The enduring crime of scotus is the enshrinement of social justice feel-good nostrums as rights. Over the course of two posts, I will differentiate between justice and scotus-derived concoctions, social justice that assault our senses and society. To this end, my attention is drawn to the Declaration of Independence and Preamble of our Constitution. I will connect the ‘just’ of the Declaration and ‘Justice’ of the Constitution’s Preamble, and their mutual reliance on Natural Law. We will find that no court decision can legitimately harm the societal foundation of our republic. Equivalently, if a newly discovered right from scotus harms society, it isn’t a right.
Parts I & II examine the Declaration and Constitution respectively.
Every June, our nation holds its collective breath in anticipation of what five loony-tune judges on the Supreme Court will come up with. Those who think our Constitution hasn’t been corrupted into a societal suicide pact hasn’t paid attention to the General Sherman-like march of scotus through our traditions and institutions. When a simple majority of five lawyers enshrine homosexual marriage as a right, and determine that race and gender-based college admissions and private sector hiring is just, who doesn’t roll their eyes at these contradictions of common sense? We detect these contradictions because reason informs us. This law of reason was known to ancient, medieval, Enlightenment philosophers and our Founding generation as Natural Law, which, along with the Laws of Nature’s God supersede scotus opinions.
From familiar portions of our Declaration . . .
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people . . . the equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect . . .
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, . . .
The Declaration set out, in broad terms, the purpose of government.
Unalienable rights flow from the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God, for within them is a universal moral law, immanent in human nature. Cicero wrote that it calls men to their duty, and by its prohibitions, it deters them from vice. Since the law of nature is diffused among us all, all of us are to that extent equal. It follows that the ultimate foundation of rights to life, liberty (self-government) and the pursuit of happiness isn’t derived from history or class privilege, but rather from the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.
While Cicero relied on reason alone, Christianity bolstered western man’s sense of right and wrong, our moral sense and conscience, which Thomas Jefferson regarded as much of our psyche as that of feeling, seeing, or hearing. Accordingly, our Declaration presupposed the Classical/Christian notion that man is endowed with a moral sense grounded in Natural Law.
This is the framework within which our Founders stated that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. Just powers are not simply the will of the majority, they must conform to Natural Law.
As Paul Eidelberg wrote in The Silence of the Declaration of Independence:
What is unique, and, at the same time, revolutionary is this simple and silent assertion (by the Declaration): Henceforth government is to be based primarily on rational and not customary foundations. Not immemorial tradition, not the authority of kings claiming divine right sanctions, but reason, God-given reason, whose light is available in principle to all mankind – this is the only legitimate foundation of government, and the only justification for government by the consent of the governed.
Therefore, just law and justice demand the consent of the governed and compliance with Natural Law. Absent one or the other or both, an act of government is unjust. Today, this is an unheard of standard. Media regards laws from the central government as just if they have bi-partisan support, as if society should accept whatever two street gangs agree to.
Leftists on the scotus deny the Declaration’s power of reason to apprehend truths or standards; they are relativists. Relativism rejects natural law, and with it, justice. To the relativist, all notions of justice are arbitrary. There can be no real moral issue in conflicts between people. The relativist must therefore reject the truism that all men are created equal, subject to the same universal law, and one group of men cannot rightly rule others as if they were an inferior species. Since all values and moralities are essentially equal, the relativist must deny any intrinsic superiority of free societies over slave societies. Who, for instance, is the President, despite his Constitutional duty as well as statutory law, to deny muslims entry into the US?
What remains is validation of immediate desires and passions, social justice. Reason to the relativist is no more than a clever, calculating instrument of the consuming desires. How then, for instance, can marriage be limited to the union of a man and a woman? To the relativist, it cannot. The Leftist/Relativist can posit, “if all men are created equal, then the children of illegal aliens are also entitled to public education.”
Let one generation after another be taught, in opposition to the Declaration, that reason is incapable of discovering universal truths or standards by which to determine whether a scotus opinion conforms to Natural Law, then the ability of the people to defend civil society from social justice perversions will vanish. Justice will be no more, and with it, the republic.
We are the many; our oppressors are the few. Government is the playground of politicians, but the Constitution is ours. Be proactive. Be a Re-Founder. Join Convention of States. Sign our COS Petition.
Reference: Eidelberg, P. (1976). On the Silence of the Declaration of Independence. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.