The Supreme Court Repealing Democracy Everywhere

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

The
Spring of 1999 saw some dark days. There was the Columbine massacre,
in which two losers murdered and wounded several defenseless students
and teachers at a government school. In Serbia, Slobodon Milosevic
was forcibly removing Albanians from their provincial home of Kosovo.
With jaw-dropping contempt of the obvious lessons of these events,
new gun control legislation was proposed, and the gutless Republican
organ called the National Rifle Association was willing to compromise
with the Clinton administration. I wanted to shout out to all friends
of gun control, "But what if they come for YOU? Are we to be
sitting ducks for the next mass-murderers? Are we to let government
troops expel us from our homes, shoot our sons and molest our daughters?"

But
if, in fact, these things did happen because of gun control, I could
not sit back and say, "Ha, ha, you ignorant twits, I told you
so!" Laughing at the suffering of others shows a lack of basic
compassion properly understood, and a general lack of respect for
human life.

Likewise,
I wouldn't fall off my chair laughing if a decent, conservative,
conscientious, Republican-voting youth minister sees his car confiscated
in the Drug War. It could happen; it may have already happened several
times. The minister is driving a new attendee at youth group home.
A marijuana joint slips out of the teen's loose pants pocket as
he is dropped off at his home, rests on the seat unnoticed by the
driver, but is plainly seen by a cop during a routine traffic stop.
Bye, bye, car. The Fifth Amendment has been repealed as far as the
War on Drugs in concerned, and if you want your car back you must
prove your innocence.

The
libertarian could criticize the minister for being an ignorant supporter
of the two-party junta and the massive attack on liberty that is
the War on Drugs. But the libertarian can't laugh at him, because
he is still a victim of The State. The government shouldn't just
take our property from us without due process, and there shouldn't
be anything illegal about marijuana possession anyway. It is wrong
for anyone to suffer at the hands of The State, and if libertarians
celebrate the "poetic justice" of a gun control advocate
being ethnically cleansed, or a Drug War supporter seeing his property
confiscated, then we are as contemptuous of the individual as Republicans
and Democrats are. We must be better than that.

Which
leads me to say something I'd never think I'd say: Thank God for
the Supreme Court!

Oh,
sure, it's easy to nit-pick about the Supreme Court making a new
federal law last week barring the states of The State – excuse
me – states of the Union from making and enforcing their
own laws against sodomy. The Supreme Court is a judicial, not a
legislative branch, and should interpret law under the Constitution,
not make up new laws out of thin air. And yes, the Supreme Court
violated the Constitution's own Tenth Amendment by making such a
law. Yes, yes, agreed and agreed. Nevertheless, this could be a
victimless usurpation of the Constitution, one in which both liberals
and conservatives, the Politically Correct and the Fundamentalists,
the do-gooders and the nationalists, the liberty-haters everywhere,
all get their come-uppance. One which may get them all to scream
and protest in outrage, yet allows me to just laugh and laugh and
laugh.

Laws
against prostitution? Unconstitutional. Hey, it's about sex, and
like the right to privacy in abortion, it's also a business transaction.
Regulation of any form of gambling between mutually consenting adults?
Unconstitutional. To prohibit it is to impose one religious and
moral viewpoint upon others, violating equal protection of the laws.

Drug
Prohibition? Out. As with abortion, a person has the right to his
or her own body. Drugs may also be used in religious activities,
so we have equal protection and First Amendment issues there as
well.

When
you think about it, any transaction involving consenting adults
must be legal, and any obstructive legislation unconstitutional.
Libertarians used to say that something was unconstitutional if
the Constitution didn't authorize it, or specifically prohibited
it. Now, we can say, hey, go with the flow. Let's extend the logic
of the (mythical) "privacy" right in the Constitution
to render just about every law banning peaceful activity, that is,
most laws on the books, unconstitutional. Just as when Democrats
screamed and howled when the Supreme Court voted for Bush in 2000,
let all the leftists expose their hypocrisy when they protest against
the Supreme Court advancing privacy and liberty by striking down
federal gun laws and free trade. Let the right-wingers of every
stripe scream and howl in favor of state's rights, as they did in
this sodomy case, but then also hear them when the Court repeals
the Patriot Act, the War on Drugs, and other conservative attacks
on state's rights. When all else fails on every other front, all
the Statists resort to the federal courts and the Supreme Court
to get their way. When politics fails them, they make the federal
courts and the Supreme Court political. Perhaps Libertarians could
do the same, since we've always failed in politics anyway, and maybe
through the court we can expose these tyrannical, self-righteous
dolts for their inconsistencies.

Do
I really think the libertarian agenda can be advanced by the Supreme
Court? Of course not. The anti-anti-sodomy decision was just another
sanctimonious display of destroying state sovereignty even further
under the illusion of advancing individual rights. Nothing good
will come of the decision, only the further duping of Americans,
providing them further "evidence" that this is the "land
of the free" even while they are pummeled with Homeland Security,
business regulations, an expensive military even though our neighbors
can't and won't threaten us, the Income Tax, the costs of unconstitutional
and undeclared wars, trade barriers, corporate welfare, agricultural
subsidies, impoverishing deficits, all of the economic burdens of
government spending, and the concentration of power in Washington,
D.C. But still, it is an amusing thought. To see the Supreme Court
apply the very logic of the liberals to destroy the liberal agenda,
and to apply the very logic of the conservatives to destroy the
conservative agenda. I'm not saying this is the best way to advance
libertarianism, but if it does happen this way, I will be quite
amused to say the least.

July
2, 2003

James
Leroy Wilson [send
him mail
] writes the weekly "Notes From the Swamp"
column appearing every Thursday at the Partial
Observer
.


     

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare
  • LRC Blog

  • Podcasts