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Our Black-Robed Rulers

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
The farce that is the Supreme Court of the United States has now taken up a new cause: same-sex marriage. To push that cause, the anti-Constitutional members of the Supreme Court prepared to declare that the federal government cannot define marriage for the purpose of federal benefits under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). This is the same Supreme Court that declared last year that the federal government
can force individuals to buy health insurance. To simplify, then: The federal government can't define how federal cash gets spent, but it can define how your cash gets spent.

There is no logical principle that undergirds any of this. Little or no legal argument took place at the Supreme Court this week. Justice Elena Kagan instead made a moral argument, stating that it was unthinkable for anyone to consider homosexuality immoral, and adding that morality could not be the basis for law (which should come as a shock to every major political philosopher for the last several millennia). Justice Anthony Kennedy made the argument that marriage has traditionally been the purview of the states, even though he argued just a decade ago that homosexual sodomy could not be regulated by the states based on tradition.

Apparently, the limits on federal power are no longer enshrined in the Constitution. They're arbitrarily enshrined in the heads of the wise men and women (or "wise Latinas," in the words of Justice Sonia Sotomayor) who bring the law from on high.

This is the danger of the Supreme Court being tasked with the exclusive interpretation of the Constitution. The Constitutional system originally relied on the people of the United States standing up for their rights and tossing out anyone who violated them. Now, the Constitution relies on a group of people who couldn't care less about it, and who have been granted life terms to impose their wills on the American people. Forget whether you're pro-same-sex marriage or anti-same-sex marriage. It should frighten you that one branch of government has the power to overrule millions of people's basic moral beliefs simply because they think differently.


And these folks think differently. Ensconced in their cushy perches in the Supreme Court building, the justices while away the hours justifying to themselves how their political proclivities fit into the words of the Constitution. They somehow turn nine states enshrining same-sex marriage into a sweeping movement, and somehow turn a sweeping movement into a Constitutional case for action. They pretend that the founders' words were irrelevant with regard to the Constitution, and that only their Magic 8 Balls of wisdom can divine the true meaning of an eminently clear document.

And we obey.

The abdication of Constitutional responsibility to the Supreme Court has created a ground shift in the way our elected leaders think of their responsibilities. In fact, our elected leaders no longer think they have responsibilities at all under the Constitution. They can toss the Constitutional questions to the wise ones in black robes and ignore their own oaths of office. When queried about abortion, they can point to the justices and shout "But Roe v. Wade!" even though the founders would be appalled at that lawless decision. When queried about citizens' rights to choose healthcare, they point at Chief Justice Roberts' empty and asinine Obamacare decision and shout, "But the Supreme Court!"

The Supreme Court's role in our system fundamentally undermines the concept of human nature the founders saw at the root of our system of checks and balances. The justices assume superhuman stature as Deciders of The Right. The founders would have wept at such hubris.


Ben Shapiro, 29, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, a radio host on KRLA 870 Los Angeles, and Editor-At-Large for Breitbart News. He is the New York Times bestselling author of "Bullies: How the Left's Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America." To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.


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