Monday, March 07, 2005

Burning the Constitution

Many news events have overtaken us since the Presidential Election last November.

Unfortunately, the Legacy Media is wrapped around the trivial faces of Michael Jackson and Martha Stewart.

Does anyone really care to the degree media outlets have dumped on us? Will either effect the lives of our children and grandchildren?

Enter the Supreme Court. A body which will effect our children and grandchildren, and alas, even our generation.

The recent Roper v. Simmons decision is, simply, legislation masquerading as judicial opinion.

John Hinderaker (aka Hindrocket) of PowerLine tackles Justice Kennedy in The Weekly Standard.

The pernicious influence of foreign opinion and law permeates the ruling, and Justice Scalia hits the ball out of the park:

ONE OBVIOUS PROBLEM with the Court's endorsement of a standard as vague as "international opinion" is that there is no way to know when that standard will be deemed relevant. As Justice Scalia noted in his dissent, American law, including Constitutional law, is in a distinct minority on many issues. For example, the United States is one of only six countries that permit abortion on demand up to the point of viability. Why isn't international opinion on abortion as pertinent as international opinion on the death penalty?

Hindrocket notes answer is obvious, it's a one-way street.

He concludes his piece with a warning that we all should think about, and think carefully about the consequences of the road the Supreme Court appears to be insisting we must take:

It is often said that our government is one of laws, not of men. The Roper decision shows how far we have abandoned that vital principle. Indeed, in a sense we have turned it on its head. The Founders envisioned the judicial branch as the guarantor that we would have a government of laws; they saw the judiciary as a bulwark against the usurpation of authority by "men" in the other branches. See, for example, Hamilton's Federalist No. 78, where he wrote: "[T]hough individual oppression may now and then proceed from the courts of justice, the general liberty of the people can never be endangered from that quarter." The Founders failed to foresee, unfortunately, an era in which unelected, unaccountable judges ignore the written words of the Constitution and the laws, and impose their own policy preferences by fiat.

George Will deplores Justice Kennedy's practice of sticking his wet thumb in the air:

Justice Antonin Scalia, joined in dissent by Justices William Rehnquist and Clarence Thomas (Justice Sandra Day O'Connor dissented separately), deplores "the new reality that, to the extent that our Eighth Amendment decisions constitute something more than a show of hands on the current Justices' current personal views about penology, they purport to be nothing more than a snapshot of American public opinion at a particular point in time (with the timeframes now shortened to a mere 15 years)."

And concludes:

The Democrats' standard complaint is that nominees are out of the jurisprudential "mainstream." If Kennedy represents the mainstream, it is time to change the shape of the river. His opinion is an intellectual train wreck, but useful as a timely warning about what happens when judicial offices are filled with injudicious people.

I'll wager Supreme Court vacancies will define W's domestic legacy more than Social Security or Tax Reform. Legislation by un-elected judges is antithetical to freedom.

We should resist with every opportunity.