If We Still Followed the Constitution Few Would Care Who is on the Supreme Court

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If We Still Followed the Constitution Few Would Care Who is on the Supreme Court

Based on the mass protests, the despi­ca­ble con­duct dur­ing the con­fir­ma­tion hear­ings, and the shame­ful smear cam­paign waged against Judge Kavanaugh, it is safe to say pro­gres­sives are out­raged that Pres­i­dent Trump has so far placed two Jus­tices on the Supreme Court. The framers of the Con­sti­tu­tion and those who rat­i­fied it would be com­pletely per­plexed by this level of out­rage. They would be unable to grasp why the nom­i­na­tion of an indi­vid­ual to such a rel­a­tively insignif­i­cant office would cause so much angst to so many. Accord­ing to the Con­sti­tu­tion it is a rather insignif­i­cant office. Here is how Alexan­der Hamil­ton described the power of the Supreme Court in rela­tion to the other two branches of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment in Fed­er­al­ist 78

Who­ever atten­tively con­sid­ers the dif­fer­ent depart­ments of power must per­ceive, that, in a gov­ern­ment in which they are sep­a­rated from each other, the judi­ciary, from the nature of its func­tions, will always be the least dan­ger­ous to the polit­i­cal rights of the Con­sti­tu­tion; because it will be least in a capac­ity to annoy or injure them. The Exec­u­tive not only dis­penses the hon­ors, but holds the sword of the com­mu­nity. The leg­is­la­ture not only com­mands the purse, but pre­scribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every cit­i­zen are to be reg­u­lated. The judi­ciary, on the con­trary, has no influ­ence over either the sword or the purse; no direc­tion either of the strength or of the wealth of the soci­ety; and can take no active res­o­lu­tion what­ever. It may truly be said to have nei­ther FORCE nor WILL, but merely judg­ment; and must ulti­mately depend upon the aid of the exec­u­tive arm even for the effi­cacy of its judgments.

The impact the Supreme Court has on our lives would have remained much fur­ther reduced if we had remained faith­ful to the Con­sti­tu­tion because of the lim­ited nature of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment cre­ated by our most fun­da­men­tal doc­u­ment. Here is how James Madi­son describes that lim­ited nature of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment in rela­tion to the State governments:

The pow­ers del­e­gated by the pro­posed Con­sti­tu­tion to the fed­eral gov­ern­ment are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State gov­ern­ments are numer­ous and indef­i­nite. The for­mer will be exer­cised prin­ci­pally on exter­nal objects, as war, peace, nego­ti­a­tion, and for­eign com­merce; with which last the power of tax­a­tion will, for the most part, be connected.

The pow­ers reserved to the sev­eral States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordi­nary course of affairs, con­cern the lives, lib­er­ties, and prop­er­ties of the peo­ple, and the inter­nal order, improve­ment, and pros­per­ity of the State.

All of the social issues that pre­oc­cupy pro­gres­sives and oth­ers on the polit­i­cal left so much were never meant to be brought to the fed­eral gov­ern­ment level. The pro­gres­sion that lies at the heart of the pro­gres­sive phi­los­o­phy was about bring­ing those issues to the exclu­sive purview of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment, in direct vio­la­tion of the actual text of the Con­sti­tu­tion. If the Con­sti­tu­tion was still fol­lowed the only accept­able rul­ing by the Supreme Court involv­ing social issues would be to return those cases back to the States.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment is only granted the power to pro­vide for the defense of the entire coun­try, pre­vent the States from squab­bling with each other, pro­mote a sense of gen­eral well being for the entire coun­try, and engage in diplo­macy as a sin­gle coun­try with other nations. The entire list of pow­ers granted to the fed­eral gov­ern­ment are enu­mer­ated in Arti­cle 1 Sec­tion 8 of the Con­sti­tu­tion and in the pow­ers granted to the exec­u­tive branch in Arti­cle 2. If fed­eral leg­is­la­ture passes laws that delve into areas not cov­ered by those enu­mer­ated lists of pow­ers then the Supreme Court has the author­ity to declare them uncon­sti­tu­tional. The Supreme Court was never granted the author­ity to over­turn State laws. It granted itself that power by dis­tort­ing the 14th Amend­ment. The fed­eral gov­ern­ment was never granted the power to reg­u­late social issues involv­ing those liv­ing in the states for sev­eral reasons.

Firstly, they believed the fed­eral gov­ern­ment would have to grow incred­i­bly large if it was granted that much author­ity. That was proved cor­rect after the fed­eral gov­ern­ment ignored the Constitution.

