A reader, Invisible Mikey, has taken me to task for not understanding the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review and for saying that the court, far exceeding its Constitutional authority, makes laws. You can see his full statement as a comment appended to the previous post, “Libs Move to Protect Religious Liberty.”
I have just re-read, twice, Article III of the Constitution, which defines the role of the Supreme Court. There is nothing in there about court decisions becoming “the law of the land” without benefit of legislation.
But we don’t bother with legislation anymore, do we? The court makes a ruling, or the president issues an executive order–“stroke of the pen, law of the land: cool!” And, as if by magic, marriage suddenly becomes the union of two persons of the same sex.
During my lifetime, politicians have used the Supreme Court to do their dirty work for them. Thus school prayer gets abolished, the state religion of the USA becomes secular humanism, abortion becomes “the law of the land” and snuffs out 50 million babies, and now even the most basic institutions of society are not safe from the court’s tampering.
All of these innovations were given to the court to execute because the politics for any one of them just wasn’t right. Introduce a bill in Congress to ban school prayer and see what the voters think of that.
I do not believe the polls that supposedly tell us that the American people are “overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage.” If that were so, it would have been the easiest thing in the world for politicians to ride the crest of the wave and redefine marriage using the ordinary legislative process, right under the dome of the capitol building. But again the dirty work was left to the court.
This is not to excuse Congress. Congress makes some truly horrible laws. But the strictly Constitutional remedy, when they do that, is to vote ’em out. Judicial Review was only established years after the ratification of the Constitution–and not by legislation, or amendment, but only by custom and public acceptance of the court’s expansion of its powers. It seemed like a good idea at the time!
I wonder what will be left of the Constitution by this time next year.