Skip to comments.David Limbaugh Regarding Judge Moore: "A Clashing of Principles and Jurisdictions"
Posted on 08/23/2003 5:42:10 AM PDT by Theodore R.
A Clashing of Principles and Jurisdictions David Limbaugh Friday, Aug. 22, 2003
While everyone is focusing on the propriety of Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore's refusal to remove a Ten Commandments monument from his courthouse, we are giving the federal courts a pass and we mustn't.
Undeniably, the federal constitution's Supremacy Clause makes the federal constitution and constitutional federal laws supreme over state constitutions and laws and binding on state judges.
So, should our analysis end here? That's what some conservative pundits are saying. The federal courts have ordered Justice Moore to remove the monument under authority of the United States Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land. The U.S. Supreme Court is the final arbiter of what the Constitution means, having arrogated to itself that authority in 1803.
Since the high Court declined to hear the case, the ruling of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ordering Judge Moore to remove the monument now stands. Thus, Justice Moore must comply, notwithstanding his belief that to do so would violate his oath of office affirming that the state government was established under God.
This is a very difficult case for me because my sympathies are with Justice Moore, yet I am also a staunch believer in the rule of law and an equally strong opponent of anarchy.
My allegiance to the rule of law leads me to believe that we cannot permit a state court judge no matter how righteous his cause to violate federal appellate court rulings. He should vigorously oppose the wrongheaded feds at every phase and exhaust all possible remedies, but once they are exhausted, he must obey.
Our entire system of ordered liberty depends on the integrity of our legal system, which in turn depends on government officials, especially judges, obeying the law. Indeed, state judges also take an oath to uphold the federal constitution.
On the other hand, our liberties also depend on two other very important concepts that are at issue in this case. The Framers believed that our Constitution was grounded in the principles of the Christian religion and that without that foundation neither our Constitution nor the liberty it guarantees could survive. Justice Moore is fighting laudably to preserve that tradition.
The Framers also believed that liberty could best be achieved and sustained through a system of federalism which they quite specifically established, dividing governmental power between the federal and state governments. To be sure, they made the federal government supreme as to those matters on which they conferred it authority but the 10th Amendment expressly reserved the balance to the individual states.
Justice Moore is aware that the federal courts have egregiously exceeded their authority, usurping power properly reserved to the states. He is fighting to preserve the principle of federalism in furtherance of the cause of liberty.
Here's where it gets messy. The First Amendment contains two religion clauses, the Establishment Clause: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"; and the Free Exercise Clause: "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The federal courts have ordered Justice Moore to remove the monument on the grounds that it constitutes an unconstitutional establishment of religion.
Their ruling is flawed on a number of grounds, but unfortunately seems to follow the precedent of earlier lamentable Supreme Court decisions. As you can see, the Establishment Clause, on its face, prohibits only the U.S. Congress from "establishing" a religion. Sadly, the Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the Establishment Clause is also applicable to state governments through incorporation in the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
But the 14th Amendment was never intended to make the federal Establishment Clause binding on the states. Nor did the Framers intend that the Establishment prevent the federal government, much less the states, from all support for religion.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph Story wrote, "Thus, the whole power over the subject of religion was left exclusively to State governments, to be acted on according to their own sense of justice and the State Constitutions."
And, "Probably, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the (First Amendment), the general, if not universal, sentiment in America was that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the State, so far as such encouragement was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience, and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation."
The federal courts have greatly eroded states' rights and religious freedoms through renegade decisions in the most cynical tradition of judicial activism. So, while our federal law is certainly entitled to supremacy, at what point do citizens stand up and say that federal courts have claimed supremacy in areas over which they were never given authority? What can be done about their obscene misinterpretations of the Constitution?
Congress could selectively limit the Court's jurisdiction. And we should fight for constitutionalist federal judges with the courage to preserve our religious liberties. In the meantime, we should honor the Court's rulings.
Copyright 2003 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
David Limbaugh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The US Supreme Court refused to grant an extraordinary stay on an appeal from the lower courts. They have yet to vote on whether to take the case in chief.
I wish writers would check their facts.
No. It doesn't work that way. That's how tyrants maintain power forever. FIRST, there must be disobedience, defiance, nullification. THEN, the laws get changed.