Sec­ondly, it was believed the fed­eral gov­ern­ment would abuse that much power and use it to vio­late the rights of indi­vid­u­als. That was also proved correct.

It was believed the peo­ple liv­ing in the States would be able to restrain the much smaller State gov­ern­ments if they abused this power, while it would be impos­si­ble to restrain the fed­eral gov­ern­ment if it abused those pow­ers. This was proved cor­rect on so many levels.

The United States is a large coun­try, with a diverse pop­u­la­tion, com­posed of indi­vid­u­als with very dif­fer­ent reli­gious and moral beliefs. Many have dif­fer­ent beliefs on social issues than oth­ers. The framers of the Con­sti­tu­tion believed some indi­vid­u­als liv­ing in the States would chose to live there based on the social issues embraced by the indi­vid­ual State gov­ern­ments. With each State embrac­ing dif­fer­ent social issues peo­ple could find a home in a State that matched their beliefs. Now the fed­eral gov­ern­ment forces cer­tain beliefs regard­ing social issues onto every indi­vid­ual. That is tyranny.

Social issues gen­er­ate pow­er­ful emo­tions in indi­vid­u­als. It was believed that pre­vent­ing these social issues from reach­ing the fed­eral gov­ern­ment level would result in a much more tran­quil nation.

If the Supreme Court sent these con­tentious social issues back to the States where they belong while deal­ing with dull tech­ni­cal issues per­tain­ing solely to the lim­ited num­ber of enu­mer­ated pow­ers, would the con­fir­ma­tion of a Supreme Court Jus­tice gen­er­ate so much anger and hysteria?

Based on the mass protests, the despicable conduct during the confirmation hearings, and the shameful smear campaign waged against Judge Kavanaugh, it is safe to say progressives are outraged that President Trump has so far placed two Justices on the Supreme Court.  The framers of the Constitution and those who ratified it would be completely perplexed by this level of outrage.  They would be unable to grasp why the nomination of an individual to such a relatively insignificant office would cause so much angst to so many.  According to the Constitution it is a rather insignificant office.  Here is how Alexander Hamilton described the power of the Supreme Court in relation to the other two branches of the federal government in Federalist 78

Whoever attentively considers the different departments of power must perceive, that, in a government in which they are separated from each other, the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them. The Executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the community. The legislature not only commands the purse, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every citizen are to be regulated. The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the purse; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.

The impact the Supreme Court has on our lives would have remained much further reduced if we had remained faithful to the Constitution because of the limited nature of the federal government created by our most fundamental document.  Here is how James Madison describes that limited nature of the federal government in relation to the State governments:

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.

The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

All of the social issues that preoccupy progressives and others on the political left so much were never meant to be brought to the federal government level.  The progression that lies at the heart of the progressive philosophy was about bringing those issues to the exclusive purview of the federal government, in direct violation of the actual text of the Constitution.  If the Constitution was still followed the only acceptable ruling by the Supreme Court involving social issues would be to return those cases back to the States.

The federal government is only granted the power to provide for the defense of the entire country, prevent the States from squabbling with each other, promote a sense of general well being for the entire country, and engage in diplomacy as a single country with other nations.  The entire list of powers granted to the federal government are enumerated in Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution and in the powers granted to the executive branch in Article 2.  If federal legislature passes laws that delve into areas not covered by those enumerated lists of powers then the Supreme Court has the authority to declare them unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court was never granted the authority to overturn State laws.  It granted itself that power by distorting the 14th Amendment.  The federal government was never granted the power to regulate social issues involving those living in the states for several reasons.

Firstly, they believed the federal government would have to grow incredibly large if it was granted that much authority.  That was proved correct after the federal government ignored the Constitution.

Secondly, it was believed the federal government would abuse that much power and use it to violate the rights of individuals.   That was also proved correct.

It was believed the people living in the States would be able to restrain the much smaller State governments if they abused this power, while it would be impossible to restrain the federal government if it abused those powers.  This was proved correct on so many levels.

The United States is a large country, with a diverse population, composed of individuals with very different religious and moral beliefs.  Many have different beliefs on social issues than others.   The framers of the Constitution believed some individuals living in the States would chose to live there based on the social issues embraced by the individual State governments.  With each State embracing different social issues people could find a home in a State that matched their beliefs.  Now the federal government forces certain beliefs regarding social issues onto every individual.  That is tyranny.

Social issues generate powerful emotions in individuals.  It was believed that preventing these social issues from reaching the federal government level would result in a much more tranquil nation.

If the Supreme Court sent these contentious social issues back to the States where they belong while dealing with dull technical issues pertaining solely to the limited number of enumerated powers, would the confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice generate so much anger and hysteria?