Gun rights advocates are cheering the welcome ruling from the Supreme Court yesterday that affirmed that the Second Amendment hasn’t been repealed. That’s a very good thing, and it’s nice to know that the basic rights embodied in our constitution still survive – but just barely.
What’s terrifying is that this right was one vote away from disappearing altogether.
That’s just flabbergasting to me. Amending the Constitution is supposed to be an arduous, torturous process, with two thirds of the House and Senate and three quarters of all state legislatures having to agree to do such a thing. Yet we’ve reached a point where five people in black robes can amend the Constitution at will, depending on their mood swings or what they had for breakfast. Four of them – four! – believe they have the authority to essentially disregard the plain language of the Constitution because they don’t like it. And one more – Anthony Kennedy – goes whichever way the wind blows, so now it’s illegal to give child rapists the death penalty, and terrorists at Gitmo essentially get the same legal treatment as US citizens.
So the law is not something that has to pass two houses of Congress and get signed by the president. It’s not even the plain language of the Constitution. The Tenth Amendment, for instance, has been completely ignored for decades. And the Second Amendment was just a hairsbreadth away from going down the same road.
The law is whatever Anthony Kennedy says it is.
That’s tyranny. And it’s wrong. It needs to stop.
There needs to be some kind of check on judicial power. Congress ought to be able to override a bad Supreme Court decision with a two-thirds vote, the same way they override a presidential veto. Because even a real live Constitutional Amendment can be ignored by arrogant judges with no respect for anything but their own hubris.
The next president will almost certainly replace Justice Stevens and probably Justice Ginsberg, too. Neither Obama nor McCain will appoint anyone who will move the court in the direction of actually adhering to the law. We need more Scalias, but the one we’ve got ain’t getting any younger. What if we lose him? It’s unlikely that we’ll have the opportunity to replace him with anyone remotely comparable, and if we lose Scalia – or Roberts, or Alito, or Thomas – we lose the Second Amendment forever.
I just hope the corpse of Jacques Cousteau realizes all this after he sweeps into office.