JIM CREES: Who made them the deciders?
Members of the Supreme Court of the United States really have upset a whole bunch of people — including presidential candidates vying for a spot on either a primary ballot, or the general election ballot.
Rulings have been made this most recent session on a whole stream of issues including Obamacare subsidies, three cases dealing with environmental law, fair housing discrimination, a case involving religious signs and free speech, religious freedom in prison, a case concerned with the drawing of congressional maps, and the use of lethal injection in executions.
And, of course, the same-sex marriage ruling REALLY got folks fired up.
As the justices in the Supreme Court made their decisions, and especially when they offered the SCOTUS opinion on marriage equality, an enormous hue and cry was raised led by a gaggle of people who really should know better.
All and sundry complained about “nine robed lawyers” or a group of “unelected judges” who were determining the law of the land.
“Who,” commentators cried, “Who made these guys the final arbitrators???”
For all you exasperated Constitutionalists out there, it was the Constitution!
In 1789, the Constitution of the United States established the Supreme Court and the duties and powers of the court are carefully laid out and described in Article Three of the Constitution. (By the way, the Supreme Court is the only court so created by the Constitution.)
Justices of the Supreme Court have been the final “deciders” of the legitimacy and Constitutionality of laws since the court first met in session in February, 1790.
What I find interesting is how an individual’s outlook on life so quickly determines how they gauge the functioning of the Supreme Court - or any court for that matter.
To some, when the justices decided 5-to-4 on the marriage equality issue, the SCOTUS became a panel of advocate “robed lawyers” dragging the nation into perdition and destroying civilization as we know it.
But if one vote had been different - if the decision had been 4-to-5 rather than the opposite - the same people would have declared the justices a panel of enlightened judges doing the will of God and championing the American Way.
Democrats and Republicans alike see the justices as siding with this or that personal belief and find them to be either messengers of the Almighty or the Seed of Satan.
Sigh. And then ... the politicians ...
Former governor of Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, one of the GOP candidates for a spot on the 2016 ballot, noted, “The Supreme Court has spoken with a very divided voice on something only the Supreme Being can do — redefine marriage. I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.”
And Rev. Huckabee, I need to ask. If the Supreme Being did decide to redefine marriage as you say only He can do so, how would that message be sent, and would you be listening?
And, again, had one justice voted differently Huckabee would be crowing about the Hand of God leading our nation.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, also a Republican presidential hopeful, declared, “This decision will pave the way for an all out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians who disagree with this decision. This ruling must not be used as pretext by Washington to erode our right to religious liberty.”
Another presidential candidate, neurosurgeon Ben Carson cried “The government must never force Christians to violate their religious beliefs.”
When did that ever come up???
Still, had one justice voted differently, the Supreme Court would have been declared the helpmeet of God.
It’s just so ...shallow.
If you believe the justices are the Spawn of Satan because of the marriage equality issue, then they also need to be defined as “advocate judges” on lethal injection, environmental policy, affirmative action and on the issues decided that are near and dear to your heart.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, at the end of the day, the Supreme Court justices determine the Constitutionality of a law. They do not define moral policy.
A little Civics 101 would probably help a lot of people avoid some serious heartburn.
And the fact the Supreme Court determined it was Constitutionally wrong to discriminate against a married couple based on their gender does not mean you will soon be forced into a same-sex marriage yourself, just as the court’s decision on the legality of some forms of lethal injection doesn’t mean you are going to be executed any time soon.