Brian Darling

The make-up of the next Supreme Court may well hinge on the outcome of the elections this November. Should any of the five conservative jurists on the Court retire or leave, a re-elected President Obama would almost certainly replace him with yet another judge in the mold of his two picks thus far--Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Both are liberals hostile to Second Amendment rights. With Second Amendment cases currently winding their way through district and circuit courts of appeals, future sessions of the Supreme Court will yield critical decisions in this area.

Of course, Second Amendment cases aren’t the only issues that will find themselves on the court docket. The future make-up of the court may well determine whether gay marriage is discovered to be a Constitutional right.

The margins in many Supreme Court decisions are razor thin. Clearly, the current line-up already contains a majority willing to expand the interpretation of the taxing power so far that it could validate ObamaCare. And four justices in the NFIB v Sebelius (ObamaCare) case were willing to view that law’s requirement that individuals be forced to buy government-approved health insurances as a proper exercise of the government’s power to regulate commerce.

A newfound willingness to allow the federal government to order citizens to participate in commerce and buy specific services they may not want or need is worrisome indeed. So, too, is the growing proclivity of liberal judges to use of foreign law to interpret the U.S. Constitution.

Certainly, we cannot take it for granted that the Constitution will always be faithfully interpreted to support the freedoms and proper role of the federal government. As we celebrate the U.S. Constitution today, many conservatives worry that the next 225 years may not be as kind to the idea of a limited federal government committed to protecting the natural rights of all citizens.


Brian Darling

Brian Darling is a Senior Fellow in Government Studies at the Heritage Foundation. Follow him on Twitter @BrianHDarling