Monday, June 27, 2005

Supreme court decisions

When the Supreme Court issued it's decision on the government seizure of private property for tax revenue purposes, I held my peace. I am a renter, and so, I have no choice in whether my home gets taken away, although I have to say, that if I were a home or business owner, I would be as outraged as everyone else. In fact, it is hard for me to fathom why anyone, regardless of political ideology, would support this obvious abuse of power now handed to the government. There is a good essay on this subject here.

But now, there is news of an even more outrageous mis-interpretation of the Constitution. Today, by a vote of 5-4, our esteemed Supreme Court has struck down our first amendment right to the free exercise of religion. In case anyone is unfamiliar with the first amendment, I will submit it for your perusal:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I suppose the argument can be made that since the Supreme Court is not Congress, they can get away with this. Forgive my ignorance, but I thought the Supreme Courts job was to INTERPRET the Constitution, not to CHANGE it! And I think the first amendment is pretty self explanatory. This goes directly to the line, "prohibiting the free exercise thereof". Removing the Ten Commandments from anything is a violation of the first amendment, period. No one said if you are not Judeo/Christian, that you have to abide by them, although, if you don't there is a strong possibility that you are breaking some civil law. Why? Because United States law is BASED on the Ten Commandments!

I think it's about time we avail ourselves of the latter part of the First amendment: To petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There is speculation that at least one of the Justices will announce retirement this week, possibly even as early as today. Both Chief Justice Rehnquist, and Sandra Day-O'Connor may step down. Then, President Bush will have to appoint replacements. We know any sitting president will always appoint judges who support his own ideology, indeed, we thought a couple of the Justices that voted against the First amendment in this case, were supposedly conservative appointees. It will be interesting to see who Bush will select, and for what reason the Democrats will decide he or she meets the criteria for another judicial filibuster.

You know? I don't really care if it's a conservative or a liberal judge who is chosen to replace any justices stepping down, as long as they do what they are supposed to do, that is, interpret the Constitution rather than change it according to his/her own ideologies.


Daffy76 said...

You're absolutely right. It doesn't matter who gets appointed to those judicial seats as long as the Supreme Court operates as a legislative branch of government rather than a judicial one.

It's sickening to think that we have strayed so far from what our founding fathers intended when they wrote the Constitution. Our country was founded on religious freedom, but I doubt our ancestors intended what we have today.

I never have understood why The Ten Commandments seem so offensive. There's nothing in them that people should be against. Everyone should know them whether or not they are posted, just because they are good rules for living--not because they are religious rules.

There's nothing wrong with honoring God and being good to your fellow man--and that's all the Ten Commandments are really about.

Poison Pero said...

2 decisions and nothing was decided.......Neither one was definitive, and both leave much open for debate --> Otherwise known as never ending lawsuits.

The Supremes failed miserably on this day, and the only winners are the lawyers........Per normal

tugboatcapn said...

The reason that the Ten Commandments are so offensive is that they spell out right and wrong. The people who have decided to be wrong can't stand them because they point out their wrongness.
The thing that is being overlooked is that the freedom of religeon clause of the constitution never ensured that anyone be insulated from religeon, only that the government will not set up an official religeon.
The words "Seperation of Church and State" never appear in the original constitution.