Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Supreme Relief 

I thought I'd take a moment and try to discuss my thoughts on the Supreme Court fight that, thankfully, does not seem likely to occur now.

First, I know nothing of the guy Bush nominated. At this exact moment, I can't even remember his name (John Roberts?). But y'know what? At least I admit it. She doesn't really know anything about him. These people, they have no clue. And these morons? They can't tell the difference between shit and chocolate.
Now, the role of the Supreme Court is pretty simple. Their job is to look at the Constitution, and decide if it allows, prohibits, or stays silent on any given law. The average 10th Grader should be able to do this.

For example. The following things are easily found in the Constitution:

Freedom of Religion: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; Therefore, it is obvious that we have a undeniable right to pray in schools, to put up Nativities on public property during Christmas, and any other religious activity that does not result in bodily harm to others.

Freedom of Firearms: ... the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. I really don't even think I can elaborate on this one.
Similarly, there are certain things that are explicitly prohibited. The most important of the moment:

Racial Discrimination: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. This makes Affirmative Action programs based on race all illegal, I'm afraid.
Moreover, most issues that we currently trust to the Supreme Court totally do not belong there at all.

Abortion: The Constitution is blank on this. Roe v. Wade is an illegal decision. Does this mean abortions should be illegal? Of course not. Again, the Constitution does not ban it anymore than it allows it. The issue should belong to the elected Legislatures.

Gay Marriage: Again, absent. The Supreme Court has absolutely no right to rule on this. The Supreme Court invalidated state Gay Marriage laws by citing Webster's Dictionary's definition of Marriage. Websters may be a useful research tool, but it is not the law of the land. Since the Constitution is quiet, it is up to the Legislature.
"But Jon," you say. "The Constitution is a living document!"

Wrong. It is a literal Social Contract, like that envisioned by the British philosophs, Locke and Rousseau. It ennumerates our exact rights and the government's exact responsibilities, and sets them in stone. You don't like what is already on the stone? There is a process, although difficult, to chisel on new rules. But the Constitutional Contract cannot be broken, any more than any other contract can be. Citing foreign law? That is the equivolent of using someone else's oral agreement to try to weasel new provisions into your contract. Judicial Activism? The equivolent of using fraud to avoid contractual obligations.

Now, obviously, some of the original provisions can be related to new technology. Freedom of the Press applies just as much to the internet as it does to newspapers. But this straw-man argument does not mean that "Freedom of Religion" means "Restriction of Practicing Religion, now that America has a lot more Religions."

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