There’s a certain sadness connected to what one sees happening in the nation now. Never in the history of anyone living now have circumstances converged such as is the case now to actually strike fear in the minds of those who have watched the nation rise to the heights vis-à-vis all the other nations, which, like it or not, have witnessed to the fact that the United States has been the only “superpower” since 1990.
Despite the nation’s ascendance based on the freedom of its citizens to become entrepreneurs, create jobs, produce and inculcate technological miracles, and thrive via the notion that brains and brawn, with virtually no restrictions, can accomplish anything, this country is now wallowing in a societal mire almost exclusively formed by either incompetence or corruption – or both – on the part of elected officials and their partners in crime on every level.
Not since Harry Truman attempted to nationalize the railroads in the late 1940s has anything similar to be seen…until now. Due to laziness/stupidity/corruption/opportunism by both Congresspersons and the administration, President Obama has nationalized the banking system, lending agencies, financial institutions, and the auto industry.
The Congress, besides not furnishing oversight of the financial institutions, has actually engaged through recent years in encouraging people to drive themselves so deeply in debt that they’ve lost everything, including especially their houses, in trying to dig their way out. The result involves, besides bankruptcies and total loss of confidence in nearly every institution, unemployment rates higher than they’ve been in decades, with not much light at the end of the tunnel. Whereas before industries and financial institutions – admittedly with some government help occasionally such as in the S&L crisis of the late 80s – were able to establish firm economical ground in relatively short periods of time, now those entities are at the mercy of a government noted for its ability to mess-up everything it touches.
There’s a danger now that’s perhaps greater than the economic crisis. It’s couched in this recent announcement by President Obama in a White House briefing room: “I will seek someone who understands that justice isn’t about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook. It is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people’s lives.” He was discussing his imminent appointment of a justice to the Supreme Court, occasioned by the also imminent resignation of Justice Souter.
Obama is, or was, or at least supposedly was, a law-school professor in the field of Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago. In these two statements, he made it plain that he expects to appoint activist judges, not interpreters of the laws of the land vis-à-vis the Constitution. The latter group, as presumably should be the case, looks at laws objectively, without any personal prejudices, and forms decisions, often by examining precedents (casebook).
By definition, this makes the job of the court a continual dealing with “abstract legal theories,” such theories defining the rights and privileges, as well as the restrictions, concerning all citizens. The daily realities of people’s lives are not the business of the court, though the court decides often where and how those realities are affected by the Constitution. If the people, acting through their representatives, feel the need to change the Constitution with respect to the realities of people’s lives, they can do so, but the Court may not.
The trend in recent years has been for judges to simply make law from the bench when it suits their purpose…or perhaps a mere whim. The people of California passed an amendment to the State Constitution recently to the effect that marriage is only between a man and a woman, but a judge in a California city decided to overturn it…and did. His decision won’t hold, but he was not dumb enough to believe it would. He just did it because he could – or thought he could. The same thing happened in Vermont. This is just one example.
In his vote as a senator against the nomination of Chief Justice Roberts, Obama said this: “Adherence to precedent and rules of construction and determination will only get you through the 25th mile of the marathon.” Problem: The only mile that actually counts is the 26th mile. It makes no difference how the rules of construction and determination are applied to the first 25 – as they should be – if they are disregarded in the last mile.
Obama is actually saying that he intends to appoint judges who will make law from the bench – presumably law as he conceives of it. His litmus test, notwithstanding all the demurrals concerning same, will be whether or not his appointee(s) to the court will carry out his agenda, which, as is obviously and well documented to be that the nation must devolve into socialism, will simply be a “yes” or “no” by the appointee. Already, the die is cast in the Washington consensus that the judge will be appointed per the “quota system,” not according to picking “the brightest and best.”
Obama is likely to have the opportunity to appoint more than one judge – maybe even three – to the bench. This means that a strict interpretation of the Constitution will no longer be a possibility. He will also appoint new judges to the appeals courts, with their consequent activist decisions being upheld by an activist SCOTUS. Even successful legislation to turn these judges around, besides being deadly slow of achievement, can be misinterpreted by an activist court, leaving the country in the hands of perhaps a president, a woefully inept Congress, and a handful of activist judges pushing the president’s agenda.
Yes, this is a sad time.