When I was in law school (1979-1982), one of the weekly magazines I subscribed to was TIME magazine. Back then, there was no internet, satellite television, or national talk radio programs. If we wanted to know what was going on in our country, we had to rely on newspapers, magazines, network television — ABC, NBC, and CBS.
I’ve written only one letter to the editor of a magazine or newspaper. That letter was mailed to TIME magazine during my first year in law school. I wrote the letter after I read a glowing article about then U.S. Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan. He had grown up in a large Catholic family of eight children, and in 1973, he voted with six other justices to legalize abortion in the United States. The decision was seven to two in favor of abortion.
To me, Brennan was a traitor to his faith and his country. He believed that it was his job to interpret the U.S. Constitution as a “living document.” He thought that it was his duty to interpret the Constitution as it was originally intended. To him, it was a judge’s responsibility to read the Constitution as a modern American would read it, not as it was originally intended.
Unfortunately, Brennan wasn’t the only person in a position of influence who felt that he was smarter than our Founding Fathers. His way of thinking had also been adopted by and was being taught in most of the major universities and law schools in our country. Many of our legislators and judges had also adopted that same way of thinking.
Over the years, the very act of interpreting the Constitution as though it were a living document destroyed its original meaning and what it stood for. It would be no different if a group of modern American church leaders decided to interpret the Ten Commandments as a living document. The concept of a “living” document is absurd.
When resolving a dispute between two parties who have signed a contract, a judge is required to interpret the original language of the contract as well as the original intent of the parties at the time they signed the contract. Any judge who declares that a written contract is a living document that has a meaning other than what was originally intended would be laughed out of the courtroom. Yet that’s exactly what many of our modern-day legislators and judges have done with the U.S. Constitution.
I thought about Justice Brennan and my letter to TIME magazine when I read that United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died.
You may have heard the Latin phrase, De mortuis nihil nisi bonum, which means, “Of the dead, say nothing but good.”
As a general rule, we should be careful about speaking or writing about people who are deceased and are no longer able to defend themselves. Regardless of what we may say about a person who is deceased, we should never judge what was in the person’s heart or soul. This is something that is exclusively within the domain of Almighty God.
To a certain extent, De mortuis nihil nisi bonum does not apply to a deceased United States Supreme Court Justice who may have abused the great power, influence, and authority they had over others while they were alive. In some cases, there is an obligation to speak out against the actions and court decisions of a Justice who contributed to the enforcement of evil laws that are contrary to the laws of God.
In an interview that Ginsberg gave in 2012 to an Arabic-language TV station, she was asked about what her advice would be to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which was in the process of establishing a new Egyptian constitution. Here’s what she said:
I would not look to the U.S. Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the constitution of South Africa — that was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, had an independent judiciary. It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done. Much more recently than the U.S. Constitution, Canada has the Charter of Rights and Freedoms — dates from 1982. You would almost certainly look at the European Convention on Human Rights. So, yes, why not take advantage of what there is elsewhere in the world?
It is evident from Ginsburg’s Supreme Court rulings that, like Justice William Brennan, she believed she had the power and authority to treat the United States Constitution as a living document that could be modified to conform to her own beliefs. Over the 27 years that she was a Supreme Court Justice, she routinely ignored the clear intent, language, and laws that were woven into the United States Constitution.
Our founding fathers laid the foundation for our Constitution by stating in the Declaration of Independence,
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (Emphasis added.)
The word “unalienable” is defined as “impossible to take away.”
The United States of America is the only nation in the history of mankind that at the time of its founding, formally declared that its citizens had God-given rights that could never be taken away by anyone.
The South African Constitution, Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the European Convention on Human Rights that Ginsburg praised in her 2012 interview established man-made “rights” that were not connected in any way to God or any of the unalienable rights that God bestowed upon each one of us.
History shows that Ginsberg was one of many Supreme Court Justices who intentionally ignored the clear words and intent of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. They took it upon themselves to strip away God-given rights that our founding fathers recognized as unalienable, such as the right of students to be taught the Ten Commandments and to pray in public schools. The same Supreme Court Justices also took it upon themselves to create additional so-called rights, such as the right to an abortion, the right to publish and sell pornography, and the right to marry a member of the same sex.
Our system of government has become so corrupt that five of nine unelected lawyers can, on a whim, take away our God-given rights and impose draconian laws and obligations on us. That was not the intent of our founding fathers who established clear laws and guidelines as to what needed to happen before rights could be taken away or new rights could be granted to citizens of the United States.
The U.S. Supreme Court does not have the authority under the Constitution to take away or add new rights. The Constitution granted the authority to pass new laws to the U.S. Congress, with the cooperation of the U.S. President. The Constitution also declared that any new laws that violated the clear meaning of the Constitution were to be struck down. The only legitimate way to make a change to the Constitution was and always has been by an amendment that must be ratified by three-fourths of the States.
Our modern-day politicians would have never been able to legalize abortion, same-sex marriage, transgender rights, or any of the other gravely sinful laws through amendments to the Constitution. The only way they were able to accomplish that task was by getting five of the nine lawyers on the U.S. Supreme Court to force their will upon the people of the United States, without any of us having any say in the matter.
The current population of the United States is 331 million people and only nine unelected lawyers have been given the power to order those 331 million people to submit to their rulings
The COVID-19 pandemic, the violent demonstrations in the streets, and the economic problems that we are facing are all minor issues compared to the disruptive and dangerous power that has been granted to our governmental officials and the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. If we still had all the freedoms and rights that were “guaranteed” in our Constitution, we would be able to peacefully get through the problems and crises that we are dealing with. But we no longer have many of the rights and freedoms that were guaranteed in our Constitution. Without those rights and freedoms, our country is going to continue to collapse into chaos and anarchy.
Our prayers for our country are more critical now than ever before.
Oh, and by the way, TIME magazine never published my letter.
Thank you for your concise review of what is wrong with that approach to constitutional law. BTW, Roe v. Wade was a 7-2 decision, but Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992 was a 5-4 decision with just a bare plurality of 3 justices of those 5 (all 3 were Reagan-Bush appointees) agreeing on the rationale for upholding Roe v. Wade. That decision, with its infamous mystery passage penned by Justice Kennedy, says, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” is as worthy of your attention, if not more so. In addition, even the dissenting justices in both cases got it wrong, ignoring the science, though Justice Scalia in the Casey decision at least approached the most important question, stating: Thus, whatever answer Roe came up with after conducting its “balancing” is bound to be wrong, unless it is correct that the human fetus is in some critical sense merely potentially human. See my summary at https://illinoislife.blogspot.com/2020/02/why-supreme-court-should-reverse-its.html .