I’m not usually psychic, but I’ve got something coming through. A vision of the future. Of some spring day, on the steps of the Supreme Court, protesters and TV cameras all about, waiting for a decision.
The decision about the emergency and the wall and whether or not this president or any president can sidestep the Congress’s power of appropriation in the name of drug gangs or illegal aliens or other national calamities.
I think I see how this works out. Someone runs out of the court, shouting that it’s 5-4, and that the president has been upheld, and all the protesters in the Make America Great Again hats get pretty excited.
That’s how it’s going to work out.
And you and I both know that, and neither one of us is psychic.
But we are realists. And we can count.
And we have long since come to the realization that the federal judiciary at its highest levels is as political as any other branch of government. We are used to reading about wicked judges in scripture, but now they are in the newspaper.
Their wickedness may not be born of avarice, but it is born of faithlessness in duty and the inability to keep their simple oath of office.
That sounds like a rash indictment of some of the most venerated people in our society, but it is a true and undeniable statement. The chief and associate justices of the United States Supreme Court are often people more prone to follow the partisan affiliation of their private lives than people inclined to “bear true faith and allegiance” to the Constitution they are sworn to defend and follow.
Thus the 5-4 vote – this time, and so many times.
Upon matters of significant political controversy, certain circuit courts of appeal go certain ways, and certain members of the Supreme Court likewise vote in certain predictable political ways.
That is undeniable. It is why activists and attorneys court shop, bringing their matters to districts and circuits more prone to rule favorably for them. Conservatives file their suits in conservative courts and liberals file their suits in liberal courts, each confident that it will be personal philosophy not constitutional objectivity that carries the day.
The chief justice castigated the president for claiming there was partisanship in the federal court system, and that’s too bad. It means that the chief justice – whose job it is to supervise and lead the federal judiciary – either can’t see or doesn’t care about the largest threat to the legitimacy of this crucial third branch of government.
And that’s all the more troubling because some see in the executive and legislative branches the same lackadaisical attitude about integrity and fidelity. The Congress seems confused about constitutional bounds and obligations, and the executive is running rampant as it has for some 80 or 100 years. The balance of powers – the checks and balances – don’t work when each and all are gyrating wildly outside their orbs, driven by forces of evil and oppression.
And that’s what they are.
When you believe that the Constitution is inspired, when no finer document for the governing of man has ever been penned, and you see that its principles are being abandoned and debased, you can only see that as evil and oppressive. If the Framers felt that God guided their hand, then the contravention of their work is a fight against God. And if the Constitution is written as it is written to preserve the liberty of man – as it declares undeniably that it is – then seeking to thwart it is to unavoidably oppress the freedoms of Americans.
This is big stuff. We’ve got two teams of cheaters and the umpire is as crooked as the players. That’s the federal government today – a Congress adrift, a metastatic presidency, and a political rubber stamp of a federal court system.
And that would be very bad news.
Except that we are sovereign, and the power and purity of the Republic are found in its people, not in its politicians. The Congress may stumble, the president may grasp power, and the courts may sell out, but the people will go forward. And the people will prevail.
Because our constitutional Republic is self-righting, like a ship blown over in the waves, it bobs back up aright. Because it is bigger than the malfeasance of fleeting politicians. And through the darkest of national nights, at least a few Americans have always held aloft the bright torch of constitutional principle. And so it is today -- across the country there are still good examples of integrity and constitutional fidelity on the federal bench and in the federal legislature.
We know how this ends. The good guys win. All we have to do is be good guys and support good guys.
And when others loose hold of the Constitution, we will grip it tight, certain that it will lead through this and every storm.