By Douglas V. Gibbs
Who are the final arbiters of the U.S. Constitution?
Imagine, if you will, a contract you enter into with a contractor. For the sake of discussion the type of service being offered by the entity you are entering into a contract with is a construction project.
Now, let's say that during the agreement the contractor uses hardware not within the specifications of the contract. Perhaps, instead of using a longer bolt as decided upon for the structure to be more sturdy, the contractor elects to use a shorter bolt, and a less than grade 8 bolt, on top of that. You open the contract, read where it says that only grade 8 bolts of length in excess of the minimum requirements will be used, and you point it out to the business owner.
Hoping that the response will be an apology for using the wrong bolt, and that the contractor would then apply the correct bolt, you are happy with the little discussion you have had with the contractor. However, rather than correct the situation, he says that the contract says he can use any bolt he wishes to get the job done. Then, to reinforce his argument, he brings in a lawyer that works for him and the lawyer says that you misunderstand the contract, and based on his interpretation of the wording, the contractor can use any bolt he wishes just as long as it provides a general role in the completion of the entire project.
You were figuring the legal council would apply the contract to the situation, and then advise the contractor that it is his opinion that the contract is not being followed, and recommend that the contractor correct his actions. Of course, the lawyer can't force the issue with the contractor. Ultimately it is the contractor's decision to change the bolts. But such a decision by the lawyer would have given the you, the consumer, all the more reason to insist that the contractor change his position.
Not satisfied, because the contract is written in plain English and you know what you read, you argue that the contract is very specific in describing the requirements in regards to the grade and length of the bolt. The lawyer says that past customers have accepted the shorter, lower grade bolts, and based on that precedence, the contractor can use the inferior bolts. "Besides," he says, "unless you are a construction lawyer, you are not qualified to understand what you read in the contract, and therefore your opinion does not hold any water."
After all, what did you expect? The lawyer works for the contractor.
You nod your head, grin, and then fire the bastards so that they can be replaced with someone that can abide by a simple contract.
In that scenario, who was the final arbiter of the contract?
The obvious answer is "you," because you have the power to fire the idiots that are unwilling to abide by that contract. After all, the contract was written for your protection, and if you feel you are not being protected then it is your prerogative to find someone who will protect you and abide by all of the provisions of the contract.
The U.S. Constitution is a contract between the federal government and the American People. The contract was written for our protection against a government that, if not required to follow the limiting principles of the Constitution, can potentially become a tyrannical government.
The contractor in the consumer/contractor example is the federal government (Congress and Executive), the lawyer is the Supreme Court, and the consumer is the American People. The contract entered into is the U.S. Constitution. The services being offered are enumerated in Article I, Section 8, which are the authorized powers of the federal government which include post offices and protecting the union from invasion.
The federal government, especially under the Obama administration, is trying to do things that are not within the specifications of the contract, or Constitution. The American People have read the Constitution and have determined the federal government is not following the limiting principles of that document. Health Care, for example, is not an authority given to the federal government by the Constitution, and the people have a right to reject, and refuse, the mandates of the legislation should it pass. One method is by the states declaring their sovereignty, as prescribed by the Tenth Amendment, and passing state laws rejecting the federal mandate.
Rather than only presenting federal legislation that can be defended as falling within the powers of the federal government by the U.S. Constitution, the politicians come with flimsy explanations, using things like the General Welfare Clause or the Commerce Clause out of context in order to try to justify their proposals.
Then, just to slam their point home, they use the Supreme Court to "interpret" the contract, rather than "apply" what that contract says regarding the situation. Of course the Court's decisions, especially when populated by activist judges, will side with the government, for they are the government. One must ask, how long before the government finally comes to the conclusion, with the blessings of a bunch of politically motivated judges, that its powers are limitless?
Not satisfied, because the Constitution is written in plain English, the American People are arguing that the Constitution is not being followed, and that the federal government is breaching its contract with the American People. The Supreme Court says that precedent law shows that what the federal government is doing is constitutional, despite the fact that their actions are contrary to the text of the founding document. "Besides," say the supporters of an ever-growing government, "unless you are a constitutional lawyer, you are not qualified to understand what you read in the Constitution, therefore you have no right to make your argument."
What did you expect? The Supreme Court works for the government.
At the Tea Parties we are nodding our heads, and we are working on firing the bastards so that they can be replaced with someone that can abide by a simple contract.
John Marshall, in his written opinion regarding Marbury v. Madison case in 1803, began the ball rolling to erroneously, and against the intentions of the Jeffersonian view of limited government, to place the judiciary in that position of ultimate power as arbiters of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court represents the federal government in the court, and their place is to apply the Constitution to the cases they see. If their opinion is that a law is unconstitutional, based on that opinion, they can also deem that all cases following that use the unconstitutional law in their case is unconstitutional as well. However, they do not make law, and therefore the law, no matter how unconstitutional they think it is, remains on the books. As in the case of the contractor, it is up to the legislative branch to change the law to fit what the Supreme Court's opinion is, or not to. If the Supreme Court, members of Congress, or the President is acting unconstitutionally, and the people recognize there actions as being such, the people can vote in people that follow the Constitution, and then the problem justices can be impeached by the House of Representatives and be removed from office if convicted in a Senate for their subversive activist behavior.
As with the consumer that fired the contractor, that makes The People the final arbiters of the U.S. Constitution.
The U.S. Constitution is a contract between the federal government and the people, and it is the people's responsibility to know what is in that contract, to determine if the federal government is following that contract, and to fire the dirtballs if they don't abide by that contract.
The first three words of the Preamble are "We The People" for a reason.
Therefore, the final arbiters of the U.S. Constitution is the American People.
-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary