The Republican Party loves to assert that the Democrats, and progressives in particular, are attacking the Constitution, and that they are the experts on the Constitution.
So therefore, in this Presidential primary season, and in the party membership in Congress, there are statements constantly attacking the court system, anytime that a federal judge or court issues a decision against the conservative view of the Constitution. There are condemnations and calls to change the court system on a regular basis.
One would think that the Democrats and their progressive friends have dominated the courts in recent decades, which, of course, is the exact opposite of the truth!
One forgets that from 1969-2011, there have been only 15 years of Democratic control of the Presidency, as compared to 28 years of Republican control.
The vast majority of federal judges have been Republican appointments, as a result, and Republican Presidents have made a total of 13 Supreme Court appointments over those years, and Democrats have made only 4, two by Bill Clinton and two by Barack Obama!
But now,. Newt Gingrich calls for judges to be required to testify before partisan Congressional committees, a violation of the separation of powers, and a danger to an independent judiciary!
What it comes down to is that Newt Gingrich and all of the Republican opponents, with maybe the exception of Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, wish to create a court system that would move away from the path breaking changes that the Supreme Court brought about during the years of the Warren Court, Burger Court, and Rehnquist Court including:
Brown V. Board Of Education
Miranda V Arizona
Roe V Wade
University Of California V. Bakke
Lawrence V Texas
As it is, there are threats presented by the Republican growth of dominance on the federal courts to all of these issues–racial integration, rights of criminal suspects, abortion rights, affirmative action, and gay rights.
The Republicans will not be contented until there are reversals on all of these issues, and a return to the “good old days”, when minorities “knew their place”; police had unlimited rights over those they questioned or arrested; women had no control over their reproductive rights; minorities and women had disadvantages, as compared to white males, on educational and job opportunities; and gays were forced to remain “in the closet” and face open discrimination and hate without recourse!
So when the Republicans claim to understand what the Founding Fathers meant at the Constitutional Convention, they are forgetting that those esteemed leaders put into the Constitution the “Elastic Clause” to allow for expansion of the Constitution beyond the original document, in order to make the Constitution a “living document” adaptable to changing times.
The real threat is not what the federal courts have done in the past sixty years! It is the attempt of conservatives and the Republican Party to negate the great progress brought about the Supreme Court and lower courts in the past sixty years, and revert back to the years after World War II, when all of these great changes started slowly to evolve through courageous judges and Supreme Court Justices, including Earl Warren, William Brennan, Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, Thurgood Marshall, Harry Blackmun, John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O’Connor, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.
Not to mention their support of seriously problematic bills that threaten our rights as indicated by the first ten amendments, such as Stop Online Piracy Act which would allow the mass censorship of the free internet, and the National Defense Authorization Act which would enable US citizens to be arrested by the military without trial.
Thanks, Bella, for pointing out these two proposed pieces of legislation, which I intend to write about sometime soon. You are correct that these moves are threats to our Constitution and Bill of Rights!
Most Democrats and the President supported that provision in the NDAA that allows indefinite detention. Ron Paul opposed it. This back-and-forth about Republicans “this” and Democrats “this” is seriously getting ridiculous. Both of them work for the lobbyists that keep them in power, whether you choose to believe it or not. The only candidate that actually stands for real change, has a genuine record of integrity and principle, and wishes to limit the powers of the executive to fit that which is outlined in the Constitution is Ron Paul.
Barack Obama promotes energy cap and trade, enhanced provisions in the Patriot Act, wiretapping surveillance of American citizens, the Pentagon’s CYBERCOM experiment, detention of prisoners in Gitmo, deficit financing, the practice of “signing statements” that usurp the legislative authority of Congress, lack of transparency as evidenced by closed door meetings, last-minute revisions to bills, the refusal to keep his campaign promise of publicizing legislation five days prior to a vote in Congress, appointments of lobbyists and donors to cabinet positions, and the appointment of a cyber control coordinator… need I go on??
Sadly, Josh, much of what you say above is true, and no one ever said, including me, that Obama had an A average! 🙂
But, the reality is that Ron Paul has NO CHANCE to be the nominee, and while on certain points, one can agree with him, there are more points where one sees him as scary, particularly in his desire to wipe out numerous agencies of government, and to withdraw inwardly on foreign policy. As you well know, I am not a libertarian, and think libertarianism would be a danger to the republic, and most of what he promotes would NEVER become law!
So let me attempt to understand this.The ,”WE THE PEOPLE “government (who takes the oath of office and SWEARS to UPHOLD AND PROTECT THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION against an ENEMY FORIEGN OR DEMOSTIC) wants to claim WE THE PEOPLE are a pre-emptive threat to AMERICA/WE THE PEOPLE,hmm I thought WE THE PEOPLE were ATTACKED BY terrorists.Who’s currently terrorizing the american WE THE PEOPLE AGAIN? (can yo…u say 401k plan for terrorists)
COME BLOW US UP AND WE WILL TAKE OUR OWN FREEDOMS AWAY,WAY TO FIGHT TERRORISM. (give them some incentive)
This is sad,READ THE DEFINITION OF TERRORISM
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definiti…on. Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for a religious, political or, ideological goal; and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants (civilians). Some definitions now include acts of unlawful violence and war. The use of similar tactics by criminal organizations for protection rackets or to enforce a code of silence is usually not labeled terrorism though these same actions may be labeled terrorism when done by a politically motivated group.
Terror – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster a : one that inspires fear : scourge b : a frightening aspect c : a cause of anxiety : worry
SOUND LIKE ANYTHING WE”VE EXPERIENCED LATELY?
RON PAUL 2012