BY: Chris McDaniel @senatormcdaniel
Five robed Justices of the United States Supreme Court can jolt a nation as surely as anything can. And last week they did just that with two rulings that border on the absurd.
In what are truly troubling decisions, the Court determined that unenumerated federal Obamacare subsidies are, in fact, existent and also constitutional. A majority of the Court then held that gays can get married in any state they choose despite state law.
Where the Constitution expressly speaks to these issues, however, remains a mystery to most.
Interestingly, while conservatives simmer with feelings of betrayal and disgust, the DC establishment appears to be relaxing comfortably. Rest assured, after the Court released its decisions, congressional leaders John Boehner and Mitch McConnell had dodged major obstacles.
Why would this particular decision, which outraged conservatives, encourage them?
Because the Court had just handed them two bailouts.
First, had the Court struck down federal subsidies for the Affordable Care Act, Republicans were poised to pass legislation restoring them, a move that would have demonstrated to conservatives that many in the GOP are more concerned with saving Obamacare than they are with repealing it.
Second, the Court ruled it a fundamental Constitutional right in every state for gay couples to get married, which saved politicians from having to take a position on the issue.
The GOP leadership received just the political cover they needed. It’s now “the law of the land,” they said. Nothing to see here. Nothing left to be done.
Indeed, most establishment insiders breathed a sigh of relief, for the rulings take two controversial issues, as it did with abortion, forever out of the political realm and off their hands.
It should be obvious to every conservative, as well as to any reasonable citizen, that this present Court now considers itself a legislature, if not a deity, capable of deciding what the law should be, who can marry and where, and what subsidies the federal government can provide for a law such as Obamacare, which is itself unconstitutional, but also rewritten and upheld from on high.
Regardless of how one personally feels about Obamacare or gay marriage, the Supreme Court is not a legislature, nor was it ever designed to act as one. Under the Constitution, the federal judiciary only has the power to say what the law is, not what it should be.
It was originally designed to rule on cases brought before it regardless of politics, public opinion, or even a presidential election. Justices are supposed to act in regards to the Constitution only, not their own private thoughts, personal feelings or political whims. And that’s the primary reason they are allowed lifetime appointments.
When the Court begins rewriting legislation to rescue it or voiding state laws without Constitutional permission, however, then we all have to question if we are seeing a ruling class that has successfully grasped the reins of a runaway and uncontrollable government.
Thomas Jefferson, a leading proponent of decentralized power, recognized that any governmental entity permitted to judge the extent of its own authority (as the present Court has done) is one that would forever grow in size and scope.
That is why the federal judiciary was always such a great concern to him.
“You seem,” Jefferson wrote to William Jarvis in 1820, “to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed. . . Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. And their power is the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other [branches] are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots.”
He’s right, of course.
Justice Antonin Scalia put it more succinctly, in one of his dissents, noting that the Court’s “practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.”
These issues should have been decided by the states and the people, not nine unelected justices in DC.
And yet the establishment pretends it’s powerless to curb the Court’s abuses, hoping we won’t notice; because it’s more concerned with personal enrichment, party politics and political games.
With our republic slipping toward chaos, the cause of liberty has taken tremendous damage.
Once we have lost the ability to govern ourselves, we’ve lost the Republic.
Love didn’t win; lawlessness did.
Chris is an attorney, conservative commentator and was a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2014. He has represented the 42nd District, which encompasses part of South Mississippi, since 2008. He resides with his family in Ellisville, Mississippi. Find him on Twitter: @SenatorMcDaniel and on Facebook.