If you take a tour of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, you eventually reach
a relatively small room in the basement. It is the old Supreme Court.
Prior to getting its own building across the street, the Supreme Court used to
be housed under the building in which our federal lawmakers gather,
deliberate, and vote. The symbolic significance of this, of course, is that
we govern ourselves. Our elected representatives, who are accountable to us,
pass laws. Judges don t. They simply judge whether an existing law
has been violated in a particular case, by particular parties.
Or at least that s what they re supposed to do.
We live in an age of judicial activism, or as some have called it,
judicial tyranny. Judges are striking down laws and writing new ones left
and right, without precedent and without reason. For example, the Supreme Court
decision Engel v. Vitale in 1962 attacked the longstanding tradition of
school prayer, declaring that a voluntary, non-denominational prayer in a public
school was unconstitutional. The Court failed to cite a single precedent to
justify its prohibition. "For 170 years following the ratification of the
Constitution and Bill of Rights, no Court had ever struck down any prayer, in
any form, in any location" (Barton, Original Intent, p. 159).
Things went downhill from there, in many different decisions. In 1973, the
Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions unleashed the abortion
holocaust. In his dissent, Justice Byron White issued the famous assertion that
the Court delivered "an exercise of raw judicial power…an improvident and
extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review."
Now the Courts are tampering with the very nature of marriage as a union
between man and woman.
The Founding Fathers knew the dangers of a Court system that would try to
take control of the rest of the government. Thomas Jefferson wrote, "[T]he germ
of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal
Judiciary;…working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and
a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field
of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped" (Bergh, Writings of Thomas
Jefferson, Vol. XV, pp. 331-332).
The Founders established three distinct branches of government -- the
legislative, executive, and judicial -- and made it clear that "each of the
three departments has equally the right to decide for itself what is its duty
under the Constitution, without any regard to what the others may have decided
for themselves under a similar question" (Thomas Jefferson, ibid., p.215). In
other words, the President and members of Congress pledge to uphold the
Constitution, not the Court s opinion of the Constitution.
Little by little, Americans are waking up to judicial tyranny, and are
calling for a change. It is time to make this a key election issue and to choose
leaders who understand that the people, not the courts, decide the direction our
national policies will take.