Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been surprising
a lot of people recently. First, the
talk of her considering a Senate primary challenge of Democrat institution
Chuck Schumer. Then, her promotion of
over-the-counter birth control which has been a Republican Party policy idea
for some time now.
And then, this:
At the risk of triggering the anger of some of my ideological
friends and allies who place a much higher premium on partisan purity than I
do, I have to simply say that I agree with Representative Cortez 100%.
The Supreme Court is not infallible.
The Supreme Court is not above error.
The Supreme Court should not be the final authority in the
The Supreme Court wields far more power than was ever intended.
The Supreme Court wields far more power than should ever be
The Supreme Court has a remarkably bad history when it comes
to protecting the rights of citizens.
One of the things that I’ve always pointed out to my
government students is that while we rightly praise the Court’s landmark civil
rights decision in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case, we should also
point out that it was only necessary because they had to correct their own
Congress had passed laws banning segregation as far back as
the 1870s, but the Supreme Court struck those laws down repeatedly – most famously
in the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson ruling.
That decision enshrined the “separate but equal” doctrine that had to be
overturned almost six decades later by that same Court.
It was Thomas Jefferson who correctly observed that, “Our
judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have – with others –
the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps…And
their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible
– as the other functionaries are – to the elective control.”
That’s why the Founding Fathers ensured that the Supreme
Court was not the guardian of the Constitution.
The people were – and should be today.
What’s bizarre, of course, is that AOC is making a case that
the right makes. It is the left that
consistently and persistently turns to the Supreme Court (or the federal courts
in general) for enactment of their policy ideas that they cannot push through
popularly elected legislatures. And here
is the left’s latest flavor of the month undermining that approach.
Not that I mind it, of course. I applaud her courage, in fact. All of us should. And all of us should remind her and her comrades
of this truth the next time they suggest that, say Roe v. Wade is “settled law.”