December 17, 2003

Courts without law

Thomas Sowell attacks the judicial activism of the U.S. Supreme Court:

There is nothing in the Constitution of the United States which authorizes Congress to regulate what is said by whom, or under what conditions, in a political campaign. On the contrary, the Constitution says plainly, "Congress shall make no law" -- no law! -- "abridging the freedom of speech."

The merits or demerits of this particular law, restricting what you can say when, or how much money you can contribute to get your message out, are all beside the point. Just what part of "no law" don't the Supreme Court justices understand?

The sad -- indeed, tragic -- fact is that they understand completely. They just think that this legislation is a good idea and are not going to let the Constitution stand in their way.

Moreover, they know from experience that if they can snow us with huge amounts of pious rhetoric, saying the kinds of things that the mainstream media will echo, that their wilful exercise of power will go unchallenged. In short, the Constitution be damned, we're doing our own thing.

At least the people who engaged in wild west shootouts or lynch mob violence spared us the pretence that they were upholding the Constitution. Whatever horrors these lawless and murderous people might inflict at particular times and places, they never had the power to undermine the very basis of the government of the United States.