WASHINGTON, Feb. 22, 2016 – When Justice Antonin Scalia died, America trembled. The media portrays the appointment of his replacement as simply another conflict between Democrats and Republicans, the president and the Congress, and/or fodder for presidential candidates.
But make no mistake: The future of America will be decided by the next Supreme Court Justice. It is that important. Why? Because the Constitution matters.
The Constitution protects the God-given rights of the American people through the Bill of Rights and through how it lays out the structure and functions of the government.
In America, we the people hold the power, and we elect representatives.To protect the people from tyranny, the power to govern was not consolidated in a single group or person. The Constitution divides this representative power between the states and the three branches of federal government.
But there is more at work here than protecting us from power-hungry politicians.
The founders also knew each branch would be protective of the power it was given by the Constitution: the legislators would protect their power to legislate, the president would protect his enforcement powers and the Supreme Court would protect the integrity of the Constitution. There are other specific responsibilities granted to each branch as well, but you get the gist.
That is how the U.S. Constitution requires our government to work: elected and appointed officials doing the work of the people. But over time, many politicians developed other agendas than fulfilling their constitutional responsibilities. Add to that, “we the people” are failing to use our voices and our votes to hold those very politicians accountable.
The result is that the balance of power between the people and the government, between the states and the federal government and between the branches of government is seriously out of whack.
We have seen Congress fail to implement much legislation that wasn’t along party lines. We have seen the president take a pen and phone and issue executive orders that are nothing more than legislation in disguise.
We have seen the Supreme Court rewrite portions of legislation, such as the Affordable Care Act. In another instance, the court decided that it had the power to redefine marriage, which constitutionally belongs to the states.
Who is watching out for the Constitution amidst all this chaos?
Dr. Ben Carson, a candidate for president, spoke straight to the heart of the issue:
(Justice Scalia) made Americans proud, not only because he gave to the court the power and persuasion of his brilliant legal mind, but because he defended the Constitution with an unshakeable commitment to the text and to the intent of the founders.
In an age where it is popular to subscribe to a “living Constitution” and during a time when political and judicial leaders prefer legal decisions that are politically convenient, Justice Scalia always dutifully carried out his responsibilities to interpret the law, not to make new ones. Time and again, he ruled based on where the black letter of the law led him, not according to the politics of the moment. For that reason, he has angered Americans on both the left and the right, but he has never wavered in his dedication to the Constitution.
It is imperative that the Senate not allow President Obama to diminish Justice Scalia’s legacy by trying to nominate an individual who would carry on the president’s wishes to subvert the will of the people. Given the dire condition our democracy currently finds itself [in] under Obama’s lack of leadership, I call on the Senate to stop any attempts to fill this crucial seat until we the people elect a strong constitutionalist this November.
Should President Obama follow the Constitution and nominate a new justice? Of, course, although it really seems disingenuous of the president to use his constitutional power to nominate a justice who will strive to undermine that very Constitution.
Should the Senate follow the Constitution and use its power to reject that nomination? Absolutely.
Carson mentioned the two prevailing judicial philosophies in America today. Let me explain further.
A constitutionalist believes that the U.S. Constitution should be applied and interpreted according to its original intent. This is the best way to protect the greatness of America, which is rooted in its people’s liberty and power. For example, the Second Amendment to the Constitution clearly says that it is the right of individual Americans to own and carry firearms and the government shall not infringe upon the right.
Justice Scalia was and two other justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, are constitutionalists. Chief Justice John Roberts and sometimes Anthony Kennedy often lean this way, but often are more moderate.
The other prevailing philosophy says that the Constitution is a “living document.” “The hidden meaning behind such language is that the Constitution is outdated and does not or should not apply to modern society. It is a principle that allows it’s supporters to suggest scrapping the Constitution for some updated foreign or global system of law” (Kris Anne Hall, “Not a Living Breathing Document: Reclaiming our Constitution,” 41).
The “living document” justices are Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and two Obama appointees, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagen. To use the example of the Second Amendment, the “living Constitution” adherents would like see the Second Amendment revoked as the ultimate form of gun control.
With Justice Scalia’s death, there are now four justices who are working to protect the Constitution and four who are working to undermine it. The future of our Constitution hangs in the balance.
Unless the next Supreme Court Justice is a firm constitutionalist, the foundations of America’s liberty are at risk from those who wish to destroy America from within.
Think about what might happen to the Second Amendment, our religious liberty, our freedom of speech.
As Carson has said throughout his campaign, it is time for “We the People” to exercise our power and restore our nation. Will we strengthen our constitutional republic, or will we continue to let it be eroded before our very eyes? Only when the people stand up with their voices and votes will the balance of power in America be put to rights.
Call your senator and demand he or she reject any of President Obama’s nominees. Insist that he or she declare support for someone who will uphold the Constitution and its original intent, like Justice Scalia. Remember, they are your representatives.
If your senator’s seat is open this November, use your vote to elect someone who will fulfill his/her constitutional duties and support the nomination of constitutionalists to the Court.
In the primaries and again in November, vote for Ben Carson. He is running for president to restore the power of “we the people’ and the greatness of the U.S. Constitution. Carson will be guided by our founding documents in performing all his duties as president, including his nominations to the Supreme Court.
I want a president who will honestly preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. Don’t you?