Politically aware and active Americans are on the edge of their seats awaiting the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision expected this week. But let’s deal today with some fatal flaws in the liberal beliefs regarding how the Supreme Court would rule on the constitutionality of Obamacare.
If you read this New York Times article you’ll see that, as the title indicates, supporters of Obamacare were very slow to pick up on constitutional problems with the sweeping healthcare legislation due to decades of court precedent concerning the interstate commerce clause in our Constitution and I believe there are two reasons for their sloth.
There are at least two fatal flaws with the liberal thought process in this case but first, here is the relevant paragraph from the New York Times article:
Looking back, Democrats said they had had every reason for confidence, given decades of Supreme Court precedents affirming Congress’s authority to regulate interstate commerce, and lawyers who defended the law said they had always taken the challenge seriously even if politicians had not. But they underestimated the chances that conservative judges might, in this view, radically reinterpret or discard those precedents.
Now, the first fatal flaw is the complete liberal belief in the legal philosophy of stare decisis, believing that a current court should not, cannot or will not find a previous court’s ruling in error, and that’s just patently false as it has happened so many times over the decades.
In fact, I believe liberals really only developed that belief once they felt they had a lock on the federal courts and an opportunity to move their agenda ahead through the courts, but as conservative presidents began to appoint conservative judges and justices with a firm respect for, and fidelity to, our Constitution that directly threatened the liberal judicial powerbase they began to push stare decisis as a governing judicial philosophy.
We had decades of court ruling affirming the religious rights of Americans and even state and local governments even to the extent of a Supreme Court statement in one of their 1892 rulings that America was a Christian nation. However, liberals began attacking “church and state” in our courts in the 1930s and those attacks culminated in what we know today as the Madalyn Murray O’Hair Supreme Court case of 1963 that essentially took God out of the schools and public square after almost 200 years of the exact opposite precedent. But what if that Supreme Court had held to stare decisis as liberals now claim they should?
There are numerous other examples, of course, but I hope you get the idea.
To take it a step further, liberals and progressives believe, wrongly, that our Constitution is a living and evolving document but apparently, in their mind, it only evolves in one direction – toward ever increasing government power. But using their philosophy of a living document who is to say it doesn’t, or can’t, evolve to more limited government in the eyes of any given sitting court rather than increasing government power?
But at the end of the day, if the Constitution is an evolving document, as they claim, then wouldn’t the philosophy of stare decisis fly in the face of that because no court would be able to overturn previously conservative decisions by reinterpreting our Constitution in order that it might evolve in their desired direction?
There is an inherent conflict in the two liberal positions of stare decisis and a living – evolving – Constitution.
The second fatal flaw in the liberal position is the belief that there is no point in time or law where government will push beyond what courts have decided in the past or where they are willing to go in the future. But in fact, most court decisions come exactly because government pushes the lines previously drawn and government is often rebuked.
It is true that there have been dozens, if not hundreds, of interstate commerce court decisions that have expanded federal powers over the decades but the liberal position in this case assumes there can never be a bridge too far.
Children will always test parents by pushing the limits parents set and government – men in power – is not completely unlike a child in that they will always seek to enhance their power. Just like children men and women in politics want to expand the boundaries by which they feel constrained and like parents, courts must sometimes step in and say this far and no farther.
I believe – and I pray – that liberals are about to be caught off-guard by our Supreme Court with respect to Obamacare. I believe – and I pray – the current Supreme Court is about to exercise true faith and allegiance to our Constitution rather than the liberal judicial philosophies of stare decisis and a “living document.”
I believe – and I pray – that the Roberts Court is about to pay great honor and tribute to our Founding Fathers and our American ideal of Liberty.