Conservatives Claim to be Constitutional Strict Constructionists- Yeah, In a Pig’s Eye!
So what has turned my head on this lovely Sunday morning? I had today, 10/23/11, read an article entitled “GOP Candidates Would Cut Federal Judges Power”. I got quite incensed at the contents of this article for good reason. So, I guess that it is my turn to rant a little bit. Six of the 8 GOP presidential contenders say that they want to rein in what they see as the excessive power of Federal Judiciary. The other 2, who I call conservatives rather than right-wingers, were smart enough to keep their mouths shut.
Let’s start with a basic lesson or two in civics, shall we? The Supreme Court (Judicial Branch) is a fundamental provision to our way of government as framed by the ‘Founding Fathers’. It was put there as a check to the power of the other two branches, Legislative and Executive. This is pretty basic stuff that most of us learned in high school.
In Marbury v. Madison (1803), the Supreme Court ruled that the federal courts have the duty to review the constitutionality of acts of Congress and to declare them void when they are contrary to the Constitution
It would seem that I would not have to tell conservatives about basic constitutional tenets; after all they remind me all of the time about how strict constructionism is interpreted. I have spoken to fellow hubbers about the viability of repealing the 17th amendment, the popular election of senators. Of course, I disagree with the idea. Others say that President Obama operates routinely outside of the provisions of the constitution. This based on sour grapes about the New Deal, Great Society and Fair Deal themes inaugurated by progressive Chief Executives of the past. I say what I say much of the time, that their complaints have less to do with the Constitution and more to do with their political ideology and their desire to have it dominate American political discourse. I can hardly allow a handful of right-wingers to undermine the basic balance and protection provided by the Federal Courts.
Let’s look at some of the comments from those that would be King, in regard to the most fundamental principles of our Constitution:
Professor Newt Gingrich, who aspires to be the senior spokesman for the GOP and the conservative point of view, says that he would summon judges before Congress to explain their decisions and consider impeaching judges over their rulings. So, who does he think that he is? How can the 3 branches check each other when one branch can nullify the power of any of the others? He has obviously been reduced from scholarship to just another shamelessly cheap purveyor of red meat seasoned with scraps of the Constitution for added flavor on behalf of the ignorant masses to whom he hopes to appeal. He is a genius in line with: http://credence2.hubpages.com/hub/Baby-Boomer-Chronicles-Wile-E-Coyote-Super-Genius
Mr. Plain Speaking, Rick Perry says that there should be an end to lifetime tenure for Supreme Court Justices. Oh really? The court was created to make it possible for these men and women to focus on the constitutionality of cases brought before them. I don’t want them involved in politics and the pressures associated with appealing to the ridiculous tenets of rightwing fanatics. Somebody needs to ask Rick if there is anything under that 10 gallon hat of his. Time after time he seems to have a problem with speaking judiciously and appropriately. Perhaps it is time that he uses his head for something other than a hat rack.
I can’t leave out Ms. Michelle Bachmann, the inventor of the lie and misrepresentation. Oh yes, she said, “Congress should prevent the courts from getting involved in the fight over same-sex marriage, among other high-profile social issues”. Is that so, on what grounds? Again there is that conflict in the principle of separation of powers. If the legislature or the executive branches of government get out of line, then the court is obliged to get involved, regardless of whether Little Miss Smarty-pants approves or not.
What about the GOP flavor of the month, Herman Cain, What was it Michelle said? If you turn 999 around, you get 666! At a Tea Party forum in South Carolina in September, Republican candidate Herman Cain joined Bachmann and Gingrich in endorsing legislation that would overturn the high court's rulings declaring that women have a constitutional right to abortion. The proposal challenges the widely held view that Congress can't overrule the court's constitutional holdings. Again, these idiots seem to think that they can lord over an independent branch of our government. I guess if there is enough rightwing fervor, we can repeal the 14th amendment as well. These are decisions for the court to decide without interference.
Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have spouted much of the same nonsense to appeal to an ideology that is firmly based upon resentment. My progressive instincts naturally distrust the accumulation of power by one at the expense of the other. They know that most of the things that they want would never pass the smell test at the highest court of the land and most likely will never get the votes legislatively. Progressives are about enlightenment while Right-wingers rely on indoctrination, instead. The more controversial issues for the rightwing agenda will never pass nationally. We have the left coast, mid-Atlantic, New England and the upper Midwest, Wisconsin and Minnesota, Illinois. As of late, states in the Mountain West are not as “red” as they once were. States on the move, like Colorado and New Mexico are breaking the big red line. Of course when we say “Blue Hawaii” here, it refers to more than just the Michener novel. Then, there are the toss up states, and I will leave the conservatives with all of the rest. So, I tell right-wingers and conservatives both, you had better figure out an alternative method.
In my opinion, the Judicial Branch is the most important. While the others are subject to heat of politics, these men and women are free to operate above the fray. I don’t want that watered down in any way. These people who want to be my leader would chop up my Constitution to appeal to the cretin right-winger? This is unacceptable. Conservatives have told me honestly, that we do not need to legislate and rule from the bench as people will usually do the right thing. As a racial minority, after almost a century of slavery since the founding of the republic and another of “Jim Crow”, it most assuredly took a long time. It is all that much easier if you are not the one waiting for people to rise to their “better natures”. It took national and state legislatures an interminable amount of time to getting around to ‘doing the right thing’. Tradition, sexism and racism were not going to just disappear, but had to be rooted out and those that were comfortable with the status quo had to be made uncomfortable in interests of justice. I like the phrase that this society is based on the rule of majority with the consent of the minority. Whatever rights and privileges that I enjoy today as a member of a minority group, is due to the courts. So, I tell the right-winger to leave the court alone, I like it just as it is.