Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Supreme Court Nominee


What do you think about the nominee?

I’d like to thank my anonymous friend for asking me a question that immediately opened a can of worms in my mind. Where to begin with this question? I could go on and on and on…

I write to remind everyone that my write-in campaign for Congressman Cox’s seat continues, only so that the Democrats I know can have the pleasure of voting for someone who has no chance to win for once. As a Congressional candidate, I think the Supreme Court Nomination is the surest sign of the decay and rot within the United States of America. Never during the Constitutional Congress did someone argue for the Supreme Court to wield the power that it does today. If you listen to the Democratic Senators, it’s as if we’re in the process of naming a King. Well, Lord of the Realm might be a better title. I for one am in opposition to the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice, any justice for that matter; I am in favor of letting them all die off.

Our Government is designed to react slowly, even in the weight of enormous public pressure, for very good reasons. Alexander Hamilton’s greatest fear during the revolution was the mob mentality it produced within the colonists. He wanted a government that could resist public pressures and that would not be beholden to the sway of public opinion. No matter how wise we feel our ideas and beliefs are, we are undoubtedly incorrect just as often as our Government has been, if not more. Others feared the Government would become a Monarchy, with the President refusing to hand over power to his successors. So the Government was designed to limit both the effects of the mob and the possibility of despotism. The Legislature was designed to be the voice of the people, with the Senate thrown in to be a more thoughtful legislature and a fop to small states. The President was to act as the leader and to provide leadership and direction to the nation. The Supreme Court is simply that, designed to be the final arbiter in legal arguments. The three branches were designed to be able to check the activities of another (preventing despotism), elected popularly (rewarding good service), and to require consensus (limiting the influence of the mob). The founders recognized that the passage of time would require changes be made to the document, and included multiple amendment procedures to accomplish this. The amendments have included making Senators and Presidents popularly elected, allowing women to vote, granting legal emancipation and freedom to the slaves, and lowering the voting age to 18. The Supreme Court is created in Article III, which I have copied in its entirety from the government website, linked below…

http://www.house.gov/Constitution/Constitution.html

In comparison to the Articles regarding the Executive and Legislative branches, the founders seemed to have enormous faith in the nomination process, in that they provided no limitations on this courts power. After all, there are no Supreme Court Police; there is no Militia of the Supreme Court and certainly no Ambassadors to the US Supreme Court. These nine old men (one woman) only have authority when an executive branch decides to enforce that authority. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has become a powerful branch of government and every member of this Union feels its authority.

The Supreme Court justices serve for life. They are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, allowing the two bodies that have the least responsibility to the mob, at least in the minds of our founders, to look forward and name someone responsible. Sadly, many of our representatives serve the DNC or the RNC rather than ‘We the People’. Check that, the Democrats serve Move-on, NOW, NAACP, and ACLU. The Congress has power over the body, and can pass laws that determine the structure of the Supreme Court. It only came up politically during the ‘New Deal’ when FDR wanted to pack the court with nominees who liked his programs. Fortunately (?), two of the justices began switching their votes to being in favor of the ‘New Deal’, and the court-packing scheme faded away.

Important words to familiarize yourself with, as far as Supreme Court nominees are: Conservative, Liberal, Activist, and Strict Constructionist.

Conservative: Right Wing Nut-Job. Likes guns and oil, hates trees and surrender.

Liberal: Left Wing Weenie. Likes trees and surrender, hates guns and oil.

Activist: A jurist who believes that he can interpret the laws in such a way as to actually create legislation. This person ‘finds’ laws or rights already within the Constitution even if they are not specifically enumerated.

Strict Constructionist: A jurist who believes that the Constitution is a document and that no laws or rights that are not specifically stated within it apply.

The problem with the Supreme Court is that the American public views it positively when it has acted in an Activist manner. Those who proclaim the wisdom of Roe v. Wade or Brown v. Board of Education stand on the same shaky ground as those who applaud dictators for their economic accomplishments: because they ignore the greater harm and danger these situation imply.

Kelo v. City of New London

Activist judges have recently proclaimed that a local government can take your property, home for example, and after giving you ‘fair compensation’ can give it to a developer. They have always had this power, for rights of public domain. However, they have extended public domain to include situations where the property in question could provide more tax money to the government if used by the developer than the homeowner. I guess you homeowners had better start selling a lot of cigarettes from your front porch.

