Friday, March 04, 2005

The Road Back

Is it just me, or at some point in the past decade, did the Supreme Court stop seeing the Bill of Rights as a series of guaranteed individual liberties and instead become a set of guidelines?

By upholding McCain-Feingold, the Court decided that the phrase "Congress shall make no law regarding...freedom of speech" meant Congress could criminalize political speech when the government thought it useful.

Contrary to urban myth, the 14th Amendment does not guarantee any one individual freedom from being disqualified on the basis of race, if a state law school would prefer an applicant of a different color for 'laudable' motives.

The recent case involving the juvenile death penalty was not decided on an absolute guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment, but on a minority consensus about what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

In all these cases there is a common thread, and I expect we'll see it in the eminent domain case currently being considered: The Bill of Rights offers no basis for individual complaints against government practices that don't affect the majority.

The strongest principles the Court defends are those invented by the Court--the right to privacy and the ban on public religion.

Principles actually voted into being by the American public are negotiable.

Of course the Court for some time has been interpretly freely, but lately we're seeing shameless destruction of the Constitution by judges who can't bear to reject policies they admire politically.

It's not a question of preserving American liberties, but of bringing them back.

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