As far back as Sun Tzu, military strategists have well understood the concept that victory in war does not require the destruction of one's enemy, but merely convincing that enemy that destruction is inevitable if the fight continues. Similarly, in a dictatorship, absolute control is neither necessary nor, in most cases, even possible. All that is needed for the dictator to endure is the presumption among the underlings that the leader does indeed hold a monopoly of power.
It is a point that Americans ought to seriously ponder, as the future of their nation appears to increasingly rise and fall on the basis of a single vote in the United States Supreme Court.
This past June, the ever more prominent annual ritual played out in which the Court handed down its latest batch of "decisions," which increasingly appear less as judicial considerations and more as edicts. More disturbing is that a growing number of Americans seem to be accepting the latest whims of the court as some sort of celestial standard, determining with absolute finality what America can or cannot be, and what Americans can or cannot do.
This was never intended to be the role of the courts. Rather, the founders clearly sought to prevent such unaccountable governing practices by consigning the ultimate power of legislating to the Congress which, among the three branches of government, would in turn be most accountable to the people.
The Constitution was to be the embodiment and demarcation of the pact among the States, whereby they would cooperatively form a Federal Government to arbitrate between them and collectively represent them among foreign powers. In its most extreme exercise of power, the court was intended merely to ensure that all parties under the jurisdiction of the agreement (the States) would abide by its original terms, thus maintaining its integrity.
Changes were allowed, but only under a stringent set of rules, known as the amendment process. And once those changes were instituted, the only proper duty of the Court was to enforce them. In this manner, citizens could rely on the protections afforded them under the Constitution, and its execution in all matters of governing, to be conducted in a just manner that they themselves had enjoined.
In complete contrast to modern thinking, even a cursory reading of the Constitution reveals that its design does not empower government but, at every turn, restricts and regulates the means by which those in power can exercise their dominion over the people. Even the first five words of the First Amendment (which was placed at the top of the list for a reason), lend incontrovertible proof to this case: "Congress shall make No law..." Clearly, the restrictions of the First Amendment are imposed on the Congress. And any First Amendment matter before the Court should be adjudicated solely on that basis.
In contrast, the three most notable cases of the latest Supreme Court session give a clear indication of just how far beyond its original boundaries the Court has reached, and just how dire is the burgeoning threat it represents to America. That governing officials and pundits are essentially ignoring the Court's overreaching behavior, and are instead focusing on the minutia of the individual decisions, suggests that the problem in American thinking must be corrected outside the Court before any real fix can be implemented within.
Absent any Constitutional authority or mandate, in "Kennedy v. Louisiana" the Court summarily struck down the death penalty for child rapists in all fifty states. Citing no Constitutional precept, it instead substituted its own interpretation of "society's standards, as expressed in legislative enactments and state practice with respect to executions."
Apparently, the majority believes it sees a trend away from such punishment, and in response issued a blanket decree prohibiting any variance from that perceived trend. Abominating the Constitution and the rule of law, the Court simply imposed its views above those of all elected legislatures and the people.
In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Court did indeed reaffirm, albeit grudgingly, that the Bill of Rights does indeed assert an inherent right to keep and bear arms, as if the unambiguous text of the Second Amendment was ever in question among those who can read. But if anyone doubts that this 5 to 4 decision represents a tenuous hold on the reality of such a fundamental constitutional guarantee, consider the words of dissenting Justice John Paul Stevens, who expressed incredulity at the prospect that Second Amendment advocates "would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons."
In Justice Stevens' mind (and he is clearly not alone in his thinking), the ultimate authority to regulate society lies with high officials such as himself. It was exactly for this reason that the founders recognized the vital importance of including the Second Amendment, in order that the limitations on the exercise of governmental power imposed by the Constitution would endure.
Where, one must wonder, does Justice Stevens deem rights to be inherent? Certainly not the rights of a child to be free from the threat of a grisly sexual assault. Yet in another arena, Stevens and his liberal cohorts do indeed embrace the concept of "unalienable rights," at least for foreign Islamic terrorists.
"Boumediene v. Bush," possibly the most abominable and traitorous decision ever handed down by the Supreme Court (and again a 5 to 4 ruling), gives a shocking glimpse into how thoroughly an unaccountable and unrestrained court can insidiously destroy the nation. By its very name, this case representing a terrorist suit against the President of the United States, reveals how an out-of control Court can become a weapon for America's mortal enemies. And the Court's appalling decision, effectively granting "Constitutional Rights" to the terrorists, represents a level of collaboration with the enemy not witnessed within this nation's shores since the days of Benedict Arnold.
In truth, the Court can no more "grant rights" to non-citizens than can it alter the reality of an unborn child. It can, by properly upholding its own responsibilities, maximize the God-given rights of Americans or, as it has done here, abridge them by bestowing unlawful protections to murderous enemy combatants.
Many Americans look to this next presidential election as a watershed moment, possibly determining whether the court will be returned to its constitutional roots, or by the appointment of a few more liberal "justices," veer irretrievably away from the foundations of the nation. Yet a proper fix must go much further than that.
While it is unrealistic to expect a move towards the impeachment of any Justices despite their having clearly exceeded the authority of office, the Constitution clearly stipulates that the Congress can, at its own discretion, place certain issues beyond the realm of the Court. Until it musters the principle and courage to do so, this unchecked Supreme Court will undoubtedly continue its perversion of the Constitution and thus the rest of America.
Copyright ©2008 Christopher G. Adamo