Yesterday, we lost a great friend of the US Constitution. Antonin Sclalia died at age 79. He understood that our liberty was protected only to the extent that the US Constitution, in it’s original meaning, was protected. Too many, today, fail to make that link.
Recently, some co-workers were discussing the upcoming presidential election and who they might vote for. One stated that he “wanted to hear the candidates say what they might do” before he made up his mind. I interrupted and said that “I don’t want him to DO anything, except support and defend the Constitution. The less he does, the better”. There was an awkward silence followed by “well, yeah”. The President’s Constitutional mandate is to execute the laws passed by the elected legislative branch. He is not a prime minister, who’s mandate is to suggest and guide legislation. Our founders knew what a prime minister was, and opted for a chief executive instead.
Our leaders, today, take an oath to support and defend the Constitution. (I’ve taken that oath as a Marine – an oath without a sunset.) But during the last part of the 19th century and into the 20th century, an idea developed that the Constitution was outdated and could be considered a “living” document, with whatever meaning a currently living people placed on it. This was Progressivism. President Obama proudly proclaims himself a progressive. And now he has the opportunity to seat someone on the Supreme Court who shares his ideas of changing rather than defending the US Constitution.
The Supreme Court justices, since Marberry v Madison, have taken for themselves the right of judicial review. Now, laws passed by elected representatives not only face a veto by the executive branch, they face being struck down by the judicial branch, a branch of government that has assumed final power. And they are Olympians, an “intellectual elite that believes that it enjoys superior enlightenment and that it’s business is to spread this benefit to those living on the lower slopes of human achievement.”(1) “They display a ‘formal adherence’ to democracy…with no commitment to taking serious notice of what the people actually think.” (2)
Like the gods on Mt. Olympus, the elite are not mere mortals, subject to the laws of nature and nature’s God, but instead preserve the people from themselves by writing laws for them. Since the people cannot be trusted to govern themselves, they need a superior group to override their decisions when necessary.
Justice Scalia, despite being a very modern man, knew the value of understanding and defending the original meaning of the US Constitution, and that the “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” (3) And we the people have elected a Progressive President, who may now, seat a new god on Mt. Olympus.
Elections matter. The Heller decision, and the Chicago v McDonald decisions were 5-4, with Justice Scalia in the majority. We might see those reversed in the future, and with the reversal, the beginning of a ban on our firearms, and the loss of our freedom. A disarmed people is a subject people. That’s the original intent behind the words, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”(4)
Goodbye Justice Scalia, goodbye friend of the US Constitution.
(1) Minogue “Christophobia and the West The New Criterion 21 (June 2003)
(3) 10th Amendment to the US Constitution
(2) 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution