“There is no position which depends on clearer principles than that every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.”
-- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, #78.
In the exact same way, of course, no judicial opinion, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid.
“…the laws of Congress are restricted to a certain sphere, and when they depart from this sphere, they are no longer supreme or binding...”
-- Alexander Hamilton, Elliot, 2:362.
What the Democrats are doing with the Kavanaugh nomination is shameless and despicable. And the Republican response is pathetic and feckless.
All of which misses the real point.
Brett Kavanaugh thinks that ours is a system of, and I quote, "absolute vertical stare decisis."
Allow me to translate that. Kavanaugh is a judicial supremacist. He believes that we live in a judicial oligarchy, instead of a constitutional republic. He thinks that the courts make our laws, when, in fact, the Constitution grants law-making power only to the legislative branch. He thinks that all officers of government, even in the other branches, are subservient to the Supreme Court and its immoral, unconstitutional opinions, instead of duty-bound by their own oaths of office to support and defend the Constitution.
Brett Kavanaugh is unqualifed for any high public office, not because of unprovable charges about things he may or may not have done in high school more than three decades ago, but because he has no real understanding of the moral basis of the law, the real requirements of the Constitution, or the proper role of the branch of government in which he serves, and aspires to serve at the highest level.
Carefully consider the wise words of warning below from Hamilton, Jefferson, and Lincoln:
"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. This simple view of the matter suggests several important consequences. It proves incontestably, that the judiciary is beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power." -- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist #78
“Nothing in the Constitution has given them [the federal judges] a right to decide for the Executive, more than to the Executive to decide for them. . . . The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves, in their own sphere of action, but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.” -- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Abigail Adams, September 11, 1804
“Our Constitution . . . intending to establish three departments, co-ordinate and independent that they might check and balance one another, it has given—according to this opinion to one of them alone the right to prescribe rules for the government of others; and to that one, too, which is unelected by and independent of the nation. . . . The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please.” -- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Judge Spencer Roane, Sept. 6, 1819
“You seem . . . to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions; a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so . . . and their power [is] the more dangerous, as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots.” -- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Jarvis, Sept. 28, 1820
"At the establishment of our constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government." -- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to A. Coray, October 31, 1823
“…The candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government, upon vital questions, affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made, in ordinary litigation between parties, in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having, to that extent, practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.” -- Abraham Lincoln, First Inaugural Address
"The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power."
-- Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted, 1775
"In disquisitions of every kind there are certain primary truths, or first principles, upon which all subsequent reasoning must depend."
-- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 31, 1788
"It is a singular advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. They prescribe their own limit, which cannot be exceeded without defeating the end purposed -- that is, an extension of the revenue."
--Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 21
“If we must have an enemy at the head of Government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible, who will not involve our party in the disgrace of his foolish and bad measures.”
-- Alexander Hamilton
"The instruments, by which [government] must act, are either the authority of the Laws or force. If the first be destroyed, the last must be substituted; ... and where this becomes the ordinary instrument of government, there is an end to liberty."
"The confidence of the people will easily be gained by a good administration. This is the true touchstone."
-- Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, 1788
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Published by Tom & Siena Hoefling