The cliche that a picture is worth a thousand words was never more true than Friday when gay rights activists carried signs proclaiming “Case Closed.” Whatever people think about the issue of “marriage equality”, one thing that last week verified is that the US Supreme Court stopped being a legal institution. It’s now just another political branch of government.
This part of Justice Scalia’s minority opinion expressed what’s wrong with the marriage equality ruling:
Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact, and the furthest extension one can even imagine, of the Court’s claimed power to create “liberties” that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves.
What’s sad is that 5 elitists said that they, not the traditional political branches of government, had the authority to determine what rights the Constitution gives people. Lest there be some celebrating from the left, they should remember that a government big enough to give people rights is powerful enough to strip people of those rights if it suits the government’s agenda.
As frightening as that thought is, that isn’t what frightens Justice Scalia most. This does:
The five Justices who compose today’s majority are entirely comfortable concluding that every State violated the Constitution for all of the 135 years between the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification and Massachusetts’ permitting of same-sex marriages in 2003. They have discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment a “fundamental right” overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since.
The hubris in these 5 justices’ (Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, Breyer and Kennedy) ruling is driven by their elitist beliefs. They’ve strayed so far from the framework that the Founding Fathers created that they think that they can do whatever they want.
Chief Justice Roberts’ ruling in King v. Burwell is another instance where elitism trumped clearly written statutes. Roberts took it upon himself to defend the indefensible. Congress wrote the Affordable Care Act the way that they did to pressure states into creating their own exchanges. When 30+ states told the federal government to take a hike, it put Congress in a tough spot.
Enter Chief Justice Roberts, aka President Obama’s and the Democrats’ political savior. He wrote what Jonathan Gruber wasn’t even willing to say in a quiet moment: that subsidies should be given to everyone that fit into that income bracket.
Shame on Chief Justice Roberts for letting Democrats off the hook for their unconstitutional power grab. That’s the definition of elitism.
A constitutional republic can’t long survive the frequent governance of elitists.