Originally created 01/06/01

Top court arrogance



Liberal critics still complaining about the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning the Florida Supreme Court's pro-Al Gore ruling have no one to blame but themselves for the intervention in a state court's decision. In every other instance of activism, it's been the left that's cheered "activist justice" on.

In a recent piece published in First Things respected jurist Robert Bork, whose "strict constructionist" views lost him a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1980s, recounts just what an activist federal Supreme Court has given us:

"For the last half century the court has been a revolutionary force in American culture and politics ... (making) decisions redefining the family, altering the composition of state and federal legislatures, ... creating a right to privacy, protecting pornography, adopting rules rendering it virtually impossible to prosecute obscenity, refusing states the authority to support all-male military academies, creating special rights for homosexuals, limiting school discipline, banishing religion from public life, protecting foul language in public ... and, of course, inventing the right to abort."

Bork's point isn't that these far-reaching decisions were intrinsically wrong (Americans will agree with some and disagree with others), but that they were wrongly made: None was legislated by Congress. Each was mandated by the unelected and untouchable Supreme Court.

It would be heartening if Florida turned liberals into strict constructionists, but every indication is that liberals' beef with the Florida decision is that they disagreed with the outcome, not the process.