With the 4th of July upon us, I thought this would be a good time to reflect upon how much further away from our Founders’ notion of Liberty than we were just one week ago.
I’m speaking, of course, about the 3 opinions sent down by the Supreme Court last week which strike at the very nature of the relationship between the Federal government and the states. The decisions in Burwell (Obamacare), Obergefell (gay marriage) and the lesser reported case of Texas Dep’t of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project (upholding the “disparate impact” standard in cases dealing with public housing) all have one thing in common: though they concern different issues, they all have the effect of taking power from or placing further impediments in the path of actions by the States or the People. In order, they have the effect of
- Perpetuating legislation that is overwhelmingly opposed by a majority of Americans;
- Overturning the will of the people who’ve spoken through referenda in a majority of the states; and
- Imposing a draconian and practically unenforceable standard in an area of the law which is already subject to strict discrimination guidelines.
We now live in a country where we measure ourselves by counting coup over our political adversaries instead of referring to our legacy of national heritage, our founding idea of fundamental liberty and our civic rituals. These things matter more now, not less, as outcomes are being determined by the side with the biggest megaphone. Today, that megaphone is held by those who would destroy the very thing that made us unique: the freedom to live as we choose without a government which is ever further removed from us dictating that which we must and must not do. And to criticize is to be branded with terms that are meant to do nothing more than stifle dissent.
It’s well on this July 4th to remember the words of James Madison:
“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
Have a Happy 4th.
Hope you had a good 4th. Here’s another (longish, but worthwhile) post on the subject of liberty: