Thursday, April 22, 2010

What Judicial Activism Looks Like

We as a nation are desperately in need of a constitutional amendment directing our courts to interpret the Constitution in accordance with the intention of the drafters. I am so tired of one Court ignoring original intent to reinterpret the Constitution on social issues that should only be decided at the ballot box. As I wrote here, Courts practicing this type of legislation from the bench have done untold harm to our nation.

Most recently, at the federal level, we had a District Court strike down the National Day of Prayer - something with roots all the way back to the the days of our founding. The Judge did so because, according to her, the First Amendment contains a "right to be free from disfavor or disparagement on account of religion." You can search from now until our sun burns out and you will not find that in the Constitution nor anything remotely approaching that new right in the Federalist Papers or any other historical document relating to the passage of the First Amendment. Plumb Bob Blog has a good analysis of the Judge's decision, and though not a lawyer, it would seem he has a much better handle on the law than the Judge. This was judicial activism at its worst.

And at the state level, there was an Arkansas decision that struck down a state law banning unmarried couples from adopting and serving as foster parents. That state law had been passed in a referendum with 57% of the vote. The case was aimed at homosexuals who are not allowed to marry under a state constitutional amendment. Wrote the judge, “due process and equal protection are not hollow words without substance. They are rights enumerated in our constitution that must not be construed in such a way as to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people.” True, they are not hollow words, but laws based on morality and limiting the rights of homosexuals have been around since the founding of this Country. No one interpreting the Constitution in accordance with the intent of the drafters could possibly conclude that Arkansas's law is unconstitutional. This was nothing more than an activist judge imposing their personal standards of morality over top of those of the community.

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