Saturday, October 10, 2020

The Importance of the Supreme Court

People think that when they drive by a sign that says “littering $1,000” that it was a law passed by some legislative body, city, state, or Federal. And they are wrong.

 Here's how laws get created.  The city, state, or the Congress create departments and gives them directives to regulate.  That gives them the ability to write regulations and restrictions that relate to their governing function.  So, some bureaucrat determines the fines and penalties for violating whatever the department monitors. The regulations have the full backing of law enforcement.  With traffic, these bureaucrats set the fines for speeding, littering, parking fine rates and etc. There is no overriding commission to rule on its fairness or impropriety.

 A while back, the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) after 100 years of doing nothing, decided to charge farmers for grazing their cattle on government land. They added a new list of regulations and laws from a previously created government directive.  This ended up with a standoff with guns drawn on both sides and the Feds blinked.  The BLM, had government backing to enforce the new laws, but they decided not to enforce it at that time.  They decided that when the violator to the “illegal” tax died, they would seize the estate and get their pound of flesh with interest.

 President Donald Trump has gotten rid of a lot of government regulations/directives.  It is these regulations that create situations like the one above.  I am not sure if the regulations written to limit grazing on government land has changed, but I hope that they have.  Many, many directives restrict how land may be used. Everyone is familiar with “environmental studies” that turn land useless because of an endangered species.

 The American public doesn’t really understand how our government works.  The legal system understands how laws are generated. It’s not too hard for a lawyer to tear one apart.  In most cases, that costs money, and usually the fine is a lot less than getting a lawyer.  This is what keeps the system functional, you don’t have the dollars or the time, to chase this in the courts. Until someone does, it is law.  The most damming regulation was that for hotels with a pool, to have a lift for paraplegics to use the pool.  Where does the business owner come up with the money to finance the purchase? The device costed about $10,000. Why would you want someone in your pool with no control over bodily functions?  

 When the government creates a department, that department gets to create government regulations or “laws.”  If a bureaucrat in charge, decides that every school must have a unisex bathroom, it has the force of law, the school must conform.  The school can then appeal to the courts for a ruling. It cost time and dollars to fight these regulations. It may be a couple of years before a court ruling decides the issue.

 Both the Republicans and the Democrats have used Presidential Directives. Also, the bureau heads of government departments often write new directives to circumvent Congress when they don’t have the votes to make it law. This is the real war going on for the Supreme Court.   Do we allow the President and the Bureau heads to write the laws and have the Supreme court agree with the ruling party, or do we have a Supreme court that holds everyone to the principles written in our Constitution?

 If a liberal court ruled that guns could not be owned by citizens, then they would be confiscated.  The odd thing about this confiscation, is that the people this would be enforced upon, would be home owners.  These people can be fined and if they don’t pay, their home is confiscated.  If you are homeless, a felon, or a renter, there isn’t much that can be done to you, so you get to keep your guns.  So, if you get a liberal Supreme Court that sides with the President, home owners become an extremely vulnerable group.  Just imagine if some bureaucrat decides that every home should have solar panels -- get out your wallet.  The people that will enforce the new regulations are already in place. They will just be doing their job, it’s not their fault. Net effect, you will own the solar panels before it gets to the Supreme court.

 Think about what the Democrats want to do to the Supreme Court.  Some bureaucrat may be making all of your decisions for you in the future.  The neat thing about that, is if you become a failure, it’s not your fault.  The real question; is it the bureaucrat or the Constitution that determines the final outcome? Nine justices on the Supreme Court will decide the issue.

I don't normally talk politics, but President Trump is fighting for for what this country was founded on.  Go out and vote.  I'm not sure of who will win, but he embodies the spirit that has made this country great.


dearieme said...

"do we have a Supreme court that holds everyone to the principles written in our Constitution?"

I don't think your constitution is an assembly of principles. It's a well thought out set of definitions of how the federal government is to be constituted and run, combined with specific instruction on what the government is not to do. I suppose you could argue that some rules are effectively principles, of which the greatest is the announcement that the Federal government shall have no powers save those explicitly granted to it by the constitution.

To give an example: the constitution does not adopt the principle of separation of church and state. Rather it gives a proscription: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ..." This has the huge advantage of prohibiting something that can be easily recognised rather than insisting that some vague action be taken.

(Not being a work of philosophy it doesn't define "church" or "religion" which seems pretty wise to me).

I admire the effort that went into designing your constitution and its outcome, even though it hasn't stood up very well to the test of time. That just shows how hard it was to design the constitution.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi dearieme

I agree. The problem we are facing now, is the attempt to bias the court to more liberal views, to make it a part of the liberal policies of the left.

The Supreme court got into two tar pits when they ruled on abortion and health care. Neither one has merit to be defended by our constitution. The government has no right to make the decision of whether you buy health care or a new car. It shouldn't end up being my problem if you choose to buy the new car. The same with abortion; what you do to yourself is your choice. Nobody should be able to project their beliefs upon you and curtail your freedom.

Our legal system embodies a lot of English common law, sandwich that with our Bill of Rights, and it should be smooth sailing. The key words are "should be."

dearieme said...

Your Bill of Rights is based partly on the English Bill of Rights of 1689. In that year the Scottish parliament passed a bill called the Claim of Right, which - in my view - contains a wonderful passage.

"Wheras King James the Seventh ... Did ... Invade the fundamentall Constitution of this Kingdome And altered it from a legall limited monarchy to ane Arbitrary Despotick power ..."

The question for the US is whether it is to remain a legal limited monarchy (with its elected monarch) or become an arbitrary despotic power.