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July 03, 2006

Guilded Idiots

As usual, Mark Steyn harpoons the guilded idiocy of our institutional "elites."

H/T: Jonah

"The same kind of inspired jurisprudence conjuring trick that detected in the emanations of the penumbra how the Framers of the U..S Constitution cannily anticipated a need for partial-birth abortion and gay marriage has now effectively found a right to jihad — or, if you're a female suicide bomber about to board an Israeli bus, a woman's right to Jews."

I love the last phrase.

The Hamdan decision brings to my mind the bleatings of the MSM, Dems, RINOs and the rest of the usual suspects on the "dangers" of a "Unitary Executive." The phrase has come to mean an-out-of-control autocrat who threatens our freedom and embodies all the Founders thought so important to prevent in a viable republic (read: any elected US president who disagrees with the Left's view of the Separation of Powers or does anything they don't like when in power.)

So who's to stop what has become, in the most recent decades, the Unitary Judiciary? In practical terms, the United States is governed by 5 people--any 5 of the Supremes who decide to make shite up about: abortion, national defense, gay rights, treaty obligations and virtually anything our ELECTED representatives embody in federal law. Could it be that the only reason every standing law—enacted by the people through their elected and accountable representatives—isn't overturned by our "robed masters" (to borrow George Will's phrase) comes down to two: 1) They're not that interested in the subject; 2) they just haven't had time to get around to the subject yet?

Personally, I think we are in serious trouble when 5 unelected individuals decide, out of thin air, that our present laws don’t apply to our enemies when the Congress clearly meant them to and that literally centuries of precedent had until now UNANIMOUSLY held that the Executive (those would be: Washington, Lincoln, FDR and Bush II, up to now) has every right, in time of war, to hold enemy combatants until hostilities cease and to subject them to military justice when warranted. Moreover, it points to what even Thomas Jefferson saw as a glaring flaw in our system—the unchallenged authority of one Branch over the other two.

There are no practical checks and balances, at least none that I can see, on the decisions of the Supreme Court, no matter how fanciful their logic or distorted their interpretation of the Constitution. What the f*** is a “penumbra,” anyway? If the Constitution is “emanating” something, who’s to say The Five are wrong in “seeing” same in striking down or upholding a law? In essence, we are being jerked around by schizophrenics in funny clothes…whatever emanations they uncover, penumbras they discern or voices they hear in the night define our liberty. Sure, a Justice can be impeached, but that’s a very remote possibility, and certainly not a player (politically speaking) simply because his or her opinion runs counter to the desires of the President and Congress.

However, when legal travesties like Roe occur, in which the Supremes “nationalized” a medical procedure thus disenfranchising 50 state governments whose job it is to govern and monitor medical practice, and impose in a deeply anti-democratic way a fiat that flies in the face of national law and international treaty, as in Hamdan, well, I don’t know what to think. Except this: the Separation of Powers is under attack…and it’s a fairly successful campaign, so far.

Hamilton in The Federalist papers lamented an attempt to weaken the Executive, citing the need for a single individual who could make rapid decisions and take decisive action…to paraphrase, “ a weak leader makes for a weak government and a weak government makes for a bad government.” Fortunately, he was listened to and the Framers established a strong Executive while weaving in effective counterweights to that power in the Constitution. Though, alas, looks like they were caught napping when dealing with the courts.

Here’s a thought—let’s suppose Congress builds an Amendment that provides a means to overturn a SCOTUS decision under the premise that the missing element in the Separation doctrine is an ability to check the Judiciary’s power. They do so via, say, a supermajority vote of both Houses. I’d bet a month’s pay that, failing to defeat the effort politically, the elitists attack via the Judiciary. I don’t know if that’s possible—conceivably rising to the SCOTUS level in an attempt to block a national political effort to democratically amend the law of the land—but I’m pretty sure there will be a concerted attempt. Moreover (and this is the scary part), I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of today’s federal judiciary supported these reactionaries.

Dusty | Permalink | Comments (2) | General Commentary
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