“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” James Madison
The erosion of many of our God-given Constitutional rights has occurred over the last century. Some of this wearing away of our freedoms has occurred as a result of individual states putting limitations on our guaranteed liberties listed in the Bill of Rights. Other diminutions were implemented by federal and state courts “legislating from the bench”. Often these emasculations of our rights were done with the good intentions of allegedly protecting us, but that is no good excuse for corroding the freedoms protected by our Constitution. More often than not, the end result was more power accumulating in state and federal elected officials and bureaucrats. The reversal of this odious trend has started, thanks in part, to Trump appointed justices to our highest court.
Three Supreme Court decisions in June have started the long-needed restoration of our Constitution. The first was published on June 23, 2022 in the case, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen. What this decision did, by a six to three margin, was to restore the Second Amendment right to carry weapons outside one’s own home. The majority made it clear that the right to bear arms is a “primary” right and cannot be restricted without cause. In New York state, the law basically required an individual to show a reason why he or she needed a firearm. A majority of the Court quite rightly declared that the New York law was unconstitutional. They ruled that the right to self-defense with a firearm does not have to be justified to the state. The state needs to justify why an individual can be prohibited from utilizing that right.
On June 24, 2022, the Court published their judgment in the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In a five to four vote, the majority overturned the Roe v Wade decision that had been in effect since 1973. They ruled that abortion was not a Constitutional right, since it is nowhere mentioned in that document and had not been an unenumerated right long recognize in our history. As emotionally evocative as the issue of abortion is, this decision had less to do with abortion, than it did about the abuse of judicial power.
The seven Justices who decided that Roe v Wade stole the legislative power from elected officials in the individual states, to enact laws restricting abortion. In effect, it stole the right to vote from state voters who would have elected legislators who felt the way they did about abortion. If the Supreme Court could do that with abortion, then they could it with other crimes. A court, where the majority of justices believed more in social justice than real justice, could rule that theft, in some cases, was not a crime. Theft from rich companies and individuals was merely the redistribution of wealth, which is for “the greater good”.
While the left whines that the Dobbs case overturned the “established law” of Roe v Wade, the Supreme Court has overturned bad precedent decisions before. Plessy v Ferguson established segregation for the better part of a century until it was overturned by the Supreme Court in Brown v The Board of Education. The Justices that voted in the majority in Dobbs, are to be lauded for sticking to their courageous opinion in the face of threats against themselves, their spouses and children, let alone the illegal demonstrations at their homes that the Biden Administration is allowing.
On June 27, 2022, in the case, Kennedy v Bremerton School District, the Supreme Court reestablished the First Amendment rights to Free Speech and the Free Exercise of Religion. Coach Joseph Kennedy was fired from his job as a head high school football coach for taking a knee, at the fifty-yard line, after football games, and saying a silent prayer. Coach Kennedy, at the demand of the School Superintendent, had already stopped saying a pregame prayer that had been a school tradition before he coached at the school. He didn’t require any of the players or other coaches to pray with him after the game and even waited until the players had left the field. That wasn’t enough. The School Board was afraid of liability for “establishment of religion” by allowing Coach Kennedy to bow his head in silent prayer, on the field, after the game. In a six to three decision, the majority saw how idiotic this debate had become and ruled in Coach Kennedy’s favor.
The majority Justices in these three decisions certainly appear to take their oath to our Constitution seriously. As citizens, our job should always be to keep an eye on the courts and our elected officials. For as Abraham Lincoln said: “We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”