You wouldn’t know it from the bulk of its recent decisions, but the Supreme Court is often the last line of defense against government itself. The judicial branch of American government is created and limited by the Constitution. That glorious parchment declares about federal courts: The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority. The paragraph concludes, as it began, with no criteria by which federal jurists are empowered to rule based on a concern about precedent. The Supreme Court exists to interpret the constitutionality of laws and actions. Period.
While no thinking person truly believes the Constitution has retained the chains Jefferson stated would bind men from mischief, FedGov’s legislative branch at least gives the idea of restraint some lip service. Apparently Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer no longer sees the need for this formality.
that while speaking yesterday at the Law School of the University of Chicago, Breyer said, “I tend to emphasize purpose and consequences; others emphasize language, a more literal reading of the text, history and tradition — believing that those help you reach a more objective answer.”
If “purpose and consequence” were truly his primary concerns, Breyer would do well to try to wrap his mind around the true purpose of the Supreme Court and the consequences of interjecting personal thoughts into monumental decisions regarding our liberty.
He decided a display of the commandments in front of two Kentucky courthouses was unconstitutional because he concluded their display would cause religious conflict. But he found that removing a similar display that had been in front of the Texas State Capital for years would not, so he ruled it constitutional.
You can almost smell the shameless hypocrisy.
Breyer’s admission is absolutely frightening and may serve to extract the last remaining teeth from our Constitution. While it is sometimes proper to cite prior cases, righteous judicial decisions can only be made about the case at hand. Concern for what may happen as a result of a ruling not only erases the impartiality of a jurist, it castrates good law. Fear of the future at the expense of the present is an emotion that has no place in a courtroom.
While a strong case could be made to impeach the majority of the high court, Breyer’s confession carries the weight of abject danger. Although members of Congress routinely vote based on the alleged merits or demerits of a prospective law rather than appealing to the Constitution, they still bear the responsibility of their oath and can be taken to task for its violation. This could well change after Breyer’s oration. Sentiment and effect may now be seen as the legitimate criteria by which laws are created and their validity decided. Breyer needs to hang up his robe.
Those of us who cling to a hope for restored liberty need to raise a lot of hell about Breyer’s statement and the attitude it reflects. It has been said (erroneously in modern times) that we are a nation of laws, not of men. It must now be shouted that we are a nation of laws, not of opinions and incidental worries.
In keeping with the theme of worrying about consequence, it is disheartening to consider that Emperor George would hand pick Breyer’s replacement.