The lesson of today’s events is simple. We cannot and should not rely on the courts to save us. Liberals were spoiled in the 50s and 60s by the Warren Court — much progress was made through Supreme Court rulings. And when I say spoiled, I mean spoiled. Liberals have fallen back on the position that no matter how stupidly our elected officials behave, the courts will invalidate the most pernicious laws they pass. This is why the stakes are so high for judicial appointments these days. Liberals bank on the federal bench, and conservatives desperately want to change the makeup of the courts so that liberals can’t rely on them.
Unfortunately, court mandated change is the worst kind of change there is. I’d prefer a court ruling remedy an injustice than see that injustice stand, but it is always better if we elect Congressmen who will pass the laws we want and an executive branch that will enforce them. When elected officials pass a law and judges strike it down, people feel like democracy has gone unserved.
Barack Obama has made this very point more than once, and his choice of Sonia Sotomayor reflects that philosophy. I don’t think he’s interested in creating a new Warren court — he’d prefer that liberals take the bull by the horns and work to effect change through the legislative process. Today’s ruling in California upholding Prop 8 maintaining the state’s ban on same sex marriage is another lesson. Relying on the courts in this case was foolish — Prop 8 needed to be killed last November when it was on the ballot. I’m certain another opportunity will arise, hopefully very soon, for California to legalize gay marriage. Liberals need to fight harder when that opportunity arises. We can’t count on the courts to save us.
May 27, 2009 at 1:36 pm
I think people have forgotten what the original intent of the Supreme Court as guided by Marshall. It wasn’t to make laws but to ensure the laws made were in the spirit or letter of Constitution. That is also why the Prop8 decision was such a blow. It allows for the tyranny of the majority, the founding fathers went to a great deal of trouble to ensure that wouldn’t happen. But they put the Supreme Court in place to review the laws for cases of tyranny and laws that violate the intent of the Constitutions. The Liberals have gotten use to the Supreme Court fixing all the race and sex laws that they feel that it will fix everything they want. And that is easier than doing the job we elected them to do. The biggest problem with our current congress system is there are only 2 parties. At any given moment one of them has a majority, this is what encourages the other party to try and overturn laws using the courts.
May 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm
Unfortunately, with Congress so firmly in the pocket of corporate special interest groups, it is incredibly hard for a group of people to get their congresscritters to pay attention to their very real concerns.
Couple that with the fact that there are a finite number of ‘critters in each committee, and it is very likely one’s own ‘critter is NOT on said committee that controls the Area of Interest that one would desire a bill to affect, there is virtually NO chance that effective legislation can be proposed by that particular ‘critter.