The Constitution: America’s Anchor

Contributed by Bill Connor

“In expounding the Constitution of the United States, every word must have its due force and appropriate meaning; for it is evident from the whole instrument that no word was unnecessarily used or needlessly added…Every word appears to have been weighed with utmost deliberation, and its force and effect to have been fully understood.  No word in the instrument, therefore, can be rejected as superfluous or unmeaning…” Chief Justice John Marshal (Father of Judicial Review), 1840, writing majority opinion in Holmes v. Jennison (1840) on the absolute duty of Justices to strictly interpret the US Constitution.

“(The right to privacy derives from) Penumbras and emanations of the bill of rights” 1960’s era Supreme Court majority opinion establishing precedence for a “Constitutional” right to personal privacy. 

“The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy, (but) in a line of decisions, however, going back as far as 1891 the Court (appears to have) recognized that a right of personal privacy…. does exist under the Constitution.”  Majority opinion in Roe v. Wade (1973) creating a constitutionally protected “right” to an abortion.

In 1802, Chief Justice John Marshall famously held (Marbury v. Madison) that the Court’s duty was to interpret the Constitution.  This duty was considered sacred, as Chief Justice Marshall also wrote: “(our founding fathers drafted the Constitution) to establish for their future government…principles…deemed fundamental…Supreme and permanent….(in writing to) not be mistaken, or forgotten… Forming the fundamental and paramount law of the nation.”  Unfortunately, as early as 1947, Supreme Court justice Hugo Black wrote of his fellow Justices’ “practice of substituting the Court’s own concepts of decency and fundamental justice for the language of the Bill of Rights.”  This was the same year in which the Supreme Court, for the first time in US history, used the non-constitutional term “Wall of separation between Church and State”.  Interestingly, in 1947 Justice Black opined in a minority opinion:  The Court is (Free of the) outworn 18th century straight jacket (of strict interpretation)”.

Becoming virtually unchecked by the late 1958, the court held (Cooper v. Aaron) that the Court’s interpretation, whether using strict standards or not, becomes the supreme law of the land.  In 1962, the Court used supreme “precedence” from the 1947 “Wall of separation” case to strike down school prayer.  A year later Bible reading was driven from school.  Outrageous decisions followed throughout the 1960’s leading up to the ridiculous Roe v. Wade “abortion right” decision in 1973.

The right to an abortion is, in no way, a part of the US Constitution.  In Roe v. Wade, the Court had to use precedential terms like “penumbras and emanations” from the Bill of Rights.  The majority was forced to look “under” the Constitution to justify this clearly non-existent “right”.  The travesty is in the fact that by 1973 the states were already deciding this political and social issue.  The more Liberal states allowed abortion and the conservative states banned the procedure.  A woman could obtain a legal abortion and yet states and communities were not forced to allow what they considered murder.  Under our Federal system, this is the manner that issues like abortion were intended to be handled.  Constitutional “rights” can only derive from that given expressly by the Constitution.  Otherwise, the people must form a super-majority to amend the Constitution.  Constitutional protections are meant to be absolutely essential.  The Constitutional “right” to abortion is not in that category.  Since Roe v. Wade, over 40 million babies have been aborted in America.  The upheaval and pain caused to America over the past 35 years is the worst since legalized slavery.

Though many Americans have come to see abortion as a “Constitutional” right (just as they believe “Wall of separation between Church and State” is Constitutional language), it is not.  The Court was wrong to involve itself in this political issue.  If the Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, many states would keep it and the states that don’t would end the practice by the will of the people.  It is time for Americans to begin putting pressure on our government over this issue.  Congress has rightful “checks” over the Court, but fails to use them.  Congress can end Supreme Court appeals authority over certain issues.  It can even dissolve lower Federal Courts.  The problem is that most Americans have become sheep in the process.  They continue electing a Congress without the backbone to help check the Courts when the Judiciary is overreaching.  It is time Americans fight back and give our children the country our founders intended.  The abortion issue is a great place to start.

