Category Archives: Basic Principles

Federal Judges are in Rebellion

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Our federal judiciary has long been usurping the powers of Congress, legislating from the bench. In Roe v. Wade, for example, the Supreme Court declared a right to kill unborn children that can be found nowhere in the Constitution. In Obergefell v. Hodges, they redefined marriage to include homosexual and lesbian couples.

Now, some federal judges are blatantly usurping the powers of the executive as well. The recent decisions by judges in Washington state and Hawaii, denying the validity of President Trump’s executive orders limiting immigration defy the president’s power to execute the laws that Congress has established. Title VIII of the United States Code 1182 states that “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.” The denial of President Trump’s orders pursuant to this law is clearly an illegal action by the federal judges.

Unfortunately, the divided state of our country’s politics has made it impossible to respond appropriately to these illegal judicial actions. The obvious reaction should be for Congress to remove the judges by impeachment. A judge’s disobedience to federal law is clearly a “high crime,” and justifies his removal. The problem is that Democrats in Congress have become so radicalized that conviction in the Senate is impossible. There is simply nothing that a liberal official could do that would get a majority in the Senate to convict him. For Senate Democrats, the highest principle is party or ideological loyalty. In this environment, impeachment has completely lost its power. The Framers of the Constitution could never have predicted this degree of partisanship.

The longest range solution is to wait for the leftist judges to retire or die, and replace them with people who will respect the Constitution and the role of the judiciary established by it. Or to educate enough voters that replacing leftists in Congress would be possible. But we need a solution that will take less than a whole generation to accomplish.

A medium range solution would be a Constitutional amendment to require federal judges to be re-confirmed by the Senate periodically. This essentially gives up on the idea of an “independent judiciary.” That would be a serious move, since it goes against one of the principles the Framers had in mind when they created the Constitution. But it may be justified, because that principle presupposes judges who are committed to the Constitution and the law. We can’t assume that any longer. In any case, we need an even more immediate response to the crisis of judicial rebellion.

The three branches of our federal government are intended to be co-equal. None of them are to be completely dominant. Judicial rebellion means that the federal judges hold themselves higher than the legislative or executive branches. President Trump should declare that these rulings are illegal, and he should enforce his legally justified executive orders in spite of the judges’ orders.

What would be the downside of such an action by the president? The mainstream media, dominated by the globalist left in the Council on Foreign Relations and other such organizations, would go ballistic, of course. But how much worse could their treatment of Trump and conservatives in general become? It seems to me that they are already doing their worst.

The Democrats and fake Republicans in Congress would almost certainly try to impeach President Trump. But it seems unlikely that they could muster even a simple majority in the House, let alone the super-majority required in the Senate. The debate would be acrimonious, but the end result would be that the president would have retained his authority as prescribed by law.

The leftist federal judges have obviously decided that there is now no limit to what they can get away with. One way or another, the survival of our Republic requires that they be brought back under the Constitution.

Where do we Get our Rights?

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We Americans enjoy a wide range of personal rights. Sometimes we take it for granted that we can say or write just about anything we want, worship God in any way we see fit, keep and bear arms, etc. When we do remember these blessings, we tend to consider them our rights “as Americans.” Often we refer to them as our “Constitutional rights,” as if the government had conferred rights upon us by adopting the Constitution.

This is a symptom of a common misconception about the source of human rights. If we aren’t clear about how we came to possess them, we won’t be able to effectively preserve our own rights, or champion the rights of others.

What did the Founders of our nation believe about rights? Our Declaration of Independence contains perhaps the strongest official statement of their opinion: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…”

Our rights are endowed by whom? They are endowed by our Creator; that is, by God. Who has these rights? All men have them; not just Americans, or any other group of people who live under a particular form of government. What is government’s role with respect to these rights? It is merely to “secure” or protect them, not to grant them or take them away.

Is this just nit-picking? Let’s examine the implications of our beliefs about the source of our rights. If God indeed gives them to us, they are in fact “unalienable” as claimed in the Declaration of Independence. This means that no power other than God Himself can take them away from us. They can be ignored by rogue governments or other criminals, but that doesn’t change the fact that the rights are an integral part of us by virtue of our humanity.

What if our rights came instead from government? There are governments and would-be governments that are founded on this idea. The former Soviet Constitution and the United Nations Covenant on Human Rights, similar in many ways, share this foundation. In both documents, various rights are granted to people in one sentence, only to be limited or taken away in the next.

The Soviet Constitution, for example, grants the right to trial by jury, “except in cases specially provided for by law.” It grants freedom of religion, “except as provided by law,” and of course the Soviet government had many such laws. The UN Covenant follows much the same format. It states that “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression…subject to certain penalties, liabilities, and restrictions…as are provided by law.” As night follows day, if government can grant rights, then government can take them away.

Rights, then, come from God and only from God. Recognizing them as the divine blessing that they are demands a response from us. Our Constitution, which was designed to guard our rights from government usurpation, needs to be protected jealously. We also need to remember that Americans aren’t the only people endowed with rights. When we see people denied their rights in Red China, North Korea, or elsewhere, we ought to be outraged that our government is contributing to the problem through subsidized trade and other forms of aid to the offending governments.

Most of all, when we stop to thank and praise God for the blessings that He showers upon us, we need to include our personal rights among them. Human rights are as much a part of our “daily bread” as are food, clothing, and shelter.