This summer, the Supreme Court decided two separate First Amendment cases by the narrow margin of five votes to four.
At issue were the right to religious freedom and the right of association. These cases plainly illustrate the blatant disregard for their oath of office; the refusal to recognize the separation of powers of our governmental system; and the seemingly total ignorance to the purpose of their very existence, vis-a-vis judicial review, that several U.S. Supreme Court justices have repeatedly exhibited.
In a free country no person or organization should be forced to provide birth control for another person. That would be a violation of their freedom to choose not to mention their personal property rights. The pro-abortion supporters are known as pro-choice, but I guess when it comes to choosing between being forced to pay for an employee's birth control and not paying, they conveniently forget about this free choice concept.
In a free country no person should be forced to join, finance, or fraternize with anyone or any organization. That would be a violation of their First Amendment protections regarding freedom of speech and association. Yet, millions of Americans are forced by law to financially support unions, with dues and agency service or fair share fees. Thomas Jefferson put it best when saying, "To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."
These are the two principles that I will use to demonstrate how the protections against tyranny that the Founding Fathers put in place have all but vanished.
The Supreme Court is divided between two factions. The originalists often referred to as conservatives, who believe constitutional interpretation should mirror and be consistent with what was meant by those who drafted and ratified it. They believe the Constitution is a static foundation on which you build a society.
The second faction is known as judicial activists, AKA the liberals. They believe their decisions should be based on ideological, societal, personal or political considerations rather than adhering to the letter and spirit of the law.
When a new justice is sworn in they vow to defend the Constitution. Their oath of office states: "I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me under the Constitution and laws of the United States; and that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic..."
That is stated in plain English, is easily understood as to exactly what they are promising to do, and in fact mirrors the originalists (conservatives) understanding of their responsibility.
The first case we will examine is Hobby Lobby v Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services. Under the Affordable Care Act, companies are required to provide female employees with cost-free access to 18 different forms of contraception. Hobby Lobby sued to opt out of the so called contraceptive mandate. The penalty for not covering the birth control methods it finds objectionable would have been $100 per day for each of its 13,000 employees.
A contraceptive mandate? Where in the Constitution does it give the federal government the authority to force upon anyone, whether an individual or group of stockholders, the duty to provide birth control for another American?
Notwithstanding any religious objections the provider may have, this is a flagrant over-reach of government power.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan voted to uphold the mandate. The ruling took 95 pages, 35 of those the dissenting opinion with no mention of the Constitutionality of the provision. If the Supreme Court was abiding by their oath of office, the opinion wouldn't need to be 95 pages long.
All that would be needed is the passage "according to article such-and-such, section such-and-such of the U.S. Constitution; the federal government is empowered to" and fill in the question at hand. But the Constitution does not give the federal government the authority to demand that one provide contraception for another, thus the need for multiple pages of twisted logic legalese in an attempt to justify their malfeasance.
The second case, Harris v Quinn, tested whether home health care workers, who work primarily for their disabled or elderly customers, should be forced to pay dues to the Service Employees International Union. The question should have been, under what definition of freedom is one required to join a labor union or at the very least pay union dues as a condition of their continued employment?
Is this not a violation of the inalienable "Right of Association." If the law forced everyone to join the Ku Klux Klan or pay dues to the Klan to keep their job, how do you think the Supreme Court would rule? To some, being associated with a union is no less egregious than being associated with the Klan and structurally there is very little difference between being forced to support either. And yet four Supreme Court justices ignored the right of association in casting their votes.
Supreme Court justices were never intended to be interpreters of "societal will." They are interpreters of the application of the Constitution and the constitutionality of the laws.
Regrettably, it is just this "living constitution" theory that some justices maintain empowers them to ignore the obvious, to anyone who can speak the English language, meaning of the Constitution and to instead interject their personal ideology in their quest to impose their version of social engineering on all of us.
By definition, a constitution is meant to be static. A stable jurisprudence ensures a reliable and predictable justice, yet proves inconvenient for those who want transform society without the burden of the legislative process. This is why the living constitution insanity was invented. The Hope and Change crowd were failing to get the laws passed that would subject all of us to their societal vision.
Instead of using the cumbersome legitimate processes to make the changes they desire, they rely on the courts and judges who share their views to make law from the bench. The Founders gave us a process to change our Constitution if need be. It is the amendment process, not unconstitutional legislation or judicial activism.
Not only do Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor perpetually disregard their sworn duty to uphold the Constitution, Congress is complicit in this crime by not holding them to their oath and impeaching them if they refuse. It is not news to anyone that we have a spineless Congress whose only objective is to maintain the status quo that favors the reelection of incumbents.
But by allowing the separation of powers to disintegrate by refusing to stop the courts and the administration from assuming legislative powers will eventually destroy our country.
Read Jack Loesch's web site at www.TorchNFork.info.
He may be reached at: TorchNFork@frontier.com.