The showdown begins

by Sal on January 9, 2006

in Politics

Today begins the confirmation hearings of Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court. The left is already going crazy. Sen. Schumer and Sen. Feinstein have both signaled now that a Filibuster is likely, due to Alito’s conservative judicial philosophy. The Republican party better not wimp out this time, and vote for the Constitutional option so that filibusters can no longer be used against judicial nominees. This Supreme Court nominee is probably one of the most critical issues facing the country right now. If someone with as great credentials as Alito is defeated, then the courts will be destined for a generation to be filled with judicial activists who legislate from the bench and interpret the constitution to mean more than it says, which will give is more horribly-reasoned rulings such as Roe v. Wade (abortion), Kelo v. City of New London (Property rights), and other such wrongfully-decided cases.

The problem with judicial activisim is that there ends up being no standard, no boundaries on what the court can say. In Judicial activism, the judges go more by their feelings on particular issues than on the current law and Constitution. In our system of government, it is up to the democratically-elected legislative branch to create and change policy, and the executive branch to enforce the laws created by the legislature. The Judiciary’s role is only to apply the law to cases brought before it, not make up new rights and laws wherever it sees fit. Confirming Judge Alito will be a step into the re-establishment of that standard to the Law.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike January 9, 2006 at 12:17 pm

That’s just it. A “living constitution” is in effect no constitution at all. If our liberties are not guaranteed by the constitution as drafted and written then those liberties are subject to the whims of 5 people. Just pray that you don’t get the wrong 5 people.


Ryan January 9, 2006 at 3:35 pm

Once, C-SPAN showed a casual Q&A with Scalia and Breyer, as they took questions from professors in the crowd (think big-heads rattling off their thesis before even asking a question). Scalia agreed with the concept that Mike brought up– that a “living” Constitution lends itself to political solutions to real constitutional problems. Since the courts should not be inherently political, one can assume that potential problems will arise if we are to assume that the document lives and breathes. If it does, that’s when the Amendment process should be implemented.

The strength of our system, as the Founders intended, was that no one person or small group could destroy it. The system, in other words, is bigger than the people who come and go through it. However, later in his life Jefferson did have reservations about the judicial branch. He felt that it was the one branch that did not have an adequate check.

His fear may have been realized since the Warren Court started using this concept of legislating from the bench often. Alito’s judicial point of view is important, but his politics shouldn’t be. Unfortunately, today’s SCOTUS postured in such a way. Is the Constitution to be rewritten everytime a new party comes into power? I do not believe so, since our federal democratic republic was formed by a Constitution that to me lately does not look like it provides for an oligarchy.


Chris January 9, 2006 at 11:24 pm

Slightly on topic, but check this out for it is the truth…especially during the Alito (or as Ted Kennedy calls them (as Sean was saying today) “The Ali-oto”) Hearings.


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