Posts Tagged ‘United States Supreme Court’

Does the federal government work for us?

“Politics is the art of making your selfish desires seem like the national interest.”

~ Thomas Sowell, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

More than 200 years ago, the states united and wrote a contract, the Constitution, creating an employee, the federal government; and that contract outlined specific tasks the federal government would perform for the states’ combined welfare.

However, in the early 1800s, the Supreme Court ruled that it alone presided over the Constitution and it alone would decide what the Constitution said. Is this what the Founding Fathers and the states intended? Did they mean for the Supreme Court to decide its own powers and those of the rest of the federal government?

Roe v. Wade – Did we get what we wanted?

Recently, parents successfully sued for “wrongful birth” because their child was born with Down syndrome, claiming if it had been accurately diagnosed early in the pregnancy, they would have chosen abortion.

With Roe v. Wade, did well-meaning people start us down an unintended path to a child being worthy of birth only if the parents find him or her desirable? Are we heading toward designer babies, babies who come with guarantees of perfection? Was this the intent of those supporting Roe v. Wade?

Judicial ‘good Behavior’

We hold Supreme Court Justices in high regard, but should we? The Constitution says they “shall hold their Office during good Behavior?” Well, let’s look at their behavior.

The process of confirming a justice leaves little doubt; they are political appointees who serve for life. Although they occasionally surprise their advocates, they usually vote as expected. From the time of the very first Supreme Court appointments, judicial restraint and respect for the Constitution has progressively given way to judicial legislation.

Three sitting judges, Ginsburg, Breyer and Sotomayor, have made public statements suggesting they believe the Constitution is theirs to evolve; to decide based on their personal values, no need to amend it.

Reclaiming the Constitution – Part V

In 1804, the United States Supreme Court claimed absolute control over the Constitution, declaring only it could decide the Constitution’s meaning and neither the president nor Congress could overrule it. More than 100 years later, through sheer intimidation, President Franklin Roosevelt got the Supreme Court to use this control to give Congress powers not in the Constitution.

In 1937, the court changed the meaning of the “general Welfare” clause, allowing Congress to do anything it deemed needed for the “general Welfare.” In 1942, ignoring the meaning and intent of the commerce clause, the Supreme Court ruled that anything an individual or company produces or purchases, even if only sold intrastate or if only for personal use, can be regulated by the federal government because it impacts “commerce among the several states.”

Unlimited power – Part IV

“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull.” – W. C. Fields

Though I hope this quote refers to the following Supreme Court rulings, some might suggest it better refers to my assessment of the rulings.

After giving Congress the power to do whatever it determined was for the “general Welfare of the United States,” the Supreme Court had to wait 5 years for President Franklin Roosevelt’s next constitutional target, the opportunity to give Congress control within the states and control over individuals.

The beginning of the end – Part II

Three Supreme Court rulings changed our lives, making our Constitution near irrelevant. One gave the Supreme Court unlimited, unchecked power; the other two gave Congress unlimited power.

The first ruling created the concept of judicial review, which is the claimed power by the Supreme Court to have the final voice in all issues concerning the United States Constitution. This power is not granted it in the Constitution; moreover, it is not granted to any branch of the federal government. Why might that be? Why would such a critical power not be assigned to one of the three branches of the federal government?

Socialism by force

“The trouble with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Margaret Thatcher
Former Prime Minister, Great Britain

Failing to learn, our government continues unabated towards socialism, convinced it knows best, the Constitution obviously outdated, the people’s wishes obviously wrong.

In the 1960s, two radical socialist professors from Columbia University, Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, created the Cloward/Piven Strategy, first printed in a 1966 issue of The Nation magazine. It should not surprise us that Columbia breeds radicals.

Constitutional coup

” . . . the discretion of the judge is the first engine of tyranny.”

Edward Gibbon, “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”

Are we witnessing a non-violent coup of the United States Constitution, methodically carried out by the United States Supreme Court? Has the Court placed itself above the executive and legislative branches of government, above the people, above the Constitution itself?

This coup started in 1803 when the Court claimed the power to rule on the constitutionality of acts of Congress. Claiming this check on Congress seemed appropriate because each of the three branches of government was meant to check the others.

The ‘ism’ elixir?

“Bad officials are elected by
good citizens who do not vote.”

George Jean Nathan
American drama critic and newspaper editor

I watched a 1948 cartoon produced by Harding College, “Make Mine Freedom,” which tells the story of Ism elixir. If you have already viewed this, my apologies. If not, let me share the tale of Ism.

The cartoon starts with a reminder of our good fortune to live in America with the freedom to work, freedom of speech, freedom to peacefully assemble, freedom to own property, protection from unlawful search or seizure, the right to a speedy and public trial, protections against cruel punishments, the right to vote and to worship God in our own way.

It’s our Constitution

Contrary to the wishes of Congress, the Supreme Court and the lower courts, “we the people” in our capacity as jurors and state legislators have the power to nullify laws we find unconstitutional.

Did the founding fathers opine on this power? In 1790, James Wilson, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and one of the original six Supreme Court justices said, “Suppose . . . a difference of sentiment takes place between the judges and the jury with regard to a point of law . . . . What must the jury do? The jury must do their duty . . . . They must decide the law as well as the fact.”

