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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

A Conservative Supreme Court Must Deliver

After the confirmation of now Justice Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court, Susan Collins was widely lauded by republicans and conservatives alike for her speech before the U.S. Senate. As she announced her support for Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, I, like many others, was also very grateful to hear her condemn the hideous tactics employed by democrats to keep him off the highest court in America.

While I agree with and like much of what Senator Collins said in her Friday afternoon speech, I did not enjoy or appreciate her emphasis on “precedent” as she tried to persuade her audience that a Justice Kavanaugh would be no real threat to Roe.

I’m under no illusions when it comes to Senator Collins’ sad position on the supposed “right” to kill children in the womb. It is possible that, in spite of her speech, she’s under no illusions about the very real threat Justice Kavanaugh poses to Roe. Perhaps Senator Collins just heard what she wanted to hear in her talks with Judge Kavanaugh.

Perhaps she was just providing herself political cover if the current court indeed reverses the tragedy that is Roe v. Wade. Or, perhaps Justice Kavanaugh was just careful enough with his language that he was able to provide Senator Collins answers that would comfort her without revealing anything about how he might actually vote on any issue. (Per the “Ginsburg Rule,”—or, more accurately, the “Biden Rule”—and the Model Code of Judicial Conduct, U.S. Senators well know that nominees to the Supreme Court are under no obligation to reveal how they would vote in matters that might come before them.)

Whatever Senator Collins’ real thoughts on Justice Kavanaugh, many of us who voted for Mr. Trump were very pleased with the confirmation of another conservative federal judge, especially one that should play a significant role in decidedly putting a stop to the left’s misguided use of the courts as some sort of “unelected super-legislature,” and thus return the Supreme Court to its proper role in our government. In other words, in spite of what Senator Collins implied, Justice Kavanaugh cannot be a clone of Anthony Kennedy.

What’s more, a conservative court—one that is dedicated to “conserving” an originalist (read: “proper”) view of the Constitution—should indeed reverse much of what the left has achieved via rogue federal courts. This certainly includes, but is by no means limited to, nationwide abortion on demand and a perverse legal redefinition of marriage.

Note that, while defending the legal right to kill children in the womb, those like Senator Collins often refer to Roe as “long-established precedent,” but while defending the legal right to same-sex “marriage,” they declare 2015’s Obergefell—a recent and precarious 5-4 ruling—as an “important landmark precedent.” Thus, either way, “precedent” rules the day.

Speaking of “precedent,” there is nothing with as much precedent as marriage being the union of one man and one woman for life. As I’ve often noted, marriage is the oldest institution in the history of humanity—older than God’s covenant with the nation of Israel, older than The Law, older than the church. Marriage is one of the earliest truths revealed by God. As the first three chapters of Genesis reveal, before we were even aware of the preciousness of life—because there was no death—humans were made aware of what is marriage.

In spite of what Susan Collins would have us believe, when it came to legally redefining the oldest legal “precedent” in the history of humanity, liberals on the Supreme Court found it perfectly sufficient to overturn a long-established precedent because “five current justices believed” they were right, and history, the Bible, and long-established overwhelmingly popular human law was wrong.

One gets the feeling that those on the left view as “precedent” any opinion that sits well with a liberal worldview. This is because much of what modern liberalism holds dear was not achieved via the ballot box or through the legislatures, but through judicial tyranny. Winning elections and actually achieving law the way our founders intended has proven far too difficult for liberals and the party they own. Thus, the courts have long been a favorite tool of the modern left. It’s time for leftists to learn: what the courts giveth, the courts can taketh away.

No doubt this is why the behavior of those opposed to Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation was so abhorrently evil. Not “crazy,” as so many have been quick to say, but evil. If you thought it was bad during the Kavanaugh confirmation, just wait until a 5-4 decision overturns Roe or Obergefell.

Nevertheless, the courts should be above such intimidation and fear. Jurists dedicated to a constitutional view of our laws cannot allow erroneous views of precedent, the courts, law, and the Constitution to prevail because of how those on the unhinged left might react.

It is sometimes said that “politics is downstream from culture.” Others insist that such a view is “profoundly mistaken,” because “politics is a part of culture.” Whatever the case, our courts should be as free as possible (because judges are human beings, the courts will never be completely blind to politics or culture) from influence by political or cultural forces. Otherwise we end up with such absurd notions as a “living Constitution” and the law is whatever a five-vote majority on the highest court in the land says it is.

As the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia—who repeatedly stood against such nonsense—said, “the Constitution is not an organism, it is a legal document…(it) is an enduring document but not a ‘living’ one, and its meaning must be protected and not repeatedly altered to suit the whims of society.”

Conservatives like myself have long waited for this to be the prevailing view of the highest court in our land. With the confirmation and swearing in of Justice Kavanaugh, it is time for the conservatives on the Supreme Court to deliver.

Copyright 2018, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

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