Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Saving our liberties

I'm thrilled with the outcome of last night's House vote to restore the Tennessee State Constitution as 'the law of the land' in our state. The passage of SJR127 has taken a lot of time and warriors like the diminutive-in-stature-only Bobbie Patray of Tennessee Eagle Forum are owed an unpayable debt of gratitude. The checks and balances necessary to protect our rights and liberties to govern ourselves are on their way to being restored. The judicial branch usurped their authority. Last night the legislative branch said 'back off'.

This from Bobbie Patray's account of last evening:

[Rep. Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) ] even got in a comment about the current debate on judges: "Obviously the courts and how we select them or how we should elect them is an issue before us now. And if we continue to go where the people have no say who sits on the Supreme Court, then we're going to be right back in the posture of instead of the people controlling their Constitution, the courts will..."
He's right. We've got a legal system that thinks they know better than citizens who should be our judges. Those judges, when given half a chance, will make laws over us. It won't take long and the judicial will completely emasculate the legislative and we'll be out of the picture completely.

The left is hopping mad. Spitting mad. You'll get a nasty shower just reading the posts on the Internet. They feel betrayed by Democrat legislators who dared crossed them. This is a huge wake up call for them. Oh, they've got 21 solid votes (and one squishy one) but they are finally realizing that the Naifeh regime, which unfairly kept this issue off the House floor for a vote, really isn't in charge any more.

Is it too much to hope that some point, after they cool down, they'll realize that the greater issue of who gets to make the laws as Rep. Debra Maggart (R-Hendersonville) mentioned is essential to maintaining freedom in America? That's the choice they should be most concerned about. If maintaining freedom and a balanced government is important then last night was a huge victory.

1 comment:

N.S. Allen said...

Wait, I'm confused. Why do you hate the judicial branch?

Because your vision of the judiciary's role in the political realm is pretty disturbing. Truth be told, it sounds like you basically don't have a role to give them.

Because the entire point of the judiciary is that, occasionally, they get to emasculate the legislature. None of those precious liberties in the Constitution would be the least bit useful, if someone didn't have the power to rein in legislators when they violated their constitutional authority.

But, of course, it's difficult to tell how democratically electing judges ensures that they'll do that. The average citizen just doesn't know a great deal about the principles of legal interpretation and judicial review, and it's a lot more likely that voters electing judges will end up picking people on the basis of political desires unrelated to questions of interpretation and judicial candor.

(And there are going to be times when laws are passed that infringe some citizens' constitutional rights but that most other citizens support. A good judge ought to strike such laws down; an elected one could lose his job for doing so.)

And, if we're going to do it like that, we might as well just spend more time electing legislators, in the first place.