Thomas Sowell

Even more important than the particular issues that courts will decide is the more fundamental issue of what a judge's role is in our system of Constitutional government.

In the gun control decision, for example, there were justices who read the history and meaning of the Second Amendment differently. What was most dangerous, however, was Justice Stephen Breyer's opinion that it was up to judges to weigh and "balance" the pros and cons of gun control laws.

If we have Constitutional rights only when judges like the end results, we may as well not have a Constitution.

Is the right to free speech to be put aside, and a journalist put behind bars, whenever a judge thinks that journalist went "too far" in expressing an opinion about some politician or bureaucrat?

Is someone to be tried over again for the same crime, even after having been acquitted, if judges regard the Constitutional ban on double jeopardy as just a suggestion to be weighed and "balanced?"

We have already seen what happens when a 5 to 4 majority decides that politicians can seize your home and give it to somebody else, if judges don't think your property rights "balance" whatever politicians choose to call "the public interest."

When deciding which candidate you want in the White House for the next 4 years, it is worth considering what kind of judges you want on the federal courts for the next generation.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate