History is largely made up of stories of men and women struggling for power. Our history books are filled with battles between someone was king and someone who wanted to be king. It’s been written often that George Washington easily could have become king of the very young America. His refusal to grasp at power is such a historical anomaly that he stands out as one of the greatest historical figures in the history of man.
Presidents have limited power because a great man like Washington limited his own power. Unfortunately, Justice Anthony Kennedy is not a great man.
Hey, America went two centuries without a king. It was time we got one, right? Justice Anthony Kennedy is the new king of America. Unelected. Legislating without limit. And cool robes.
Appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan, Kennedy acts as the Court’s swing vote in many cases, and as a result has held special prominence in many politically charged 5–4 decisions.
The past week offers two examples of 5-4 decisions which show that Kennedy is now the most powerful man in America.
In writing the majority opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that child rapes may be “devastating,” but don’t compare to murder. He didn’t get that from The Constitution. Justice Kennedy wrote that, “Evolving standards of decency must embrace and express respect for the dignity of the person, and the punishment of criminals must conform to that rule.” Now, of course, pro-lifers will scoff a little at a justice who allows abortion to wax poetic about “the dignity of the person.” But it’s the “evolving standards” line which also irks me. He’s supposed to be basing his opinion on the Constitution, not evolving standards which exist in the mind of Justice Kennedy.
Here’s the thing -I’m pretty sure that if you took a poll you’d get a pretty good consensus that the death penalty for child rapists might be a good thing.
What also troubles me is another ruling issued yesterday where the RIGHT to bear arms was up in the air yesterday. Mind you, it is an enumerated right yet it was nearly taken away yesterday but for the opinion of one justice – Anthony Kennedy.
I get a little worried about a man who can “disappear” a right. It seems rights are no longer from our Creator but are derived from Justice Anthony Kennedy.
And in the many 5-4 rulings by the Supreme Court, Kennedy is often the swing and decisive vote.
Abortion in the ninth month of pregnancy is likely legal in every state in America currently because Anthony Kennedy is pro-choice.
Terrorists have habeas right because Kennedy has deemed it so.
We have the right to own a gun because Justice Kennedy has deemed it.
Students can’t raise a banner saying “Bong hits for Jesus” because Kennedy said so.
Anthony Kennedy ruled that local governments have more or less unlimited authority to seize homes and businesses in his eminent domain concurrence.
Partial-birth abortion can be limited because Kennedy joined the constructionists of the Court in Stenberg v. Carhart.
Now, mind you I sometimes agree with Justice Kennedy just as I would likely agree with the actions of a well meaning monarch. The problem I have is that he has the power to make those decisions. A tyrant can do many good things. That is not the question. I question from where his power is derived in America.
George Washington shunned an excess of power. Justice Anthony Kennedy seems to accrue it.
Justice Kennedy’s actions seem to shine a light on the importance of the power of the President to nominate justices, making this election of even more importance. Justice John Paul Stevens is 88. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 75. David Souter, who is only is 68, is reportedly interested in retiring. If McCain is elected we could possibly curtail the power of the judiciary and return power to the people and their elected representatives.