Saturday, November 19, 2011

Another Leftist Judge Votes Against Liberty

     In a typically important piece published yesterday, agnostic conservative George Will draws our attention to a recent federal court decision on the president’s health care law:
Shortly before the Supreme Court agreed to rule on the constitutionality of Obamacare’s individual mandate, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed its constitutionality. Writing for the majority, Judge Laurence H. Silberman, a Reagan appointee, brusquely acknowledged that upholding the mandate means there is no limit to Congress’s powers under the Commerce Clause. Fortunately, Silberman’s stark assertion may strengthen the counterargument. Silberman forces the Supreme Court’s five conservatives to face the sobering implications of affirming the power asserted with the mandate.
     Will’s treatment of the issue is excellent. Will specifically addresses the interplay between the rights of citizens and the powers of government. He notes the distinction between economic rights and virtually all other rights of citizens by the Supreme Court during the past 75 years. It has been a jurisprudence of illogic, wherein the citizen’s immoral lifestyle choices are somehow sacrosanct—no matter the collateral damage they inflict on his neighbors—but his right to his own property is subject to majority toleration.

     Sadly, this is what the secular prophets spake. We have been warned, by our own Founding Fathers and even British sages like Lord Macaulay, that the majority in a democracy will inevitably encroach on the property rights of the prosperous, who are always a minority.  This danger was what prompted the drafters of the Constitution to be so careful to put in structural devices that curtailed the democratic appetites. Among such devices were the Electoral College and legislative election of Senators (who of course are now directly elected by the populace). What we had, originally, was a republic. What we have now is more and more like a direct democracy, abetted by a judiciary bred among the Leftist groves of academe. It is through the trees of that grove that you can see the setting sun of liberty.

1 comment:

  1. This is the same Supreme Court which, a session or two ago, ruled that a corporate entity can be treated as a person, with the same rights to free political expression as any individual, opening the door to campaign contibutions almost without limit. In the process they gutted a decades-long move towards limiting the power of money in politics. Considering that this is theoretically a conservative court, the bold march towards statism is absolutely breathtaking.