Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Rule of lawyers

Tony Blankley (via Power Line):

When a Supreme Court justice feels it necessary to write as the closing words of his opinion that he still holds fidelity to the Constitution, it is more than reasonable to assume he knows he has just betrayed that sacred document. But at least he has vouchsafed his popularity at liberal cocktail parties for another year.

Deacon adds:

Scalia is right -- words have no meaning to this Court. The law is what a handful of self-aggrandizing old men and women think it should be, without regard to text and without meaningful deference to the democratic processes.

I wonder at what point citizens start to ask themselves: If the highest court in the nation feels the freedom to disregard the law whenever it suits, why can't I?

Also, to what extent is democracy a facade if nine people can veto any publicly-supported measure passed by legislatures and signed by a president or governor? This reminds me of dialogue in the movie Gladiator between Emperor Commodus and his sister Lucilla, on whether or not to abolish the Roman Senate:

Lucilla: Leave the people their...

Commodus: ...illusions?

Lucilla: Traditions.

I realize that I am not a legal scholar, and that there are Constitutional considerations that mitigate against the high court having to uphold whatever passing fancy is held by 50.1% of the people. But if those considerations are not evident to me, then they are probably not evident to other non-lawyers either. It would help if the current Court could articulate some rational, objective set of criteria by which laws in America are spiked on the basis of other considerations, but perhaps the SCUSA is awaiting direction from their colleagues on the Continent or in the UN for that. Or maybe the Revisionist Five know exactly what they're doing but don't dare say it.