This is just what Thomas Jefferson feared when he wrote this:
“the germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal judiciary: an irresponsible body, working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little to-day and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction until all shall be usurped from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one. To this I am opposed; because, when all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.”
– Letter to Charles Hammond, August 18, 1821
According to the Founders’ Constitution, the Judiciary – or more precisely, the Supreme Court – was never meant to be what it has become. Actually, let me rephrase that – into what the Supreme Court has made of itself.
Instead of acting as a “Supreme Court,” it now acts as “Supreme Law Giver.”
There were rumblings from the very beginning that this could happen, and it did not take long for the slow creep of expanding powers to eat away at the very fabric of the Constitution.
Early Court rulings, in the philosophy centralized power lover Alexander Hamilton, gave the courts powers never approved by the Founders and Ratifiers. Five lawyers would now decide our fate and make law from the bench.
Constitution be damned. That power still hangs over us like a black cloud today.
Following in this new tradition, 19th Century Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story became one the most nationalist judges in our early history. He worked to further the supremacy of centralized government. He pushed Hamilton’s ideas of so-called “implied” and “resultant” powers in the Constitution, and expanded the power of the executive and federal judiciary even further.
Woodrow Wilson understood what had happened over the years and stated, “The War between the States established … this principle, that the federal government is, through its courts, the final judge of its own powers.”
And so it did.
In the 1960s, Clinton Rossiter wrote something that haunts us to this day. He said,
“The formula for congressional authority today reads: the commerce power + the war powers + the power to tax and spend for the general welfare x the loosest possible reading of the words ‘necessary and proper.’”
Under this formula, virtually nothing that is perceived to be of importance is beyond the control of the federal government. The fact of the matter is that this was brought on by the tacit approval and promotion of the Supreme Court and their willing accomplices in Congress and the Executive Branch.
Once the Court established the precedent that they, and only they, could decide on what was constitutional, the stage was set for the expansion of the centralized government we have today.
Unchallenged precedent by the Supreme Court is the genesis of the growth of judicial tyranny in our everyday lives. They have become like “gods” that all must bow down before and seek their blessing to exercise any semblance of liberty and freedom.
There are no more “checks and balances” in the federal government. Today, the final authority as to what the Constitution says or doesn’t say, and what the other two branches are allowed to get away with, is decided by five unaccountable, politically-connected lawyers – something the Founders would never have agreed too.
Then again, if you like how things have turned out, go ahead and kowtow before the Supreme Court. Beg them to decide in your favor on anything you might think is unconstitutional. But don’t be surprised when they say, “step away from the bench serf. We will decide what is Constitutional, not you.”
As for me, I will take up the cause of the 10th Amendment. And with that, State Sovereignty and the right and the duty of people of the states to nullify and interpose against the federal government.
As Andrew Jackson was once rumored to say, the Supreme Court may have their opinion; now let them try and enforce it.