03 July 2005

Some Things Are So Stupid ...

... Only an Intellectual Could Believe Them

Resolved: that Justice Stepehn Breyer is the most ridiculous and sorry excuse for a Supreme Court Justice in, well, forever.

The competition, however, is fierce, especially of late, with the Ten Commandments decision, followed by the Eminent Domain decision.

Even so, Mark Steyn's column in today's Chicago Sun-Times makes the case:
His grounds for doing so were that the Texas Commandments had been there 40 years and were thus part of ''a broader moral and historical message reflective of a cultural heritage,'' whereas the Kentucky Commandments were newer and "a more contemporary state effort to focus attention upon a religious text is certainly likely to prove divisive.''

Really? Not as "certainly likely" to prove divisive as grandfathering the display of some Commandments but not others, so that the only way to be sure yours is constitutional is to sue over it. For one thing, Justice Breyer didn't identify the year in which he believes the Commandments ceased to be constitutional. Nineteen-sixty-eight? Nineteen-seventy-three? Maybe a sliding scale? If you put up the Commandments before 1965, you can have all Ten; between 1966 and 1979, you can have six firm Commandments plus a couple of strong recommendations; from 1980 to 1991, it's two Commandments and half a dozen lifestyle tips?

To be sure, the Supreme Court took other factors than the year of manufacture into consideration -- whether the display was inside or out, whether it was surrounded by a full supporting cast of religious artifacts or secular knick-knacks, etc. But it's hard to discern any principles here, at least when compared to their one-size-fits-all abortion absolutism. To the best of my knowledge, Justice Breyer has never claimed you can have a first-trimester abortion in the parking lot but for the full partial-birth you have to be indoors.

Question. Why would the Founders have written a Constitution with clear, concise, inviolable rules, if what they really wanted was for touchy-feely equivocating intellectuals to split the difference, across the board?

There is a very simple observation I'll make here: those who advocate such foolish meddling with the United States Constitution are, by definition, advocating the replacement of it, with a form of progressive Big Government, where those who are smarter than you and I, or so the theory goes, get to rule over every detail of our lives.

Which is fine, for some, I guess. To them I say, move to Europe, then.

They've already got that system, plus high taxes, 10% unemployment rates, abortion on demand, militant secularism, and a complete lack of confidence in who they are as a people, which results in a complete lack of will to defend themselves, both militarily and socially.

If that sounds like the path that we too are headed down, congratulations, have a cookie.

As for me, no thanks, I'm trying to cut down.

UPDATE: See also, Thomas Sowell, Property Rites.