By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
American “democracy” lives on, Save Jerseyans, but our federal republic is on life support.
That’s the only conclusion for a thinking person to reach after this week’s blockbuster U.S. Supreme Court rulings in King v. Burwell (Obamacare subsidies) and then Obergefell v. Hodges (gay marriage).
Chief Justice John Roberts read his dissent in Obergefell from the bench on Friday morning, lamenting that his storied institution is “a court, not a legislature,” notwithstanding what in his mind was an extraordinary expansion and abuse of the 14th Amendment by the 5-4 majority.
But this was only ONE DAY after Roberts, for the second time in the Obamacare arena, rewrote a federal statute in order to save it. A legislative function, correct? Of course the Court has been pushing its boundaries for decades, particularly where the Commerce Clause is concerned. Now it’s completely over the line and meandering into the realm of dangerously-unrestrained activism. They’re not just expanding federal powers; they’re making stuff up now.
I could put on my attorney hat and rant on, and on, and on in full legal nerd mode, Save Jerseyans, but Justice Sam Alito – a native New Jerseyan – said it better than I ever could in his own dissent: “Most Americans—understandably—will cheer or lament today’s decision because of their views on the issue of same-sex marriage. But all Americans, whatever their thinking on that issue, should worry about what the majority’s claim of power portends.”
Sometimes you’re going to like what the government does. Often times you won’t. But what has kept a large, sprawling, diverse, pluralistic country like ours together for nearly a quarter of a millennium is a system of written down checks and balances, between the states and the federal government as well as within the federal structure itself, in order to prevent a situation where, as Alexander Hamilton famously wrote, “[i]f we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of dictatorship.”
That’s exactly what President Obama officially became this week.
Are you still surprised that his Administration wants Hamilton off of the ten dollar bill?