.
Moore can’t do that, sputters Rep. Patricia Todd, state director of the Human Rights Campaign. Gay marriage is “settled law.” When leftists say something is settled law (or “the law of the land”), it means the courts have given them exactly what they want, and now the process is over – permanently and for all time. Dred Scott was settled law in 1857. Plessy v. Ferguson was settled law in 1896. Thankfully, neither is now.
In its 1971 decision (Baker v. Nelson), by dismissing an appeal, SCOTUS upheld a decision of the Minnesota Supreme Court that the state’s law restricting marriage to a man and a woman was constitutional. (Was Baker settled law?) In Obergefell v. Hodges, decided last June, the court’s cultural Jacobins held that same-sex marriage was a right under the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. Other than the ideology that guides the judiciary, what changed in the intervening years? Does judicial mumbo-jumbo transform the intent of those who ratified it 135 years ago?
Scalia said the majority opinion was “lacking even the veneer of law” and constituted a “judicial Putsch.” Chief Justice John Roberts said the decision “has no basis in the Constitution… the majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment.” To support its edict, SCOTUS cited what it called changing attitudes toward homosexual marriage (as if opinion polls are a tool for interpreting the Constitution), and ignored 33 marriage amendments passed by statewide votes between 1998 and 2012, most by super-majorities.
Before Obergefell, Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, warned that it was “1973 for marriage,” referring to Roe v. Wade.
In retirement, Associate Justice William Brennan, the architect of Roe, admitted that the majority of the Burger Court first decided that it wanted to create a right to abortion and then cast about for ways to justify it under the Constitution. Building on Griswold v. Connecticut, ( 1965), which found a right to privacy hidden in the bowels of the 14th Amendment, SCOTUS decided that (like Russian nesting dolls), one non-existent right (privacy) contained within it another non-existent right (that of a woman to abort her child).
From Roe came 57.76 million dead children by the ruling’s 42nd anniversary, partial-birth abortions, 14-year-olds getting abortions without their parent’s knowledge or consent, and Planned Parenthood’s sale of parts from aborted babies – among other horrors perpetrated in the name of privacy. Roe laid the foundation for Obergefell, which one day will be used to legalize doctor-assisted suicide and other milestones on the road to a death-camp utopia.
Justice Anthony Kennedy (the Supreme Court’s Soupy Sales) is the author of the Obergefell opinion. He’s also the author of the 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which reaffirmed Roe. In what Justice Scalia has derisively called the “sweet mystery of life” passage, Kennedy confided that, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” Thus the United States Constitution has devolved from the best system of government yet devised to Zen meditation.
Roberts, who chided the majority in Obergefell, himself has played the Sorcerer’s Apprentice elsewhere. He’s saved Obamacare twice by pulling rabbits out of judicial hats. The first time, in 2102 (National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius), Roberts was so desperate to find Obamacare constitutional that he decided its fines were actually taxes, even though the administration rejected the argument in its brief.
While the Cruz and Moore dramas unfolded, President I-am-the-Constitution, announced 10 new executive orders to curtail gun ownership, including redefining a gun dealer as almost anyone who sells even a single firearm annually. Obama could never get this through Congress, so he decided to combine the legislative and executive branches, with all power in his hands. Similarly, he’s declared a number of blanket amnesties last year.
Who’s to stop him? Not Republicans, who fear that standing up to this despotism would hurt their prospects this year. And they wouldn’t even have to impeach him (though he deserves it more than any of his predecessors), just stop confirming his appointments, including his judicial appointments.
This is what makes the debate over the meaning of natural-born citizen so hilarious. The Constitution is dead. The left killed it over the course of half a century, going back to the 1962 school-prayer decision. And we’re running around in circles trying to decipher a phrase which will probably never be defined, definitively.
This is a game conservatives can’t win.
The left controls the law schools from which lawyers and future judges issue. (It decides the curricula, like Critical Legal Studies.) It controls the media which shapes the culture that molds activist judges, and then misreports what the courts are doing.
And it controls public education, which refuses to teach American history, including the Constitution. A survey for Constitution Week in 1997 found that two-thirds of Americans couldn’t name the three branches of government, and 84% thought the phrase “all men are equal” is in the Constitution. (It’s “all men are created equal” and it’s in the Declaration of Independence.)
The Constitution’s framers understood that even their remarkable creation was only as good as the people who would be called on to defend it. As Benjamin Franklin replied on leaving the Constitutional Convention, when asked what form of government America would have, “a Republic, if you can keep it.”
We could get the Constitution back one day. Electing someone like Ted Cruz would be a start. But even that is no assurance. We’ll need to raise up a generation — like the one that produced the Constitution — to rise to rebellion and overthrow a judicial tyranny supported by the political elite.
First published at GrassTopsUSA
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.