By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O’Neil –
A very thoughtful article was published by Mark Rhoads at Illinois Review on Thursday, September 17. Rhoads took to task former Gov. George Pataki and Sen. Lindsay Graham for their shallow answers regarding the same-sex marriage decision. Both men reasoned that Obergefell v. Hodges must be regarded as “the law of the land”, because of Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803) and Article III of the Constitution. Article III defines the judicial branch as such:
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof,” and treaties, “shall be the supreme Law of the Land.”
Court opinions are not included in this Constitutional definition of Article III, notwithstanding that Supreme Court decisions are noted as such at the top of each page of any Supreme Court decision as “Opinion of the Court.” Therefore, a Supreme Court decision all by itself does not become “the law of the land”. A court opinion does not have the same weight as an amendment to the Constitution passed by Congress and ratified by the states, which accordingly affords citizens the right to fight Obergefell v. Hodges by any legal means and at any level possible.
There is good reason to believe that the majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges is no more the “Law of the Land” than Dred Scott
was immediately after that infamous opinion was issued. It was merely an opinion binding on the specific parties involved–a position articulated by politicians such as Lincoln. Might Republicans take a lesson from Abraham Lincoln who repudiated the Dred Scott decision in March of 1857 as wrong and declared that it was not binding on the other branches of government or on anyone who was not a party to the involved. In standing up against the abuse of power by federal courts, Republicans became the majority party.
It’s incumbent on the other two branches of government, and citizens, to stop the judiciary from abusing our Constitution by executing power not granted under the Constitution. This in no way implies that a president should break laws, only that a president and congress should stand up against judicial supremacy when it has gone awry. Unfortunately this is a stand that the present administration would never ascribe to and which Republican legislators lack the will and the courage to attempt.
Chief Justice Roy S. Moore and the Gay Marriage Decision
Chief Justice Roy S. Moore’s remarks centered on the gay marriage decision. He lamented the decision of the five unelected lawyers who decided to change the definition of marriage. Moore referred to the decision “as a revision of the Constitution which robbed people of their freedom to govern self, and where judges reinvented the definition of words when the words are not found in the Constitution.”
According to Justice Moore, our Constitution acknowledges the sovereignty of God and that our religious liberty comes from God. As realized by the four judges who wrote the minority opinion, the gay marriage ruling would bring the Constitution and God into conflict. Moore further related how the first mistake made by the five majority opinion judges was their lack of understanding (or denial) of religious liberty as a gift from God. Said Moore: “It’s an unalienable right God gave to this nation. George Washington knew there was a God and how God reacted with government. Should we just sit silently while our rights are being taken away, or will we be like Patrick Henry who said, ‘Give me liberty or give me death?”‘?
In speaking about our national anthem, Justice Moore drew attention to how there was more than just one verse to the “Star Spangled Banner.” The 4th verse has special meaning as a reminder that our rights come from God and not from any man or group of men. Listen here
to the 4th verse sung by a former marine
O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave
Forefathers’ Intentions for This Nation
There are those who argue our forefathers did not intend America to be a Christian nation. Judging that premise by their decisions and actions, the very least one could derive is that America was to be a nation that believed in and honored God. For anyone to doubt that, they would have to first explain why our first public school lessons had biblical verses and/or scriptures throughout every subject. There had to be a strong Christian presence to explain that prayer opened each official session of government from the federal to city level, and every courthouse had a bible on which a witness first had to hold their hand and swear to tell the truth. Children in every public school opened the their school day with a prayer. Our forefathers inscribed bible verses on our monuments and buildings in Washington D.C., and throughout our land. Every state constitution begins with a statement acknowledging God. Our coins have “In God we Trust” , and the vast majority of our citizens identify themselves as Christians. What we should explore is why and how we allowed a small minority of atheists and liberals to claim our forefathers did not want religion in our public places, when the facts scream otherwise.
