This week, we have twice seen Supreme Court justices violating their judicial oaths. Yesterday, the justices rewrote Obamacare, yet again, in order to force this failed law on the American people. Today, the Court doubled down with a 5–4 opinion that undermines not just the definition of marriage, but the very foundations of our representative form of government.
Both decisions were judicial activism, plain and simple. Both were lawless.
As Justice Scalia put it regarding Obamacare, “Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State.’ . . . We should start calling this law SCOTUSCare.” And as he observed regarding marriage, “Today’s decree says that . . . the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court.”
Sadly, the political reaction from the leaders of my party is all too predictable. They will pretend to be incensed, and then plan to do absolutely nothing.
That is unacceptable. On the substantive front, I have already introduced a constitutional amendment to preserve the authority of elected state legislatures to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and also legislation stripping the federal courts of jurisdiction over legal assaults on marriage. And the 2016 election has now been transformed into a referendum on Obamacare; in 2017, I believe, a Republican president will sign legislation finally repealing that disastrous law.
But there is a broader problem: The Court’s brazen action undermines its very legitimacy. As Justice Scalia powerfully explained,
Hubris is sometimes defined as o’erweening pride; and pride, we know, goeth before the fall. . . . With each decision of ours that takes from the People a question properly left to them—with each decision that is unabashedly based not on law, but on the “reasoned judgment” of a bare majority of this Court—we move one step closer to being reminded of our impotence.
This must stop. Liberty is in the balance.
Not only are the Court’s opinions untethered to reason and logic, they are also alien to our constitutional system of limited and divided government. By redefining the meaning of common words, and redesigning the most basic human institutions, this Court has crossed from the realm of activism into the arena of oligarchy.