SCOTUS: The Importance of Voting
By Dean Olsen
It is vital that bible-believing Christians vote in the upcoming national elections in November. In the last election it is estimated that more than half of evangelical Christians, an estimated 20 to 30 million, failed to cast their ballots. If they had voted Obama would have been defeated for reelection based on the thin margin of victory.
America is at a crossroads. One road will continue the disastrous, godless, secular progressive path of Barrack Obama. The other offers the best chance of slowing the breathtaking moral decline of our once great, but now faltering nation. How? The next president will have the opportunity to appoint as many as five justices of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).
The recent death of Justice Antonin Scalia split the Supreme Court between four conservative justices appointed by Republican presidents (Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Kennedy) and four liberal justices appointed by Democratic presidents (Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan and Sotomayor).
During the next four years, the new president will likely nominate not only Scalia’s replacement but also an additional 3 new justices. Since 1971, the average age of retirement for a Supreme Court justice has been just under 79 years. Ginsburg is 83, Kennedy is 80, and Breyer turned 78 in mid-August of this year. The new justices will set the direction of the Supreme Court and the values that guide it for the next generation. Scalia, after all, was on the court for 30 years before he died. Thomas has been on the court for 25 years and is still only 68.
Most voters are unaware of how the composition of the SCOTUS affects its rulings and the impact those decisions have on our nation. They are the law of the land and many of them over the past 50 years have irreparably damaged our culture by driving our Judeo-Christian heritage from the public sphere, legalizing abortion on demand and most recently legalizing homosexual marriage.
Conservative justices render legal decisions based on strict constructionism; a conservative legal philosophy hinging on originalism and textualism. By interpreting the original meaning, or originally intended meaning, of constitutions and laws constructionism justices are characterized by judicial restraint and fidelity to the original intent of the Founding Fathers.
That legal philosophy is contrasted by liberal justices. They decline to apply the Constitution or laws according to their original public meaning or ignore binding precedent and instead decide cases based on personal, often liberal, secular progressive, godless preferences. They invoke judicial activism based on a philosophy that allows judges to rely on their personal views about public policy, among other factors, to guide their decisions. In other words, they circumvent the restrictions of the Constitution to prevent them from legislating from the bench.
The dangers of judicial activism were described by the always prescient Ronald Reagan. At the February, 1988 swearing-in ceremony for Anthony Kennedy to the US Supreme Court President Regan said, “The role assigned to judges in our system was to interpret the Constitution and lesser laws, not to make them. It was to protect the integrity of the Constitution, not to add to it or subtract from it—certainly not to rewrite it. For as the framers knew, unless judges are bound by the text of the Constitution, we will, in fact, no longer have a government of laws, but of men and women who are judges. And if that happens, the words of the documents that we think govern us will be just masks for the personal and capricious rule of a small elite.”
The open assault on our faith began in earnest in the early 1960’s with numerous SCOTUS decisions that incrementally eliminated prayer in public schools and eventually drove expressions of faith from the public sphere. It began with Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962) that prohibited beginning each school day with the innocuous and non-denominational invocation “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.”
I believe that when impressionable school children and their teachers began each school day with prayer they humbled themselves by seeking the protection and blessing of God. When that positive and moral force was removed it left a void that was quickly filled by evil. There were few, if any, school shootings when each school day began with prayer to Almighty God. Once the restraining force of prayer was removed our kids were abandoned to grapple with Satan’s onslaught in a morally weakened state. After fifty years we are reaping what we have sown with mass shootings at schools across the nation.
The dangers of judicial activism are glaringly evident in the Roe v Wade decision that legalized abortion on demand. The Roe decision is particularly troubling not only for the evil it unleashed in abortion on demand, but also the potentially nefarious way it may have been decided.
Justice Harry Blackmun wrote the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade. Blackmun had to hang his “reasoning” on a legal hook that did not exist. To solve that problem he engaged in judicial activism and fashioned a hook out of whole cloth relying on a tortuous bit of legal logic stemming from a wholly fabricated right to abortion from the 14th Amendment’s supposed “right to privacy.”
If he had done what he was appointed to do and upheld his oath of office he would have based his legal reasoning on the Constitution and legal precedent and the Roe decision would not have occurred.
In his dissenting opinion Justice Byron White addressed the issue, “… I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers…with scarcely any reason or authority for its action…”
Shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision, Professor John Hart Ely, Dean of Stanford Law School, wrote that the opinion “is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.” Nowhere do the plain words of the Constitution even hint at a “right” so sweeping as to permit abortion up to the time the child is ready to be born. Yet that is what the Court ruled.”
After his death Blackmun’s private papers were released and they reveal what may have been the stunning reason for his judicial activism. In 2004, decades after the momentous legal decision, his daughter, Sally Blackmun, revealed that her father consulted with members of his family after being assigned responsibility for writing the majority opinion. “Roe was a case that Dad struggled with,” Blackmun told a feminist news service. “It was a case that he asked his daughters’ and wife’s opinion about.”
Seven years before Roe v. Wade, while she was a 19-year-old sophomore at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Sally Blackmun discovered she was pregnant. She said “It was a big disappointment to my parents” and “I did what so many young women of my era did. I quit college and married my 20-year-old college boyfriend. It was a decision that I might have made differently had Roe v. Wade been around.”
Shortly after the wedding Sally Blackmun lost her child to miscarriage. Although it took six years to complete her graduation requirements, she questions whether she would have graduated at all had her child been born. Getting pregnant had caused a major disruption of the life she had planned. During those same six years her hastily formed marriage collapsed. By then it was 1972 – the same year her father sought her input on Roe.
At the time of the Roe decision Sally Blackmun lived and worked in Washington, D.C. Although Supreme Court decisions are generally made without advance announcement Justice Blackmun notified his daughter so she could be present in court when the decision was read. She said, “…I was very pleased with the decision and the fact that it gave women that right of choice… Dad always felt that it was the right thing to do and the necessary thing to do toward the full emancipation of women in this country. So we certainly were in favor of what he did.”
These revelations beg the obvious question: Did Justice Blackmun’s judicial activism in the Roe decision have anything to do with his own daughter’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy and the pain, embarrassment and trauma it caused the Blackmun family? We can guess what advice Sally Blackmun gave her father when she later became an attorney and chairwoman of Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando. Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the nation.
The dangers of judicial activism are evident. When judges make rulings based on their personal whims, emotions and family traumas, they can have disastrous consequences for our nation by changing the course of history in profound and massively destructive ways. A stunning 56 Million babies have been murdered since the Roe v. Wade decision.
It is important to remember that as distasteful as both candidates are in this election we are not voting for a person’s personality. We cast our votes for a president that will appoint the right justices. The next president’s SCOTUS nominees will change the course of our nation forever. It is imperative that each bible believing Christian vote in November.