A recent small gathering of conservatives who dared to criticize judicial supremacists has caused an outpouring of paranoia among liberals and others who want judges to make the major social and political decisions of our times. The ad hoc group called the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration suddenly became the target of pack journalism.
The judicial supremacists are just plain wrong when they assert that the rule of law requires the U.S. Supreme Court to be accepted as the final arbiter of constitutional questions. They are actually demanding that the rule of judges replace the rule of law.
Many people have been fed up with judges for many years and for many different reasons, such as prayer in school, abortion and capital punishment. What has brought the issue of judicial mischief to a head is the realization that we are not merely dealing with unrelated wrong decisions but with systemic ideological error, which proclaims the rule of judges rather than the rule of law.
The new battle cry for liberals still smarting from their losses in the last election is their sanctimonious mantra that we must have an "independent" judiciary. What they really mean is independent from the U.S. Constitution so that unelected judges can thumb their noses at our elected representatives in the other two branches of government.
U.S. Sen. James M. Jeffords, I-Vt., who is just as conflicted about this issue as about which party he belongs to, wants us to respect judges just as we "respect the referee" in competitive sports even when we think he made the wrong call. But the fans would never tolerate a baseball umpire changing the rules of the game by calling a batter out after two strikes.
Likewise, we should not tolerate judges who try to change the rules of our written Constitution by pretending that its meaning is evolving, or that they have discovered new privileges no one else has detected for 200 years, or that our Constitution must be changed to conform to modern trends in foreign law.
The Constitution is clear that it is not judges but "this Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof ..." which is "the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby." The Constitution also specifies that every U.S. president must take an oath to the Constitution, not to the judges' interpretation of the Constitution.
This is the rule of law as our law books have described it for two centuries. When congressmen reiterate it, they are not being "revolutionary," as some hysterical commentators are claiming.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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