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Friday, Sep. 19, 2014

The day that liberty died

Posted Sunday, July 1, 2012, at 12:57 PM

Does that sound like hyperbole?

Well, as T.S. Elliott said, "This is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper."

On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court finally abandoned its role as an independent and impartial defender of the Constitution and admitted it was just another political body.

There are many nits to pick with the ruling on the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare").

But among them are the destruction of the freedom to exercise one's religion under the First Amendment, the destruction of the prohibition against involuntary servitude under the Thirteenth Amendment, the final abandonment of the right to freely enter into contracts under Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution, the final death of the principle of "ripeness" in judicial proceedings.

What does all of this mean?

All federal judges are held to the ethical standards of the Code of Conduct for United States (federal, not state) judges.

Under the Code of Conduct for United States Judges, Canon 1 (the canon of judicial ethics), a judge should uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary.

Under Canon 2, a judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities.

An appearance of impropriety occurs when reasonable minds, with knowledge of all the relevant circumstances disclosed by a reasonable inquiry, would conclude that the judge's honesty, integrity, impartiality, temperament or fitness to serve as a judge is impaired.

Under Canon 3, a judge should be faithful to, and maintain professional competence in, the law and should not be swayed by partisan interests, public clamor, or fear of criticism. A judge should hear and decide matters assigned, unless disqualified, and should maintain order and decorum in all judicial proceedings. A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge's impartiality might be reasonable questioned, including, but not limited to, instances in which the judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding (and) the judge served as a lawyer in the matter in controversy, or a lawyer with whom the judge previously practiced law served during such association as a lawyer concerning the matter.

At a bare minimum, Justice Elena Kagan, the former Solicitor General who advised the United States on the Constitutionality of "Obamacare," should have recused herself from this case, according to the rules written by the U.S. Supreme Court.

What else does this mean?

The Supreme Court did not find it unconstitutional to compel religious institutions to pay for things that are antithetical to their religious beliefs even though the First Amendment states that Congress shall pass no law abridging the free exercise of religion.

What else?

The Supreme Court did not find it unconstitutional to compel free citizens to purchase a consumer product and compel health care providers to provide services under conditions that are against their well.

Is there more?

Indeed.

The court finally ground into the dust the provision in Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution that states, "Congress shall not impair the obligations of contracts."

Moreover, among the powers specifically reserved to the states, not the federal government, is the power to regulate the health, welfare, and morals of the residents of the various states.

Finally, Chief Justice Roberts held that the "individual mandate" portion of "Obamacare" was a tax, not a regulation under "The Commerce Clause," of the Constitution.

For the past 200 years, laws that implement taxes are not permitted to be litigated. They are not yet ripe until the tax is imposed.

The individual mandate "tax" in "Obamacare" will not be implemented until 2014. That means the lawsuit should have either been thrown out until 2014, or the law should have been evaluated under the commerce clause, not as a tax.

Is the country now over? No. We have merely accelerated the decline.

We have possibly made the decline irreversible.

Chief Justice Roberts states that spineless legislators should not be kicking the political football to the judiciary.

That the judiciary will not step into intervene in bad political decisions. Who knew that multiple violations of the Constitution were merely bad political decisions?

In the end, while the news cycle makes this decision a "bang," the long term effect is that it will bring us to a whimper as our great nation stumbles, wobbles, slowly sinks to its knees and the greatness of this "unique political experiment" comes to an end.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I all but forgot the 10th Amendment which limits the powers of the federal Government to those specifically given to it by Article's 1, 2, & 3 of the Constitution. All other powers are reserved to the states or to the people individually.

But then, the Supreme Court has all but forgotten the 10th Amendment for roughly 70 or so years.

Ironic?

CH

-- Posted by Charles Hear on Sun, Jul 1, 2012, at 2:44 PM

Excellent post Charles. It never ceases to amaze me how some people (including ones who are GOP members and call themselves "Conservatives") are continuing the erosion of our civil liberties. This smoking ban is a prime example. They don't see that this is a trespass on your personal liberties, because, they don't smoke. But then we see soda being taxed, we see salt, and trans fats under attack. Just the other day I read that if you don't tether your pet while in a car, you can be fined. Where does it all end. We have a POTUS who says that the "Constitution is full of NEGATIVE liberties, but it doesn't say what the government should do FOR YOU, on your behalf." Ridiculous. We see the government forcing people to use seat belts, and in some states wear helmets while riding a motorcycle. Some places, you have to wear a helmet on a bicycle. These are all personal issues, but they take the freedoms from the people to decide for themselves, and by dictate, they have to do what the government says.

-- Posted by Conservative Dad on Sun, Jul 1, 2012, at 8:17 PM

Oh, Charles I am so glad you haven't over reacted. The day that liberty died? Really? Are you sitting behind bars? Conservatives need to quit crying wolf. And I agree about the smoking ban, but most Conservatives seem fine with that.

-- Posted by alwaysopenminded on Mon, Jul 2, 2012, at 11:03 AM

Dear AlwaysOpenMinded,

The term "Liberal" is a derivation of the word liberty. How can a professed and proud liberal be happy with a law supported by all three branches or our federal government that blatantly violates so many provisions of our Constitution?

How can any Democrat, a word derived from the Greek word "demos," which means "the people," be happy that the people of this country can be compelled to action against their will? formerly, that was only reserved to compulsory military service and the military is exempt from many of the Constitutional prohibitions.

How can a liberal Democrat be happy that the federal government can force your church to do things that they believe are ungodly?

I thought that liberal Democrats believed that in our society that people should be permitted to do what ever they want so long as they don't hurt someone else. This law takes that away from everyone with regard to their healthcare decisions, and by extension, so very many other decisions in their day to day life.

"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!" Barry Goldwater, 1964.

CH

-- Posted by Charles Hear on Mon, Jul 2, 2012, at 8:17 PM

Dear future,

I am so looking forward to visiting with you. Are you expecting us and will the be aperitifs?

Best regards,

The beginning of the American decline

P.S. Should we bring the truffle oil we bought on our trip to the Whole Foods? Tres delish!

-- Posted by NorvalJrJr on Sun, Jul 8, 2012, at 8:06 AM

Dear NorvalJrJr,

My hat is off to you. Touchet!

CH

-- Posted by Charles Hear on Mon, Jul 9, 2012, at 8:40 AM


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