Republicans are ecstatic about Senator Collins' remarks today announcing that she will vote to confirm Kavanaugh. I just watched a portion of that speech and don't share their enthusiasm. Her support for the nominee is based in the outrageous claim made by Kavanaugh in his testimony that he believes the concept of "stare decisis," or strict adherence to judicial precedent, to be rooted in the Constitution and Federalist #78, when nothing could be further from the truth.
In short, the GOP is "winning" another seat on the Supreme Court, by continuing to abjectly surrender our actual American form of constitutional republican self-government. A pyrrhic "victory" if there ever was one.
It's a slow-moving but steady coup d'etat, and the people are, sadly, too ignorant of what our government is supposed to be to see what's right in front of their face.
“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.” (Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Jarvis, Sept. 28, 1820)
“…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)
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
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Published by Tom & Siena Hoefling