When conservatives have disagreed with Barack Obama’s policies, they have tried to beat him at the polls and in the courts (they have generally failed). When conservatives have disagreed with Congress’s actions, they have worked to elect more conservatives (they have recently succeeded… although one can make a serious argument that South Dakota’s Congressional delegation is not really conservative).
But when conservatives disagree with the Supreme Court’s decisions, how can they seriously suggest that we should not recognize the Constitutional authority given to the Supreme Court by the Founding Fathers?
Louisiana Governor and presidential candidate Bobby Jindal says, “The Supreme Court is completely out of control, making laws on their own, and has become a public opinion poll instead of a judicial body…. If we want to save some money let’s just get rid of the court.”
Meade County Commissioner Alan Aker appears to believe that obeying the rulings of the Supreme Court is optional:
I was just notified by the county’s insurer that in light of the final federal court (Sorry to say, they’ve lost their “Supreme” title as far as I’m concerned. Of course, they’re no longer a court either, but I’m at a loss on what to call them.) decision on gay marriage, the county may be liable for its own costs if our register of deeds does not allow filing of same-sex marriages. Our register of deeds is an independent official and she will decide whether to obey our robed “legislators”. I expect she will [Alan Aker, Facebook post, 2015.06.26].
Former legislator Gary Jerke joins Aker in renouncing the supremacy of the court. jerke also renounces his citizenship:
Five individuals (5 out of 9) that the United States has arrogantly named SUPREME COURT have declared that God’s plan for mankind is incorrect. Our president (small case) boasted before his first election that the would “fundamentally transform America” and 5 black robed individuals did just that setting aside our Constitution and literally toke [sic] over the government telling individuals and states that their opinions do not matter. This is a truly sad day for all who live in the United States and as I shared on my facebook page I hereby declare I do not consider myself a citizen of this country in the respect that I am captive to God and God alone and a citizen of His Kingdom with allegiance to Him first and foremost [Gary Jerke, “God Gave Them Up,” The Right Side, 2015.06.28].
Jerke’s hyperbole is specious. The five individuals who this week made marriage equality the law of the land are not just five random people off the street. They are a majority of the Supreme Court, justices chosen by Presidents, confirmed by Senators, and empowered by Article 3 of the United States Constitution to decide such questions of law. The Founding Fathers themselves called the pinnacle of the judicial branch “Supreme Court.” The Founding Fathers were not arrogant (well, except in George III’s addled mind); they were clear: they recognized that their nation required one Supreme Court to ultimately settle certain disputes. To suggest otherwise is to ignore history, abandon American civic spirit, and invite anarchy.
* * *
In arguably related news, Edward Cline of Watertown exhibits a similar lack of faith in law and the judiciary and suggests I be taken out back for a stern discussion about my blogging:
You can disagree all you want with the conduct of the judiciary and other branches of government nationally and here in South Dakota. But to suggest that America is lost and that we cannot find solutions through our civic institutions invites exactly the kind of darkness, violence, and anarchy that Edward Cline advocates.
Update 09:35 CDT: A Facebook friend reminds me of two relevant numbers:
- Percentage of the 2006 South Dakota electorate that voted to ban marriage equality in the Constitution: 52%
- Percentage of the Supreme Court that voted to allow marriage equality: 55%