Regarding Rob Port’s July 13 comment, he states, “Judges…should be impartial servants of the law, and the law should be what is written.
If only it were that simple.
There are hundreds of millions of individual citizens in America. There are millions and millions of individual scenarios that these citizens can experience. No law can be written to tell us explicitly what should or should not be done for each of them. The only reason we have judges is so that someone can interpret what the written law really means in the circumstances.
More importantly, it includes whether the law respects the limits of the Constitution, whether – in fact – the law itself is authorized in the Constitution.
Judges are supposed to interpret the written words. If what is written were really as clear as Mr. Port suggests, then we wouldn’t need judges at all.
Throughout the history of our country, the meaning of a given law has always been subject to interpretation. Indeed, law enforcement has often depended on who is in power to determine what the law means.
That’s why the framers of the US Constitution designed our system with three equal branches of government. The executive, legislative, and judicial powers balance each other to distribute power and thereby protect citizens from undue application of laws by the government. Indeed, judges protect us from legislators and vice versa.
Mr. Port also says, “Rather than focusing on persuading voters and electing policymakers who will write what the ACLU and the American left want the law to be, they are focusing on finding lawyers and judges who will simply read their priorities from the law.”
This is flat out false at first sight. There are countless individuals on the American “left” who are actively focused on persuading voters and getting liberal legislators elected. (And it’s a well-documented fact in many states that although liberal voters outnumber conservative voters, legislatures are controlled by conservative policymakers across gerrymandered districts.)
Moreover, it is an open secret that the conservative federal corporation has waged an extensive campaign over the past 40 years to systematically fill the ranks of judges with individuals who would interpret the laws favorably for conservatives.
Indeed, at least three of the six conservatives currently on the Supreme Court are the direct result of the lobbying efforts of the Federalist Society. Are these new conservative judges “imperturbable servants” of the law? I am not convinced.
Mr. Port should not claim that the ACLU is engaged in an unprecedented “end of race” around the legislative process. The Conservatives have been actively doing this sort of thing for four decades, and now they have the result they are looking for. America’s “right” hasn’t rewritten the Constitution since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Roe v. Wade by a 7-to-2 margin. They simply found new justices to read what they wanted from the law.