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Moral Capital and the Courts. The Left is destroying traditional morality.
NRO ^ | 7/18/05 | Rick Santorum

Posted on 07/18/2005 5:57:05 AM PDT by Tumbleweed_Connection

The village elders (a.k.a. left-wing members of Congress) introduce very few bills — almost none that attract more than one or two cosponsors. There are no hearings where Congress and the public can hear arguments about the merits to society of changing its moral fabric. Did Congress pass a law that said it was illegal to display a Christmas crèche on public property, tell us we could not recite the pledge that we are “one nation under God” in schools, or legislate away displays of the Ten Commandments from public buildings? Did we pass a constitutional amendment that gave anyone a right to marry as many people of whatever gender they want? Did we pass an amendment that gave women the right to abort their children at any time, for any reason, during pregnancy? Did we pass a law that minors could undergo the surgical procedure of abortion without parental consent or notification? The answer to all of these questions is: No! Not in one state legislature, much less in the U.S. Congress, did the democratic branches of government, the people’s branches, pass such amendments or enact such laws. How could the moral fabric of America be so torn apart without so much as a single act of Congress duly signed by the president?

The answer is, of course, the courts — most particularly, the federal courts. A generation ago, liberals figured out something that most conservatives couldn’t have dreamed of in their worst nightmare. A few well-positioned autocrats can do what most Americans thought, and the Constitution says, takes two-thirds of the Congress and three-quarters of the state legislatures to do: namely, change the Constitution to mean whatever they want it to mean. The plan was simple. Put justices on the Supreme Court, backed up by lower court judges, to “modernize” our Constitution by fiat, with the claim that Supreme Court decisions, whether based on the words of the Constitution or not, have the same status as the Constitution itself.

How often do we hear that our founding compact needs to be a living, breathing document whose meaning changes with the times? Never mind what the words of our Constitution actually say; never mind the clear intent of the Constitution’s writers and signers; never mind two hundred years of judicial interpretation; never mind the centuries-old wisdom of the common law: We are much wiser today than our predecessors. Or so goes the liberal boast. In fact, it is said, we are now able to see just what they were “getting at” even better than they could — as if the U.S. Constitution were only a “nice try” at a plan of government.

I have been referring to the Left as the “village elders.” Well, when it comes to the Court and its activist decisions, we have come to the high oligarchy of the village elders: accountable to no one, deciding the most important and troubling issues of our time, issues that speak to our very identity as a people and even as human beings. And all of this has been done undemocratically — even anti-democratically.

With Congress, if the people decide its representatives have made a mistake, the people can throw them out and bring in different ones to correct with new laws any errors perpetrated by the old. But the Supreme Court almost never has second thoughts: It certainly has not had second thoughts about its fundamental project of the past generation, the project of moral revolution enshrined in law. In fact, in the infamous Casey decision in 1992, which reaffirmed Roe v. Wade and the abortion license, the Court’s majority opinion actually said that widespread popular opposition to Roe was an important reason for the Court to stick to its pro-abortion decision: To do otherwise would “subvert” the Court’s “legitimacy.” In other words, the village elders have spoken, and it is up to the American people to shut up and obey.

Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist papers called the courts the “least dangerous branch” of the new federal government. Could our founders, who had thrown off monarchic rule in the name of democracy, ever have imagined such judicial arrogance? Actually, some eventually did. Thomas Jefferson said in 1821:

    The germ of destruction of our nation is in the power of the judiciary, an irresponsible body — working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall render powerless the checks of one branch over the other and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.

We now see who was right. Sodomy and abortion are now not only legal; they are constitutional rights. What is more, our courts have been coming closer with every decision to proclaiming that there can be no difference, in law, between marriage and cohabitation. And of course we are also on the verge of court-mandated same-sex marriage.

I often use the extended metaphor of various kinds of “capital.” When it comes to what has happened to our moral capital in the past generation or two, I am stymied for a verb to use. It wasn’t “squandered” or “spent down”; it didn’t “trickle away.” The verbs that come to mind are destroyed and replaced. Traditional morality is being destroyed, and being replaced by something that claims to be morality, but ultimately has little social benefit or ability to sustain the democratic experiment. In China during the so-called Great Leap Forward at the end of the 1950s, Chairman Mao ordered every town and village to participate in smelting iron for steel production. The promise was that through the new techniques of Communism, China would quickly surpass Western capitalist nations in steel. Obedient to their orders, peasants melted down pots and pans and farm implements, with the promise that shiny new and better utensils of steel would be quickly returned. What in fact happened was that these villagers were left with large lumps of useless iron — and with no tools left to farm with. One of the world’s greatest famines soon followed. What we Americans did with our moral capital over the last generation is like what those Chinese peasants did with their capital tools for farming: On government orders — in our case, on Court orders — we melted it down, for nothing.

TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: 109th; culturewars; news; santorum; theleft

1 posted on 07/18/2005 5:57:05 AM PDT by Tumbleweed_Connection
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
Good article, lets also hope Senator Santorum applies the same thoughtful principles to a limited Government and national sovereignty.
2 posted on 07/18/2005 6:07:48 AM PDT by Archon of the East ("universal executive power of the law of nature")
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection
And all of this has been done undemocratically — even anti-democratically.

It's past time for the people to have a look at how the court's jurist appointment process is effecting our society.

Even here, on FR, there are those who favor a hands off approach to the courts, and value the status quo. Term limit are a sensible approach to limiting the damage done by the High Court judges, although those same judges have proven that "judicial independence" is nothing more than a cover for judicial revisionism.

The Framers feared the power of the courts, and gave us the means to change it. That we, as a people, haven't used that means says more about modern Americans than it does about the jurists who continue to change that document 56 men signed and paid dearly for.

3 posted on 07/18/2005 6:43:18 AM PDT by Noachian (To Control the Judiciary The People Must First Control The Senate)
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To: Archon of the East

Accepted at the Heidelberg Sozialdemokratische Partei Congress on September 18, 1925.


The Social Democratic Party is striving for the abolition of the educational privileges of the propertied classes.
Education, schooling, and research are public matters; their operation is to be secured through public institutions and the expenditure of public funds. The provision of instruction and instructional materials free of charge. Economic support for pupils and students.
The public institutions of education, schooling, culture and research are secular. All legally grounded interference in these institutions by churches and religious or ideological communities is to be opposed. Separation of church and state. Separation of church and schools. Secular technical and occupational schools and institutions of higher education. No expenditure of public monies for ecclesiastical or religious purposes.
The unified structuring of the school system. The creation of the closest possible relations between practical and intellectual labor on all levels.
The common education of both sexes by both sexes.
Standardized training of teachers in colleges and universities. [...]

National Socialism: A Menace

Der Nationalsozialismus (Berlin: Verlag Neue Gesellschaft, 1932).

"Mere mention of the word religion has caused eruptions of animalistic rage among National Socialists."

4 posted on 07/18/2005 7:44:01 AM PDT by maxsand
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To: maxsand
As the date on this suggests these aren't new ideas. It has been through the courts that their entire agenda has been realized against the principles of this country's founding. I find it very interesting to see the "old" agendas of our enemies and observe just how successful they were and still are at implementing them
5 posted on 07/18/2005 8:03:29 AM PDT by Archon of the East ("universal executive power of the law of nature")
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To: Tumbleweed_Connection

Well done, Senator.

6 posted on 07/18/2005 11:34:15 AM PDT by NutCrackerBoy
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