To The Daily Sun,
In September 1996, the legislation called the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was signed into law by President Clinton. This law was enacted in Congress by the duly elected representatives of the people of the United States. The vote in favor was 342-67 in the House and 85-14 in the Senate, an overwhelming mandate of 83 percent and 85 percent respectively. It should be noted that these margins of yeas over nays easily surpassed the required two-thirds acceptance in both House and Senate to have passed a Constitutional Amendment had they attempted to do so.
Now, in June 2015, the Court has struck down this mandate, not by a vote of the people's representatives, but by an oligarchy of nine Supreme Court justices, politically appointed for life and not answerable to the electorate, by a 5-4 vote. This monumental landmark decision ultimately rested on one Justice, Anthony Kennedy, swinging the whole matter out of the hands of the four liberal Justices (Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagen) and four conservative Justices (Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Alito).
Justice William Brennan, who served on the Court for 34 years between 1956 and 1990, when asked what the most important principle of the court was, responded with the now famous remark, "Five! The law of five. With five votes you can do anything!" Justice does not have to be an ingredient. "Smoking gun" evidence of this will follow near the end of this discourse.
The author has just watched two video clips from 2008 and 2012 of President Obama affirming his belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. Also, was a clip from 2012 showing Hillary Clinton affirming the same belief. The president has followed a convoluted path that has taken him through opposition and ambivalence to enthusiastic embrace. Rainbow colors illuminating the White House even.
Hillary, as a current presidential candidate, has reversed her more than two decades of support for traditional marriage. These are seen by apologists as progression rather than deception. Many could argue that in the timing of all this, political expediency has played a part, of which both are ultimate masters.
President Obama holds an enormous amount of raw persuasive power in multitudes of ways. One of his trump cards, one that history has shown can manifest a president's agenda for decades, even generations, is judicial appointments. Supreme Court decisions have had a major impact on the way the nation functions down through the ages, both positive and negative.
Our judiciary is at the same time a strength and a flaw in our system. Thomas Jefferson, himself an enigma as an egalitarian in principle but not in practice, nonetheless had these wise words of prophetic advice:
"To consider the judges as the ultimate arbitrators of all constitutional questions is a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and for the privilege of their corps and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal."
From James Madison, chief architect of the Constitution and the major force behind the adoption of the Bill of Rights, comes a similar warning:
"The preservation of a free government requires not merely, that the metes and bounds which separate each department of power be invariably maintained; but more especially that neither of them be suffered to overlap the great barrier which defends the rights of the people. The rulers who are guilty of such an encroachment, exceed the commission from which they derive their authority, and are tyrants. The people who submit to it are governed by laws made neither by themselves nor by an authority derived from them and are slaves."
And from Abraham Lincoln in this first inaugural address:
"I do not forget the position assumed by some that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court... At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed the instant they are made ... the people will have ceased to be their own rulers ... having resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal."
Court rulings have been all too frequently rendered not based on justice or the merits of the case, nor upon the eloquence or skill of the lawyers but instead have far too often been based upon the political preferences and the personal agendas of the majority members of the court and/or upon their liberal or conservative leanings. The history of the court reveals an uncanny ability of this eminent tribunal at times to maneuver with amazing dexterity around what should obviously be just conclusions to pronounce rulings blatantly absurd and unjust. Many of these decisions have had a profound negative effect on the lives, the liberty and the pursuit of happiness of millions of "We the people."
The following is "smoking gun evidence" of this fact. We start with the Dred Scott case in 1858, one of the most blatantly unjust rulings of all time. After the Civil War, the 13th Amendment freed the slaves, the 14th guaranteed equal protection under the law and the 15th guaranteed voting rights for blacks. The latter two were all but ignored in a large part of our nation for the next century because of a series of unjust and now unconstitutional Supreme Court rulings over time denying civil rights and permitting segregation to flourish.
The matter should have been settled with the legislated Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875 and the Enforcement Acts of 1870 and 1871, the latter permitting federal intervention in cases of violence and abuse when the states offered no redress. But the court struck down these acts in blatant displays of unjust and now unconstitutional raw judicial power.
Redress began with the 1954 Brown vs Board of Education case and was finally anchored in with the Civil Rights act of 1964. These and other rulings reinstated the tenets and principles the court had earlier struck down. The court had denied the very rights they were sworn to protect.
The eviction of God from government, public domain and education beginning with the Everson vs Board of Ed case in 1947 and the legalizing of abortion in Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton in 1973 are prime examples of legislation from the bench bypassing the people and their elected representatives. These and the multitude of following case litigations continue to profoundly affect the way our entire nation lives and functions.
The fate of such vital issues as the expression of our faith, marriage and the lives of millions of unborn children, wanted or unwanted, is out of the hands of "We the People" and our elected representatives and into the hands of a politically appointed oligarchy with tenure for life, not answerable to either the people or their representatives.
- Category: Letters
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