News Item | Go Back
Chief Justice John Roberts? A Troubling Prospect
First, Roberts refused to answer fundamental questions regarding philosophical and constitutional issues to which We, the people deserve an answer. A few examples include:
* Are the unborn persons?
* What limits can Congress impose on the courts?
* Is race-conscious affirmative action constitutional?
* What is your overarching philosophy?
Second, and perhaps even more troubling, were the non-answer answers that Roberts offered. Roberts declared that he has no overarching philosophy. But consideration of his testimony in its totality seems to reveal a clearand anti-constitutionalistphilosophy. A few of the most problematic ingredients of his philosophy include the following:
*Roberts declared his passionate commitment to the rule of law. But how does he define this foundational concept? As legal scholar Raoul Berger has noted, The written Constitution was . . . the highest expression of the rule of law. But John Roberts rule of law appears to be fundamentally different. The following points indicate his definitiona definition that leads us farther along the path to the rule of lawlessness, not the rule of law.
*Roberts declared that the primary check on the courts has always been judicial self-restraint and its position as the weakest branch of government described by Alexander Hamilton in The Federalist #78. But Roberts only rephrases our problem; he does not offer a solution. The courts have not exercised self-restraint and have made themselves the strongest branch of the national government. Roberts gave no solution for this disaster.
*Roberts consistently tied judicial restraint to a judges adherence to precedent /stare decisis (previous court decisions). But what happens when the Court gets it wrongwhen the Court violates, rather than upholds, the Constitution? The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land with a fixed
meaning which judges canmustdiscern and apply in every constitutional issue they face. The Constitution is the ultimate precedent; court decisions are not. As one of Englands top-ranking jurists observed, If lawyers hold to their precedents too closely, forgetful of the fundamental principles of truth and justice which they should serve, they may find the whole edifice comes tumbling about them. In America, the Constitution is the ultimate expression of our fundamental principles of truth and justice. John Roberts did not express this correct understanding of
the Constitution and the courtsa most basic and dangerous flaw in any judges approach to the Constitution.
*Roberts zealously expressed his determination to protect the independent judiciary. But independent of whom or what? What about protecting the independence and supremacy of the Constitution over runaway, anti-constitutionalist judges? Roberts testimony in general appeared to separate judicial decisions fromkeep them independent ofthe Constitution itself. The unbridled judicial discretion which results is the first engine of tyranny.
*Roberts refused to label himself an orginalist and constructionistterms associated with being a constitutionalist. He preferred to be known as a modest judge? As applied to constitutional interpretation, what on earth does this mean?
Thomas Jefferson wrote that Our peculiar security is the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction. Would Chief Justice John Roberts heed Jeffersons wise words? Roberts record so far suggests not.
Action Item: Fight for Constitutionalist Judges by
Empowering Yourself with Knowledge!
*Visit our web page for other articles and commentaries on current Court nominations battles
*Order now your copy of the Constitutionalist Manifesto (a clear and comprehensive statement of the principles for which we are fightingprinciples to which judicial nominees must have a clear commitment)
*Order now your copy of the hot-off-the-press Constitutionalist Papers (Critiques of bad court decisions illustrating the damage that occurs when the principles of the Manifesto are violated by judges)
*Order extra copies for yourself and your friends