Right wing nut-job and ‘Conservative’ Supreme Court Justice Thomas wrote…

"So-called 'urban renewal' programs provide some compensation for the properties they take, but no compensation is possible for the subjective value of these lands to the individuals displaced and the indignity inflicted by uprooting them from their homes."

The eminent danger in the Supreme Court is not in Activist decisions regarding a Woman’s Right to Abort (or murder, if you prefer); it is in decisions against the people and for the Government. While Liberal Activist justices may find ‘rights’ within penumbras of the Constitution that let you make lifestyle choices including Gay marriage, they will also find ‘rights’ within the Constitution that vastly empower the government against the people. There are groups within this country, advocates for a Nanny-State you might say, that want to strip my rights to gun ownership, restrict the rights of Talk Radio, remove my rights to free speech, and indeed, they have already done so. This is not the road to freedom; it is the road to bondage and helplessness against a government grown fat with power. The language of the Constitution is emphatically clear on all of these rights, and yet they are being slowly stripped away by the Supreme Court and Activist Liberal judges.

The opposition states that Activist Conservative justices will enslave the blacks, outlaw women’s suffrage, and declare open season on immigrants and abortion clinics, indeed, will decriminalize the burnings of black churches. While I find these arguments ridiculous, I will for the sake of argument consider them 100% TRUE. Thus, the solution to this problem is not in trying to determine whether or not a Supreme Court Justice will be Activist/Constructionist, especially as it relies on Ted Kennedy to determine this, but to remove Activism from being a possibility. We cannot endanger ourselves further by placing our very lives in the hands of 9 unaccountable justices. We cannot allow un-elected men and women to decide our fate before a crowd of media and lawyers. We must stand up and change this institution before it grows further out of control. We don’t need another justice; we need a new Supreme Court. One that decides on the law, not one that invents it. I don’t believe any judge has the authority to command a legislature, or an executive for that matter. They only have the right to act as an arbiter, to decide who is correct from a legal standpoint according to the rule of law. They don’t have the right to say:

“I don’t think the framers meant blacks when they said ‘All men are created equal.’”

“I think public domain means anything that benefits a mayoral incumbent election.”

“Free Speech doesn’t mean you can speak for/against a candidate for office. That’s reserved for newspapers and political parties only.”

“You can have a shotgun, or maybe something that wouldn’t be dangerous, but you can’t have anything that could logically be used to defend yourself. That’s what the right to bear arms means…”

“Militia? No, no, no. The framers intended the people to be powerless in the face of standing armies…”

“I think they meant there should be a freedom of privacy that will let someone kill an unborn child if they want, just like it lets them do drugs, commit sodomy, commit incest, burn flags, burn crosses, kill small animals, defecate on religious artifacts, so long as they do it in their own home. You know… privacy.”

Activism is bad. Senators can’t tell if someone placed in an office will be tempted to use that office to advance personal policy decisions to affect legal rulings. They shouldn’t have to. We need to state with a loud and clear voice:

“Judicial Activism is an Impeachable Offense.”

Not only is it bad, it creates greater laziness in our elected representatives, who at last count were all too busy spending time on lobbyist paid vacations to care. If they couldn’t depend on the Supreme Court to decide important issues, they might actually create laws that decide them.

Some help obtained from these additional websites.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/06/24/scotus.property/

http://www.comics.com/editoons/fairrington/archive/fairrington-20050629.html

2 Comments:

Anonymous Eric said...

Absofrickinglutely brilliant, my friend. Unfortunately, as we've already discussed, I don't think that "strict constructionists" actually exist anymore. The choices are either a liberal activist (ugh) or a conservative activist (quadruple ugh).

Politics now plays as much a role in our judicial branch, especially at the highest levels, as it does in the other two branches. Perhaps even more so because these decisions will, more than likely, have a much more lasting and profound impact than anything coming from the White House or Capitol Hill.

There is no such thing as checks and balances anymore. All three branches are controlled by the Bushes, Roves, Frists, Delays of the far right. While I'm personally not happy with this, I'm by all means not naive enough to think that if the Deans, Boxers, Pelosis, Hillarys were in power that they wouldn't attempt to do the same things, only coming from the far left.

My point is that separation of powers/checks and balances is dead for the forseeable future. And with the SCJ Nominee, if I may bastardize a line from James Carville, "it's the ideology, stupid" because everything to do with this (and Rhenquist's replacement in the near future, and possibly Ginsberg and Stevens not too far off) is about politics and making sure that an activist judge is put in there, be it from the right or the left.

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