This month has certainly been one for the history books. The Supreme Court effectively saved the Obama presidency by its rulings on Obamacare and so-called same-sex marriage. Lots of folks are happy, especially the media and talk show commentators and advertisers who can hardly contain their delight in having to cover the controversies surround the court rulings.
While the two blockbuster rulings have been and will continue to be dissected and discussed at length, as they should, here are a few observations.
First, Chief Justice Roberts justified the high court’s extra-constitutional lifeboat for Obamacare, and then chastised it for providing the same for so-called same-sex marriage. What’s up with that? While he acknowledged that the plaintiffs had strong arguments about the plain meaning of the contested words, he asserted that they must be understood as part of a larger statutory plan. “In this instance,” he wrote, “the context and structure of the act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase.” (New York Times)
What seems more plausible to me is that the majority personally favor of Obamacare, and therefore used every device to keep it afloat. Regardless, based on that clear statement by the chief justice, would you say the court willfully ignored the exact wording of the law to arrive at their opinion?
I thought so.
Next up was the so-called same-sex marriage case. Here, Chief Justice Roberts was in the dissenting minority, and wrote the following.
“The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent. The majority expressly disclaims judicial ‘caution’ and omits even a pretense of humility, openly relying on its desire to remake society
according to its own ‘new insight’ into the ‘nature of injustice.’ Ante, at 11, 23. As a result, the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia… Just who do we think we are?” (Ruling | Hat tip Business Insider)
“It can be tempting for judges to confuse our own preferences with the requirements of the law.” Roberts added, “But as this Court has been reminded throughout our history, the Constitution ‘is made for people of fundamentally differing views.’” Lochner v. New York, 198 U. S. 45, 76 (1905) (Holmes, J., dissenting).
If only Chief Justice Roberts had kept this foremost in mind and ruled accordingly on Obamacare.
Previous columns of mine have criticized Obamacare and argued against legalizing same-sex unions. With regard to the former, it is at best a legislative hack job, the craftsmanship of which is unworthy of the most powerful legislative body in the world. Pieced together in relative short order to take full advantage of the Democratic Party’s control of the White House and Congress, it will prove to be a costly mistake that future generations will regret, and have to bail out. Instead of effectively sending it back to Congress because its wording is unconstitutional, Chief Justice Roberts and the rest of the majority instead decided to play editor-in-chiefs.
Likewise, the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of so-called same-sex marriage is a judicial social hack job that likewise will prove to be a costly mistake that future generations will regret, and must cope with. Sure, the justices gave a nod to the children and religious adherents, two major stakeholders, but it essentially told America, “If if feels good, do it.” Welcome back, America, to the morally uplifting 60’s and 70’s.
Spare me the hate mail. I have loved ones and friends who are in same-sex relationships, and those who favor them. Although we have fundamental differences of opinion, I love and respect them all. However, I simply won’t be intimidated or silenced by the relatively few radicals who won’t tolerate my views and insist that I stop adhering to my religious doctrines in deference to their social sacred cows.
The second thing that struck me about these monumental misjudgments is that by not completely reconciling Obamacare and the so-called right to same-sex marriage with our First Amendment rights, the rulings ensure that there will be a flood of lawsuits aimed at trying to limit these rights in light of them, as well as many that will be filed with the intent of protecting them. In addition to these court clogging cases, you can look forward to a host of lawsuits that will be filed in an attempt to expand the definition of marriage even further than the ruling allowed. Arising out of Justice Kennedy’s disordered view on compassion (he wrote for the majority in the same-sex case), we may soon see a tsunami of requests for new age unions including legalized polygamy, incest, and bestiality. Love without limits or reasonable restraints established for the common good is not love, Justice Kennedy, it’s simply self-indulgence and shortsightedness.
By the way, it may have escaped your notice, but all of the justices are attorneys, so dealing with legal controversies are part of their job, and have a perverse way of helping the legal industry generate attention, prestige, and money. Unfortunately for their clients and the rest of society, and based on personal experience, attorneys are generally not that good at considering or calculating the direct and indirect costs of their well-intended advice, much less the lawsuits that may result. It’s almost as if law school teaches legal beagles how to eat, but don’t bother with paper training.
I’d like to think that the country will reverse course on these two cases in a relatively short timeframe, such as we did with Prohibition. However, my guess is it may take two or more generations before enough of us have had enough of letting the new age tiny and vocal minorities drown out the rest of us informed by faith and reason. In the meantime, I hope and pray the collateral damage is minimal and manageable.
— GCF —
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