The Supreme Court Should Be Blameless

June 28, 2010 Tagged with: politics

I get annoyed when people “applaud” the Supreme Court for decisions, or vice-versa. John Thune just did it on Facebook:

I applaud the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in McDonald v. Chicago. The decision affirms that Second Amendment protection for individuals’ right to bear arms also extends to state and local governments, not just the federal government. This decision will help protect the rights of law-abiding citizens across the country.

This annoys me as much as when Obama used the State of the Union speech to chide the court for their ruling on corporate sponsorship of campaigns.

In a perfect world, no one should congratulate or condemn the Court, because the Court shouldn’t be allowed to think for itself. The Court exists to interpret the Constitution. Assuming they do this, then what is there to congratulate or condemn? The Court, or the Constitution? You don’t shoot (or reward) the messenger.

Generally speaking, I trust the Court to apply the Constitution. So, in the case of Obama’s ridiculously inappropriate and childish swipe at the Court during the State of the Union (decorum, people, decorum), what did he want from the Court? Did he want them to ignore the Constitution and make a ruling for his agenda?

I’m almost as frustrated at Alito for even bothering to defend himself by mouthing the words “Not true.” You shouldn’t have to defend yourself – the Constitution is what it is. Even if you don’t agree with it, you need to apply it, and if that’s what you did then you have nothing to apologize for. By even stooping to defend the Court, Alito opened the door that the Court might need defending, and that’s a slippery slope.

But...this is all idealist crap, and we all know it. The Court does apply their own biases and feelings to the Constitution, so I guess they should be held somewhat responsible for the rulings. But I still find it odd when people take sides with or against the Court. In doing so, they’re sort of admitting that the Court fails in its central role of impartially interpreting the Constitution, and is simply offering random opinions. If the Court’s opinions coincide with one’s own, then it’s to be congratulated. Otherwise, it’s to be condemned.

When Obama lashed out at the Court, he may as well have been saying, “You suck because I didn’t get my way.” And Thune may as well have posted, “you’re awesome because I got mine.” If this is truly the case, then abolish the stupid Court and find something better.

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