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6 Comments to “The Constitution: America’s Anchor”

  1. Great article, Bill! You are exactly right on this issue. It is particularly upsetting to see the senior U.S. Senator from SC continue to pave the way for people who clearly hold the U.S. Constitution in contempt to have a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land.

  2. Paul I am sick of people saying crap like that. Graham didn’t pave the way for a damn thing this week. The American people put her on the bench when they elected Obama and gave the Senate to the Democrats. It’s about time people like you take some responsibility for a change and look in the mirror. American picked the government is has and got the government it deserved. Lindsey Graham would have stopped it if he could. He busted his ass on the campaign trail trying to stop this 2 years ago when it mattered but not enough of us listened so this week – and for years to come – we get Soto and Kagan. Don’t use Graham as an excuse.

  3. Shell,

    It seems to me that too many of our Republican Senators are using the “elections have consequences” excuse to avoid a fight. Bill’s closing paragraph talks about how congress needs to grow a backbone to bring the courts under control. While the Senate doesn’t have the power to chose the Supreme Court Justices they do have the power to approve them. If a candidate before them clearly gives the impression that they are not going to strictly interpret the Constitution then they Senator should vote “No.” Elections do have consequences. Those consequences should be about the laws that are passed. Saying elections have consequences as an excuse to allow someone like Kagan on the Supreme Court violates what WE elected HIM for. Protecting the Constitution should be a Senator’s first and most important responsibility. Anything less is a violation of his oath and the trust of the people.

    The problem Graham has and will continue to have is he keeping bringing flowers to a knife fight. The Democrats don’t want to get along, they don’t want to compromise and they certainly don’t care about the atmosphere in Congress. Washington is toxic right now. Graham needs to stop trying to play nice with the rabid dogs and start pushing conservative principles. I’m not saying he needs to throw the poison out like the Democrats are. He can stand firm on conservative principles without being a jackass. Jim DemInt is doing a good job of that.

  4. You say Congress should grow a backbone? They HAVE one. A liberal one. Congress is controlled by the Democrats and they are doing EXACTLY what they want. And, until we have an election that proves otherwise, it must be what the American people want.

    Graham is smart enough to know you keep you powder dry and fight the battles you can win. Kagan and Sotomayer were going to be approved regardless. Graham has been lecturing Democrats for years that just because you don’t agree with the judicial philosophy a nominee may have, that is not a good-enough reason to vote against them (remember Alito and Roberts?). If he had voted against Kagan without a better reason than just “she is liberal and would try to pull the court that way,” that would be the hight of hypocrisy. That may be okay with some on the right, but not me.

  5. Shell:

    If you can answer one of these questions, I’ll lay off on critizing Graham for his support for Kagan.

    1. Why, if Kagan is going to be nominated anyway, does Graham not keep his power dry (as you say), and vote “NO” on Kagan?

    2. Why not let the anchor be hung around Olympia Snow and Susan Collins (because they will vote “Yes”), and vote “NO” so that he does not piss off his base?

    3. If his vote doesn’t matter, as you say, why support her all?

    On Kagan: if she were to go down, it would take Obama a few weeks to name a replacement, and effective delays, and requests for documents could delay her hearing into the Lame Duck Session. There is a big push to hamstring the lame duck session, and if successful we could push her nomination to a republican controlled house and hopefully sentate…… In the words of Stonewall Jackson speaking of the enemy: “I don’t want them living….I want them dead.” We can kill her nomination today, and hope for a better SCJ nomineet on the battlefield of our own choosing.

    Sometimes I think Graham grants his opponents more quarter than they expects and require. In the process, he comes off looking weak in the process.

    His citizenship idea is good, btw.

  6. iPlan – I offer this article as my answer: Read read it and tell me if this is the America you want to live in. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/40729.html Think of Limbaugh and Beck and all the money they make when you read “by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.”

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