Thursday, July 21, 2005

CE: Robed In Humility?

Hat tip to Southern Appeal for E.L. Core's Robed In Humility? for Catholic Exchange's "The Edge" He offers an excellent summary of the problems presented by the behavior of today's SCOTUS. He also offers insight into why Judge Roberts may be part of the solution. First, the problem:
A vivid phrase has been used to describe the Supreme Court of the United States: "nine scorpions in a bottle." If only they would stay there. But they do not. They have been, as a body, insinuating themselves into every aspect of everybody's everyday life, usurping matters of policy that by right belong to the other branches of the federal government, and matters of law that by right ought to belong to state and local governments. Like the incoming tide that slowly advances farther with each passing minute, quietly inundating low-lying levels until the unwary might find themselves surrounded by water, the Supreme Court has arrogated unto itself more and greater power, inch by inch, decade after decade, generation after generation.
Why did it come to this? In a word, precedents:
Careful observers noted that neither decision should have surprised anybody. Why? Because they followed logically (so to speak) upon previous decisions of the court. Thus, the justices have effectively replaced the federal constitution with their own ipse dixit: they have established their own rulings — their own preferences, if you will — as the supreme law of the land.

Moreover, they do this willy-nilly. For sailors, any port in a storm; for justices, any excuse they can manufacture in a case. In 1992, for instance, one reason the court declined to overturn Roe v. Wade (the decision that had invalidated state laws against abortion) was that society is so divided over the issue; in 2003, the court overturned Bowers v. Hardwick (which had allowed an anti-sodomy statute to stand) partly because — because — because — because — because — society is so divided over the issue. (Confer.)

Here is how it works. Like-minded justices on the court cobble together a majority: If they want to approve something, they find an excuse to do so; if they want to not approve something, they find an excuse to not do so. Since we have allowed them to make their rulings the supreme law of the land, what excuse(s) they come up with are irrelevant. And they know it.
So how is Judge Robert's the solution? Well, he follows a judicial philosophy that may please the Founders:
Judge Roberts apparently agrees that it wasn't supposed to be this way. Here is part of his written answer, dated Febuary 11, 2003, to a written question from Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) during the confirmation process for Roberts's appointment as a judge of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals:

"Deciding the case calls for an appreciation of both the strengths and shortcomings of the adversary system, adherence to precedent and reliance on the traditional tools of the judicial craft, and openness to the wisdom offered by colleagues on a panel. It also requires an essential humility grounded in the properly limited role of an undemocratic judiciary in a democratic republic, a humility reflected in doctrines of deference to legislative policy judgments and embodied in the often misunderstood term "judicial restraint." That restraint does not mean that judges should not act against the popular will — the Framers expected them "calmly to poise the scales of justice," as Judge William Cranch put it, even "in dangerous times." But it does mean that, in doing so, they should be ever mindful that they are insulated from democratic pressures precisely because the Framers expected them to be discerning the law, not shaping policy. That means the judges should not look to their own personal views or preferences in deciding the cases before them. Their commission is no license to impose those preferences from the bench."

My goodness. A measured, well-reasoned reply that asserts the requirement of humility. Might one be forgiven for suspecting that the mere mention of humility might stick hard in the craw of a senator? And might one have some grounds for hope that the tide might soon be turning?
I share Mr. Core's enthusiasm. A judicial oligarchy is unconstitutional. Unfortunately, the only accepted authority on matters constitutional remains this Oligarchy we call SCOTUS. The Legislative and Executive branches may only check the Judicial branch by appointment and confirmation of Justices that will then hold the Court to Constitutionally accountable decisions. Judge Roberts looks like that kind of Justice at the present time.

Unfortunately, many Reasonable elites within the Democratic party are loathe to give up the Oligarchy. Sure, it hiccops an embarrasing decision like Kelo v. New London. However, this is a small price to pay for defending the righteous worship of Moloch through the Sacrament of Abortion. The Great-I-Am Absolute Individual deserves no less. Since Judge Roberts may be a threat to this, he can't be allowed a seat on the Bench. Period.

The cognitive dissonence of those that hold such a perspective is hard to underestimate. They support the continued erosion of Judicial respect, constitutional authority and the Rule of Law in the name of all three. They destroy what they claim they honor. Indeed, the very reasoning they employ to justify their contradictory behavior undermines the very rights to which they base their worship of Moloch. If only the strong determine who receives human rights, then the right kind of strongmen can deny any one any rights anytime. Including the precious right to privacy that the Reasonable are so determined to protect. They sow the seeds of the weed that will eventually choke the life out of their precious flower, and they do it claiming they're protecting it. This Fool can't help but laugh at the bizzareness of it all. However, my laughter is bitter-sweet. For children still die while these Reasonable folk fiddle.

May enough Fools in the senate accept Mr. Core's diagnosis and treatment for the illness that has plagued our society. I pray that Judge Roberts may be the vanguard of new Justices that finally return SCOTUS to the role in which it belongs: evercising the balance of law, not the creation of policy. Bring the Oligarchy down. Return the Republic. Now!