WASHINGTON. The left, which pulled out all the stops in an effort to block the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court… and failed, must be in a state of slobbering convulsions. Liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has missed several days of oral arguments before the high court while at home recovering from cancer surgery.
Trump is making a list
And recent news reports say the Trump administration is compiling a short list of replacements for Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Should the 85-year-old Ginsburg retire or simply cast off the mortal coil, President Trump would have the honor of nominating a third justice to sit on the Supreme Court.
As one of nine arbiters of what is and isn’t constitutional, Ruth Bader Ginsburg isn’t a big fan of the document whose Bill of Rights sees individual liberty as the citizen’s most valued treasure.
Not her kind of Constitution
During the chaos that was the Arab Spring, Ginsburg was asked if Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Egypt should use the US Constitution as a model for their own.
“I would not look to the U.S. Constitution,” Ruth Bader Ginsburg told a reporter, “I would look at the Constitution of South Africa. That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, had an independent judiciary… It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done. Much more than the U.S. Constitution.”
South African attorney Martin van Staden disagrees. Writing in the Rational Standard, Staden says the South African Constitution’s fatal flaw is not recognizing the nature of man.
“We enacted a constitution for a moral saint – thought to be Nelson Mandela – and not for a real human being. As libertarians in South Africa and abroad had been warning for decades (centuries, if one counts early classical liberal thinkers), the nature of government means that those who are inevitably attracted to government are people who seek power. This is an absolute rule. There is no reality in which the institution of government does not attract this type of human being.”
Staden makes the same point as did the man known as the father of the US Constitution, James Madison.
“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature. If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In forming a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.”
The solution to Madison’s problem was simple: limit the power of government to those specifically granted it by law (“enumerated powers”) and then divide that power equally among the government’s various branches (“separation of powers”).
A Constitution for killer angels
After the US Constitution’s ratification, the first Congress further gilded the lily by passing constitutional amendments to serve as a declaration of individual rights.
The Bill of Right’s First Amendment not only limits government power to squash the individual’s right to free speech and religious conscience, by declaring “Congress shall make no law” abridging these individual freedoms, it also limits the power of America’s democratic majority as expressed through their duly elected representatives.
While Justice Ginsburg admires South Africa’s Constitution for being a “fundamental instrument of government,” the framers of the US Constitution viewed their governmental instrument as beneath the most modest American’s individual sovereignty.
America’s bloody and independent judiciary
As for her love of an “independent judiciary,” it was the high court’s 1858 Dred Scott ruling that declared African-Americans nonpersons. The court would do the same for the unborn in its 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision.
The US Civil War, which followed in the wake of Dred Scott, resulted in 620,000 American dead. And an estimated 60 million unborn have died since the high court not only decided to be the exclusive interpreter of constitutionality but tried its hand at playing God.
The government in the hands of flawed human beings who fancy themselves saints, as South African attorney Martin van Staden wisely noted, does nothing to alleviate those pains associated with the human condition.
Perhaps Trump’s impending Ginsburg replacement will prove less arrogant and more sensitive to protecting our precious individual right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Top Image: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg takes a siesta during
President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address. Fox News screen capture.