Wednesday, January 11


Oh, this is rich. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) is saying on Hardball that Roe v. Wade is driving the partisanship in Congress and it's all the fault of the Supreme Court because they decided the case instead of letting the Congress legislate the issue. Hatch thinks that if 30-40 states voted in abortion bans and let the few true-blue states like Illinois and New York allow abortion, all would be well. (The fact is, all polls indicate that an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose making abortion illegal.)

It's his contention that Brown v. Board of Education, the Court decision that declared the principle of "separate but equal" unconstitutional and precipitated the end of racial segregation in the United States, created all kinds of civil strife and it wasn't until Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and what Hatch characterized as the "most important civil rights legislation in our history," the Voting Rights Act of 1965, that the people accepted integration -- because it was the people's representatives, the U.S. Congress, that spoke, not the Court.

So all would be well and we'd all be united if we just let the people decide what is good and right and constitutional, which they, of course, will always do, without any bogus leadership from the SCOTUS.

He neglected to note, of course, that if left to the states we'd still have a whole region of the country that would uphold and enshrine their own version of apartheid.

The framers of the U.S. Constitution, as a result of their experience and knowledge of history, were wise enough to create a structure that not only recognized the dangers of excessive executive power but also those of an unbridled popular will; i.e., they had witnessed the excesses of both king and rabble-rule, in Britain and France. Their genius was in formulating an instrument that balanced those powers, guaranteed certain human rights, and also included an agent for protecting that very instrument (the Constitution) -- the Supreme Court.

Demagogues like Hatch who denigrate the role of the Court and cry "let the will of the people rule!" would have us plunged back into the dark days of disunion, when the principle of states' rights was viewed as tantamount to a right to secede from the nation. Next thing you know, we'd have counties seceding from states.

What, then, does Hatch think is the role of the Supreme Court?

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Blogger mikevotes said...

I listened to the Orrin Hatch section this morning around 11 central, and all I could think was, "I thought Orrin was against man on man sex."


9:45 PM  
Blogger The God of Sales said...

Your twist on history leaves me wondering if we're from the same planet or if you're in some sort of alternate universe. The framers of the constitution were not all original residents of Mother England, nor were those who were politically active. They did experience the excess of a king in the form of George III but objected to the lack of representation that their payment of taxes should have allowed them.

Our system uses three branches of government that should keep each other in check, not assume the powers and authority of the others. Courts have no business legislating. Roe vs. Wade is a prime example of legislation from the bench. In an environment where judicial authority is overstepping its bounds, Hatch is right to argue that legislation should be kept within the bounds of congress.

Did not the American colonies secede from their country in 1776 with a famous declaration? You must be a liberal Yankee to use the term "dark days of disunion." From my point of view, South Carolina used its right as a state to secede from a country that was not abiding by its own constitution. I only wish Jefferson could have been on hand to help pen that declaration.

7:10 PM  

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