WASHINGTON, April 1, 2017 — When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its landmark Marbury vs. Madison ruling in 1803, giving to itself the power to decide the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress, President Thomas Jefferson was incensed:
“The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what are not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch.”
So wrote Jefferson in a letter to former First Lady Abigail Adams.
Since then, the high court has ruled abortion a constitutionally protected atrocity, as gleaned from the Constitution’s imaginary “penumbras and emanations”, and redefined the sacred institution of marriage.
Today’s Supreme Court is a perpetual constitutional convention and nine-person super-legislature passing laws that California Senator Dianne Feinstein considers irrevocable by virtue of their imaginary status as “super precedent.”
Sen. Feinstein, like so many on the progressive left, believes we exist under a “living Constitution.” That is to say, a Constitution whose black-letter law means whatever imaginative justices (“penumbras and emanations”) say it means.
This is not constitutional government. This is arbitrary and arrogant authoritarianism. This is the kind of government that derives its unjust power by the outright defiance of “the consent of the governed.”
Civilized human beings call these capricious states “banana republics.”
Last November, a declining America not only rejected Hillary Clinton’s bid to serve as the nation’s 45th president, it rejected “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders.
When Sanders tried to quell the qualms many Americans feel with regard to confiscatory socialism, which threatened their fathers and grandfathers with nuclear annihilation, and whose grandchildren its modern North Korean champion says he would gladly incinerate, they understandably turned to a private-property-dealing New York real estate magnate instead.
Slapping the word “democratic” in front of one of the 20th century’s great evils proved unpalatable to them, whether that brand of despotism is Lenin’s international socialism, Hitler’s national socialism, or the democratic socialism of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, known as “Chavesmo.”
Democratic socialism and jurisprudential authoritarianism converged recently when Venezuela’s high court – most of whom were appointed by Chavez and his democratic socialist successor – declared itself the soul legislative and constitutional authority in the land.
“As long as the contempt and invalidity of the proceedings of the National Assembly persists,” said the Venezuelan high court, “this constitutional chamber shall ensure that parliamentary powers are exercised directly by this chamber or the body that it chooses, to ensure the rule of law.”
The institution it chose over the legislative body elected by “the consent of the governed” is Venezuela’s democratic socialist head of state, Nicolas Maduro. Their decree said Maduro “may modify, by means of reform… in correspondence with the jurisprudence of this high court.”
In short, an authoritarian court ruled that an authoritarian head of state, democratically elected by the people (as was Adolf Hitler in 1933), is the unquestioned and absolute authority in that South American banana republic.
In Venezuela, “living constitutions” and “democratic socialism” helped usher in chaos and a depraved and primitive despotism.
That’s because, as Jefferson said, when judges “decide what laws are constitutional,” it makes “the Judiciary a despotic branch.”