Actually it was the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights act that brought this home…   The Civil Rights Act among many other things enforced the  role a Federal Government should have over the national character.  Prior, if the South behaved in one way, that was acceptable.  If the North behaved in another, that was acceptable…

The Civil Rights Act stated that some behaviors are indeed deemed not acceptable.  It dealt with opposing local laws, opposing local enforcements of segregation, and opposing  individual business practices  perpetuated by the wishes of small handfuls of individual business owners who like Hobby Lobbyists, thought they could do what they liked….

The Civil Rights Act in no uncertain terms, said:  No! We are a nation of principles embodied in our Constitution as well as our Declaration of Independence, and you cannot violate those principles in the name of “your” personal freedom….

Hobby Lobby sort of changes all that… The big fear is that it just opened a door so that corporations can freely do whatever they feel is best, and that any legislation voted and signed, now has no real impact upon them because they are after all: … corporations….  You have all read the slippery slope theories and so I won’t redo them.  But slippery slopes have a tendency to sometimes be idle warnings….  A lot of people walk on slippery slopes; very few fall off… In part that may be due to warnings from others that they are on slippery slopes and to be be careful…  Just like a road sign of a car with skid marks makes one say, “oh yeah, that’s right, it’s raining, I’d better take this curve slower.” and possibly affect the outcome of that turn….

But slippery slope or not, the Hobby Lobby decision does do this:  it says that what a government says you have to do, you don’t have to do, provided you can find a reason that is valid for you not doing so…

And that is rather Libertarian.

It makes one sigh that history is a lost art.  Because there were times in our history when Libertarianism indeed was the predominant philosophy…. So why was there never a Libertarian Party?   After all, one would think that a dominant philosophy would have a Libertarian Party, correct?

How soon we forget…..  The reason there was no libertarian party formed to compete against other parties is because during this time of Libertarianism, there was no structure of Government requiring organized parties….  Of course I am referring to the times under the Articles of Confederation….  When the idealism of throwing off the king of England, made the predominant meme that one of “not taking on a new authority to replace the role of the other”….

The reason we don’t have a Libertarian run government today, is because the reality turned out to be that it could not work.  It’s own beliefs worked against its own existence…  How can you have an effective government telling you what to do when your government was founded on its not being able to tell you what to do?….

So, America’s top citizens at that time scrapped the Confederation, established a Constitution, and today, we are still here…. Debating Libertarianism rampant in today’s court….

Just looking over the final stats, I did see that the percentage of  cases in which this Supreme Court decided things 5-4 were only 13%. Yet, its 9-0 decisions marked 65% of this year’s final tally.  So it is with a grain of salt that we should dismiss the entire court… In doing so we fail to see the wisdom behind having the third branch of government…  It allows for the last look.

This year the average age of the Supreme Court is 68….  it’s average composite would have been born in 1946… would have gone through grade school in the 50’s while segregation was perfectly legal, would have been a high school senior the year Kennedy was shot,  college would have structured by the military-industrial complex, being too soon they would have missed out on the protests of ’68 onward, would think Jersey Boys were the ultimate musical group ever, would never try drugs, would have been disappointed in the 70’s as that decade’s media ridiculed all the structure with which they grew up and made them iconoclasts inside their own world, would always fondly remember Mom at home and Dad always working to the bone, would be in their late 30’s when Reagan came into in office, and see in his grandfather qualities the fondness of the times they grew up, would be 45 when the Soviet Union imploded, 57 when we invaded Iraq, 62 when the Global Depression hit, and now stand at the cusp of 68…

Justice Kennedy.  The swing.  Appointed by a someone today dead 10 years, 27 days,  elected 34 years ago this November…. Thirty four years…  Ironically half a lifetime of a 68 year old.  In some cultures, a grandparent.   Who ironically, when that president was sworn in, the number one single was “Imagine”…..

Today, people under 20 years of age make up over a quarter of the U.S. population (27.3%), and people age 65 and over make up one-eighth (12.8%)…The national median age is 36.8 years…

So to say the Supreme Court is representative of all of America is bolderdash…  Nothing could be further from the truth… But perhaps that was exactly the point in how the Supreme Court came to have as much power as it does, now checking the other two branches?

Originally the Supreme Court was an appendage organ of the Constitution.  It’s power was sharpened only 30 years after the Constitution was founded when changes were being made by Congress and the Executive Branch, that woke up the Supreme Court and stirred it into saying,… “Hey, no!  That is not what the Constitution meant.  We were there! We know…”   It was kind of hard to refute that argument back then…  If you walked and talked with Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, you probably had a better grasp on the  Constitution than some thirty year punk still green behind their ears….

It is a global common tendency of youth to dismiss the wisdom of their elders…  “You don’t know because you don’t live in our world now”, is a very common expression in most households of teenagers no matter what upbringing those old children have had. I fondly remember my frustration with my own parent’s conservatism, thinking they were incapable of thinking anything different what they had been told to think.  My children made me realize otherwise.  In fact, once I was seasoned I was surprised to learn that my parents thought they were the rebels dismissing the conservative attitudes their parents had bestowed, and were proud they were the cutting edge of liberal child-raising in their day… Furthermore, in candid discussions with my grandparents, I was quite surprise to hear how they threw out the patterns of THEIR parents and raised their children using the cutting liberalism of child raising in THEIR day…   Bottom line, my great grandparents must have been REALLY conservative…  And now, according to my children… I’m just like they were….

No one would let a child run a family.  No one should let a 30 year old run a business.  No one should have a 40 year old run a nation… But we do.  Rarely does it work….

Point is:  the Supreme Court will always play it’s role… That role is to look at fundamental changes and decide how they stack up to the Constitution…  As a periphery example of what could happen without this type of check, just review what happened to our own economy since the Bush tax cuts went into effect.  With a new crowd taking over our economy since 2000, dismissing the old tried and true policies, we have seen how destructive new untested fads can be… Imagine if an economic court of New Dealers had been present to say “NO, this is the 1920’s all over?”  Our national debt could be zero now.  The same is true in government.  Were Congress to become completely bought out, and sell our votes for arbitration, and there were no check?  The end of the world as we know it.

Will old geezers always be right?  No.

But if they are wrong, natural forces congeal and work harder to overturn the well-intentioned but error-filled decisions.  Slavery took a war.  Segregation took television beatings of a proud race to show us that intimidation would not work; beatings wouldn’t stop “being right” from moving forward.

But if the geezers are right, it stops bad right then and there….

Not to absolve the Supreme Court but their primary function isn’t to distinguish between “right” or “wrong”.  Their job specifically, is to see how our system of laws stacks up to our Constitution… by looking at one challenged law at a time.  Sometimes when they do, it comes up right…. and sometimes when they do, it doesn’t….

If you think the Court was wrong,  and if you think it is out of touch, YOU HAVE AN OBLIGATION  to vote Democratic in 2014, and to express to all others, both Republican and Democrat  the importance of THEIR voting democratic as well in 2014 to send this signal, and we will see, just how wrong this court is…. If you can’t get out the vote… then gee, maybe the court was right after all.

Which… as the framers of the Constitution intended, in the end, puts us, the American people….  firmly in charge of our government….

 

 

 

 

 

 

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