Listening to the president’s Rose Garden remarks on Tuesday, you could tell it took every ounce of self-restraint for him not to declare martial law and arrest the five conservative justices of the United States Supreme Court, shipping them to Guantanamo Bay for an indefinite stay. The president all but conceded that the legislative monument he and Nancy Pelosi built to themselves – ObamaCare’s individual mandate – is about to land on the ash-heap of history, declared anathema, repugnant, counter to our nation’s traditions of cherished liberty … oh, and ruled unconstitutional.
That has got to hurt. I mean, to have the highest court in the land poised to declare the single, greatest legislative achievement most associated with your presidency a foreign enemy of freedom and a threat to history’s greatest monument to man’s pursuit of happiness. Declaring his individual mandate unconstitutional, insists Obama, is “judicial activism.” Who are they to stem the flow of Marxian preordained history?
The answer, of course, is a simple one … one, in fact, designed to preserve freedom: “Separation of Powers.” In fact, it’s in the very Constitution itself. While Obama and most of the nation’s attention is focused on the dictatorial individual mandate, ObamaCare’s other notable threat, one we saw displayed only recently, is the judicial power the health-care act grants the new medical bureaucracy.
The Department of Health and Human Services ruled (their term) that religious institutions must provide medical services (like abortion and contraception) that conflict with their religious beliefs – a violation of the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause. HHS, a creature of Congress and administered by the White House, was legislature, judge and jury. To appeal HHS’s ruling, all roads led to, well, HHS’s legislature, judge and jury. Astonishingly, all appeals by Catholic institutions were dismissed as unreasonable. The independent impartiality of the courts was sidelined as easily as the individual’s right to choose.
ObamaCare may leave a lot to be desired when it comes to controlling costs and improving medical services, but it more than makes up for its defects in the efficient way it cuts through Constitutional divisions of power, placing them in a single Soviet-style agency, giving its bloodless apparatchiks the final word.
Or so Obama thought.
“No man is allowed to be a judge in his own cause,” wrote James Madison in Federalist #10, “because his interest would certainly bias his judgment, and, not improbably, corrupt his integrity.
Alexander Hamilton went further in Federalist #78 by saying “independence of the judges is equally requisite to guard the Constitution and the rights of individuals from the effects of those ill humors, which the arts of designing men … have a tendency, in the meantime, to occasion dangerous innovations in the government, and serious oppressions of the minor party in the community.”
Looking forward in time to Obama’s Rose Garden remarks, Hamilton observed , “Though they [the courts] may have displeased those whose sinister expectations they may have disappointed, they must have commanded the esteem and applause of all the virtuous and disinterested.”
The Supreme Court will no doubt disappoint the sinister expectations of Obama and Pelosi by striking down the totalitarian duo’s dangerous innovation in government. But it will lift the hearts of all virtuous believers in a just national government bound by the chains of the Constitution.