How did we lose perspective of the emphasis our forefathers put on honoring God as a people? Once again much blame can be put on the Supreme Court. On June 25, 1962, the United States Supreme Court decided in Engel v. Vitale that a prayer approved by the New York Board of Regents for use in schools violated the First Amendment by constituting an establishment of religion. In the following year, in Abington School District v. Schempp, the Court disallowed Bible readings and prayer in public schools for similar reasons. These two landmark Supreme Court decisions have been charged with altering American civil society and helped usher in the culture wars that dominate our people and country today. To be asked is if our culture is better or worse for those Court decisions? For those of us who lived before and after the drastic cultural change, we can testify our nations’ moral standards turned in a tragic direction. It can only be described as another classic, disastrous example of judicial overreach in which judges’ opinions are interpreted as law. Historical precedence was not even considered by a Court intent on pushing their agenda on our nation.
Our nation came into existence in large part due to church leaders identified as the Black Robed Regiment, but due to Black Robed Justices and the silence of church leaders today, we see our nation in moral trouble and the church minimized to the point of being inconsequential in regaining what we have lost. As a nation, citizens must intervene. We all must demand that our government entertain the Constitutional option of impeachment for judges when they usurp their roles, violate their oaths, and grab powers our Constitution does not grant them. Judicial tyranny must cease and a balance of powers restored. We also must ask our church leaders why they too abandoned their role of protecting our Christian country from its enemies, such as those who ignore our historical religious background. Both our government and church allowed immoral laws to be enacted, and thus are responsible for allowing immorality to thrive.
What Congress can do
Andy Schlafly spoke of possible ways to deal with the abuse of religious freedom as exhibited in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision. Why then has no action been taken in the Republican-controlled House and Senate?
- An Article of Impeachment could be filed in Congress against the local federal judge for eastern Kentucky, David Bunning, for the imprisonment of Kim Davis. Only one congressman (from a safe district) is needed from any state to file the document on the basis that Judge David Bunning exceeded his authority to do so. This would send a messages to all the justices that Congress is starting to fight back.
- A bill could be filed in Congress to limit funding for the incarceration of Jill. In so doing this would encourage other county clerks, holding the same religious conviction as that of Jill, to keep the ball rolling so there are more individuals like Jill Davis.
- Congress could take the jurisdiction away from the Supreme Courts to rule on further cases involving marriage.
Regarding the final bullet point, in Article III, Section 2: “…the Supreme Court shall have original jurisdiction…with such exceptions and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.” Congress can strip the court of its power to rule on marriage, saying that it’s a right reserved to the states or the people by 9th and 10th Amendment. Although a rarely invoked legislative tool, Cruz certainly knows about it
and has referred to it many times in speeches and statements about prodding Congress to strip federal courts of jurisdiction over the issue should the Supreme Court legalize gay marriage.
For over 150 years, the Court held to the historically correct position in interpreting the First Amendment
. During this period scant mention was made of Separation of Church and State, until in 1947 the court invented the distorted meaning of the first amendment, utilizing the separation of ‘church and state’ in Everson v. Board of Education
. Rulings since 1947 have not reflected a neutrality toward religious denominations but a hostility toward religious thought, which have served to undermine the foundation of not only our moral code but our system of law and justice.
We live in a critical time. If we wish to be free we must fight against the judicial activism that has become problematic. A word of caution: Whenever these words are heard, it’s the “law of the land”, consider that phrase is simply wrong. The judiciary branch does not establish the “law of the land” under our Constitution. Doing so is more evidence of judicial tyranny and “we the people” must challenge what is becoming a dangerous precedent.
Other articles featuring Eagle Council XLIV events in St. Louis, Missouri, September 10-12, 2015:
Thorner: Judicial Activism Criticized at Eagle Forum Conference
Thorner/O’Neil: Restoring Judicial Balance is Essential for America’s Future
Nancy Thorner 331 E. Blodgett Ave., Lake Bluff, IL 60044 (847) 295-1035
Bonnie O’Neil 314 Mornng Star, Newport Beach, CA 92660 (949) 645-4450