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The dark tower of judicial tyranny

By Lisa Fabrizio
web posted March 7, 2005

They've done it again. It used be a shadowy penumbra, an ethereal emanation or simply the notion of a living, breathing document that enabled the Supreme Court of the United States to conform our Constitution to their schemes of social engineering. Now it is also to foreign jurisprudence that we must look.

Though they claim that other countries should not dictate their findings, they said, "the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty ... does provide respected and significant confirmation for [its] own conclusions."

In once again usurping the rights of the states to determine their own law, the SCOTUS has decided that seventeen year-olds can't take moral responsibility for murder but, in earlier decisions, that they are mature enough to decide, without parental notification, to get an abortion. It was abhorrent enough when they acted alone as judges and legislators, but now they've raised the bar.

In another brilliant yet easily readable opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia sums it up best:

"The Court thus proclaims itself sole arbiter of our Nation's moral standards--and in the course of discharging that awesome responsibility purports to take guidance from the views of foreign courts and legislatures. Because I do not believe that the meaning of our Eighth Amendment, any more than the meaning of other provisions of our Constitution, should be determined by the subjective views of five Members of this Court and like-minded foreigners, I dissent."

Though the long-term effects of this decision are chilling, the immediate effects will most likely be felt in the poorest and most vulnerable of our communities. The thugs and killers known as gang-bangers will accelerate their reign of terror, now free to utilize their youngest members to murder with capital impunity.

Meanwhile, the SCOTUS's relationship with the Constitution has become a kind of reverse ‘Picture of Dorian Gray' scenario. While the actual document in the National Archives remains a pristine work of republican principles and the sublime blueprint for self-rule worldwide, the working version has become as hideously disfigured as the portrait in Oscar Wilde's novel.

This nation was founded on the notion that our government derives its "just powers from the consent of the governed." We have gone from a nation governed by the people to one that is ruled by nine high priests of judicial supremacy, while the consent, or lack thereof, now rests with forty-odd obstructionists in the Senate. These two bodies of our government—not coincidentally the least answerable to the people—have dealt a grievous body blow to our Constitution.

In seeking to keep strict constructionists off the Federal bench, the current minority filibusters of judicial appointments are, as pointed out by many, an extra-Constitutional upping of the political ante, not to mention a dangerous precedent. By law, the Senate is to govern itself, so any imposition of the so-called Nuclear Option is well within its purview and indeed would merely call the Democrats' raise.

There is, though, another option at the Senate's disposal in the war on judicial tyranny. In Federalist #81, the framers of the Constitution considered the possibility of precisely the type of judicial mischief now underway, but felt the construct of their document would prevent it:

"There is not a syllable in the plan under consideration which directly empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution, or which gives them any greater latitude in this respect than may be claimed by the courts of every State."

However, in their brilliance, they still saw fit to provide the Congressional power of impeachment as the means to redress it:

"There never can be danger that the judges, by a series of deliberate usurpations on the authority of the legislature, would hazard the united resentment of the body intrusted with it, while this body was possessed of the means of punishing their presumption, by degrading them from their stations."

Our founders never imagined a Congress that would not perform its sworn duties or that a great many citizens of this country would be uninterested in, or uniformed of the way their government operates, so they were therefore quite confident that Congressional feet would always be held to the electoral fire.

Whether procedurally or through impeachment; whether duty-bound or threatened with election losses; the United States Congress must act before our black-robed usurpers join with the powdered wigs of Europe in the euthanasia of our most sovereign and supreme Constitution.

Lisa Fabrizio is a columnist who hails from Connecticut. You may write her at mailbox@lisafab.com.


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