The Bill of Prvileges

The Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution, was ratified by three-fourths of the states in 1791. The Constitution was ratified four years earlier in 1787.

Our Bill of Rights came into existence amid debate and deliberation. Many anti-federalists who supported it previously opposed ratification of the Constitution because that document did not provide many of the individual protections that would be guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.

But the federalists, voiced by Alexander Hamilton, considered the Bill of Rights unnecessary, believing “the people surrender nothing” in the Constitution, and offering protections of specific rights would imply that any unmentioned rights were not protected.

Guns, the Constitution and Switzerland

A fact regularly ignored in much of the gun debate – the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.  In 2008, the Supreme Court revisited the constitutional meaning of the right of the individual to “keep and bear arms,” and unequivocally affirmed our constitutional right of individual gun ownership.

That should end the debate because a constitutional right is not the same as a governmental privilege; neither the legislature nor the Supreme Court can change a constitutional right.  Yet, gun control advocates continue discounting this reality with ongoing legislative assaults on our rights.

Robert Gibbs is a verb

The most entertaining moments of this presidency are watching Robert Gibbs explain the ramblings of Vice President Biden.  With a straight face, a feigned sincerity and accompanied by the laughter of the press corps Gibbs says, “I understand what he said and I’m telling you what he meant to say.”  He invented a new verb — “gibbsing,” a verb that well describes earlier rulings of the United States Supreme Court.

In 1803 with a 4-0 ruling in Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court used the question before them to expand their powers beyond what the Constitution enumerated.

Who really has the power?

“The United States Constitution has proved itself
the most marvelously elastic compilation of rules
of government ever written.”
                           –President Franklin Roosevelt

 

Did the founding fathers create a “marvelously elastic” Constitution as Roosevelt suggested?  No, they created the antithesis, granting their new government limited powers, enumerated to prevent it from evolving into another all powerful government.  Remember, they feared the very government they were creating, feared it would grab unlimited power just like the ones they left in Europe.

Who has the power – government or “we the people”

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article
of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress
of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money
of their constituents.”
                   –James Madison, 4th U.S. President
                   father of the United States Constitution

 

How does Congress constitutionally justify spending money on anything it chooses?  What happened to Article V of the Constitution which requires agreement of 2/3 of each House of Congress and approval by 3/4 of the states to change the Constitution?  In fact, why would we even need Article V if Congress has unlimited powers?

Abortion – call it what it is

 

Killing a fellow human being is not new to us.  We already accept killing in war, capital punishment and self-defense.  Society has made a distinction between murder and killing.

So, if we already accept killing a fellow human being, why do we soothe our conscience trying to prove abortion is not murder or killing?  For 35 years pro-abortion experts have failed to prove that the fetus up to a certain point in pregnancy does not have what is needed for legal protection – personhood – claiming it is acquired at some unknown time later in pregnancy.

How to finance the U.S.S.A.

What did the Founding Fathers design our government to provide?  Did they design a limited federal government to provide safety, freedom and opportunity?  Or did they design a socialist welfare government to take care of our every need with unending entitlement programs?

The Constitution of the United States calls for a limited, subservient federal government, leaving to the individual the responsibility of what to do with their freedom and opportunity.

For decades, often with Supreme Court sanctioning, our government has quietly and methodically transitioned us ever closer to socialism.  The current government is doing nothing new; they are just accelerating the process.

“…equal protection of the laws”

New Haven, Connecticut, discarded a fire department promotion exam when white firefighters outscored minority firefighters. The city did so because it feared lawsuits, not because the exam was unfair.  The United States Supreme Court ruled against the city, with Chief Justice John Roberts suggesting that had the scores been reversed the city would not have discarded the exam.  

Frank Ricci, one of the white firefighters denied promotion, scored sixth highest of the 118 who took the exam.  According to the New York Times, he quit a second job, made flashcards, took practice exams, worked with a study group, took mock interviews and spent $1,000 to have textbooks read onto audio tapes because he was dyslexic.  

Role of the Supreme Court?

A Justice of the United States Supreme Court is retiring.  A chance to re-shape the court.  A chance to change history.  Wait a minute.  Don’t the above statements suggest the United States Constitution is flexible, open to interpretation, no need to amend it? 

Dare I suggest the primary role of the United States Supreme Court is to preserve and protect the integrity of the United States Constitution as written and intended by the Founding Fathers?  And isn’t Congress the only branch of government given the authority to propose amendments to the Constitution, as prescribed in Article V? 

Who are the ‘real’ terrorists?

The editorial page cartoon in the April 27, 2009, USA Today showed Uncle Sam saying, “Will you ever stop torturing me,” while he is whipping a helpless terrorist strapped on a table. 

Just last week the oppressed, benevolent Taliban beheaded three more people in Pakistan.  On Sept. 11, 2001, they intentionally targeted and murdered over 3,000 American civilians.  And since then over 3,000 American military personnel have given their lives in service to their country.  Is it a bit repugnant to mock these American deaths?