The same issues that Judge Moore is raising were raised by the Rescue Movement in the 1980's. Rescuers said, "We will not obey the so-called 'law' that says no one may interfere with the killing of babies." All "pro-life" governors had an opportunity in the 1980's to say: "In my state, no one will be arrested or prosecuted for protecting the life of a baby in danger." Not one of the "pro-life" governors took that opportunity. Several Catholic bishops openly denounced the Rescue Movement. The other bishops ignored it. ONE Catholic bishop, Austin Vaughan, Auxiliary of New York, became a rescuer. After the "pro-life" governors, the Catholic bishops, the National Right to Life Committee, and society in general, made it clear that "law-breaking" offended them more than baby-killing, Bob Dole and Bill Clinton joined hands and passed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which crushed the Rescue Movement by usurping even more powers for the federal government, turning such local misdemeanors as trespassing, for instance, into federal felonies.
According to pudits like Limbaugh, the passage of FACE was a triumph of the "rule of law," because it terrorized more people into "obeying" the federal leviathan, "for the time being," and "until the law can be changed."
The Rescue Movement was the ONLY part of the pro-life movement that was REALLY working to "change the law." I believe that when the "pro-life" movement ganged up to crush the Rescue Movement, the permanence of "legal" abortion in the United States was guaranteed.
God is not going to tolerate mass abortion in America forever. If he could end it without destroying the United States, I am sure he would do so. But if "legal" abortion is a permanent, unchangeable fixture of U.S. "law," then God will destroy the United States.
Here is a post that I saved a few years back...it is a little disjointed, but it IMHO gets to the heart.....:
The price of abortion will be ALL freedoms. After they take your guns, I don't own any, then they will take the rest of our freedoms, all because God is removing His blessings from our nation. Abortion is expensive. The children are murdered because of quality of life? Well then won't it cost us our quality of life? And what would be so strange about that. After all, if the Constitution doesn't protect the weakest how could we expect it to protect us? Ahhhhhh abortion, with each click of a switch that turns on the vaccuum weapon, a new statute goes onto the books that takes away another inch of our freedom in every town and state. Guns are American's identity in relationship to the huddled masses of the world who huddle hiding from their dictators, as they yearn to be free. Satan calls it freedom of choice, but since he is a liar it is easy to understand how this freedom of choice is really a removal of all freedoms, eventually, and who could deny that without your guns you will be left to the monsters. Posted by Heater Heater, Lucianne.com 2/9/00
BTW...what effect do you think that James Kopp, Eric Roudolf and Paul Hill have had on the willingness of Dr's to preform abortions?....
I guess that means that the Federal Courts REALLY REALLY REALLY are prohibited from getting involved in religious issues.
As conservatives opposed to Judicial Activism, the bad points of which we can see in the appeallant court decision, we should expect the same reserve of ourselves. Therefore, to me, the proper place for a monument observing the ten commandments is at a legislature, not a court.
Courts with their judges cannot help but be mindful of their legal heritage, it is in their education. But courts must decide upon the law, as written, alone, not on some sense of "Cosmic Justice". Failing to do that aligns the proponent with the activists.
The laws of our religions, foundational though they be, are therefore out of bounds for the court to refer to in their decisions.
Legislatures, on the other hand, should be ever mindful of our heritage, our continuity with the dead and unborn generations, and all the virtues of our civilization as carried in our religions, natural law heritage and our history in writing the laws in the first place. That is the proper place for such monuments, IMHO.
Congress could selectively limit the Court's jurisdiction. And we should fight for constitutionalist federal judges with the courage to preserve our religious liberties. In the meantime, we should honor the Court's rulings."
He hits the nail on the head with both these paragraphs, however I do not agree that we should honor the Court's rulings. The people have a right to petition the government for redress of grievances.
The means of that petition are left to the people. Sometimes civil disobedience is called for. The Supreme Court cannot be allowed to act in a lawless manner and yet expect citizens to obey their lawless decrees. The Supreme Court has no business exceeding it's authority in a power grab of what is completely a sovereign states issue.
It is an overt attack on the states culture, society, and community. It does not lead to the founding reasons enshrined in the Constitution to promote Domestic tranquility, but is rather an attack on Domestic tranquility. Far exceeding the attack on Domestic tranquility is their attack on the reins of the Constitution that restrains the Court and is an obvious attempt to wrest these reins out of the hand of God and place them in their own hands. I am proud of the citizens standing by and willing to engage in civil disobedience.