April 29, 2010 by Bob Livingston
The pending retirement of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens gives President Barack Obama an opportunity to shape court decisions for many years to come. Let’s hope he makes a wise decision.
Unfortunately, his radical leftist views that the United States Constitution is a “charter of negative liberties” and his prior choice of Sonya Sotamayor—who as an appellate judge ruled that the New Haven fire department’s promotion test was discriminatory because no minorities scored well enough for promotion—to the Supreme Court don’t augur well for liberty.
Liberals like to say the Constitution is a “living, breathing document,” because that allows activist judges to create “rights” out of thin air in order to advance an agenda. But what is needed are strict constructionist justices who are willing to go back and see what the Founding Fathers intended when they wrote the document.
“On every question of construction,” wrote Thomas Jefferson, “carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one which was passed.”
The Founders understood that government could easily become the enemy of the people. So they wrote a Constitution that put restraints on the government.
If we are to remain free we need to watch closely the people Obama nominates for the courts—the Supreme Court most importantly. They must be people who recognize the role of government. They must understand that the Constitution was written to protect the citizens from its government, not the government from its citizens. They must recognize that all men are created equal, and that no group or class is more equal than another. If not, we must do all we can to block them.
Because, as Samuel Adams said, “[W]ithout liberty and equality [under the law], there cannot exist that tranquility of mind, which results from the assurance of this to every citizen, that his own personal safety and rights are secure … it is the end and design of all free and lawful Governments.”