What do the Supreme Court rulings on The Affordable Care Act and Marriage Equality have in common? First, the rulings are unconstitutional. And second, both are a case of the Supreme Court legislating from the bench. Believing these two things to be true requires quite the leap of, dare I say, faith.
I had this discussion on Facebook only to have it deleted so I want to repeat some of my thoughts here. The phrase “legislating from the bench” is nothing more than a marketing phrase. Saying “the Supreme Court is wrong because I don’t agree with them” sounds arrogant, but “legislating from the bench?” That sounds technical. Official. Almost true.
No court legislates from the bench. They judge existing laws. That’s why we call them judges. A court’s opinion – note the word “opinion” – is fluid as intended by the Constitution. What may be constitutional now may not be in the future.
Take slavery. Constitutional then not.
Booze. Constitutional, then not and then back again.
It’s not a matter of right or wrong. Each generation defines what is constitutional within the spectrum of its own experience. That’s the way the framers intended the Constitution to work.
The good news is that the fact that the ACA and marriage equality are now protected does not preclude you from despising those decisions or the people that support it. That’s constitutional. The God Hates Fags folks have had their rights protected for a very long time. But just because they hate fags doesn’t mean that everyone has to.
Candidates such as Mike Huckabee who revere the concept of personal freedom now only speaks in the context of States’ Rights. That’s a not so veiled way of saying, “you are free to believe as you choose so long as you live as I choose.”
These are my 300 words for the day. I am Ralph M. Rivera.