by Mike Pyatt
A Michigan mother faces incarceration for not vaccinating her nine-year old son. Rebecca Bredow says she’d rather face jail time than vaccinate her son. “I would rather sit behind bars standing up for what I believe in, than giving in to something I strongly don’t believe in,” she commented in an ABC news interview. This isn’t the first legal battle over parental rights and the courts. Some states “grant” religious, medical and personal exemptions. However, this battle started when her ex-husband took her to court to settle the matter over their son. She apparently changed her mind about vaccinations after doing research, and asked for a waiver. The Oakland County Court sided with her ex, who’s demanding the child be vaccinated. Is this a liberty issue? Or another judiciary mugging? She has but a few days to choose; to fully vaccinate her son, or the hoosegow? When did the courts find the hubris to assail our liberties? To whom do children belong? Did it begin before the abdication of Congress?
Many understand that Congress was intended to be the first branch of government appears indisputable. James Burnham, wrote in 1959, Congress and the American Tradition, the “primacy of the legislature in the intent of the Constitution is plain on the face of the document, as it is in the deliberations of the Philadelphia Convention.” It’s inarguably true. Currently, what former generations embraced and practiced for more than two hundred-forty years, our Constitution isn’t a seminal document, but scraps of paper that are irrelevant to a large portion of a new generation of students, secularists, and rogue jurists. One may ask, “Where did we go astray?” Our Republic came with a warning label of fragility, that has been roundly ignored.
Prior to WWII, Congress appeared to be a co-equal branch, dominating weak presidents and wrestling with stronger ones in the disputed borders where such powers intersect. Some recall when President Wilson brought back the Treaty of Versailles, a Senate, led by Henry Cabot Lodge, rejected it in 1919. One must consider the forfeiture, or lost powers of the first branch. In the Constitution, Congress is granted sole power to declare war, to generate and spend revenue, to coin money, and to regulate foreign trade. Yet, in postwar America, Congress has fallen into disarray, and demonstrated itself feckless in resisting encroachments upon its constitutional powers. Those primary powers have been surrendered by Congress.
The Korean War, Truman termed a conflict, in which thirty-three thousand died, he didn’t ask Congress for a declaration of war. Congress didn’t demand that he ask for a declaration. Viet Nam was the second “presidential war” when Congress transferred power to President Johnson in the form of a Tonkin Gulf Resolution. Serbia was no threat to us, yet President Clinton bombed Serbia for seventy-eight days. Consider that Congress impeached him for high crimes and misdemeanors for his sexual tryst with Monica Lewinsky, and ignored his seizure of war powers. Bush 43’ got a blank check to wage war against Iraq. They hadn’t attacked or threatened us. Hillary and John Kerry signed that check.
On critical cultural issues like religion, race, morality, that define us, Congress has for more than fifty years, surrendered its law making power to judges and justices. The Supreme Court seized these powers, in a bloodless coup. As in Roe v. Wade, it marched in, like unrelenting protesting students taking over the president’s office, occupied their turf, since Congress wouldn’t defend it, and waived the flag of surrender. Why has Congress refused to challenge the courts aggression. For generations Congress denounced “activist judges,” moaning rather than acting. The judicial raid began, and members of Congress were more concerned with prolonging their careers. Too many sunshine patriots faded when the clouds darkened on the baleful horizon.
We’ve failed to heed the warning of Lincoln in his First Inaugural Address in 1861, in a partial response to the disastrous Dred Scott Case, fifty-eight years after Marbury, noting, “The candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions by the Supreme Court…the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.” We awakened and discovered we’re now at the mercy of nine black robes. They hold the power over life and death. Congress chooses to, in the face of controversy, create a another commission. Ben Franklin, was asked by a lady, “What kind of government do we have?” He replied, “A republic-if you can keep it.” We haven’t. What expedited the Court’s ascent to power? In our embryonic stage, in Federalist #78, Hamilton described the judiciary as the “least dangerous” and “weakest” of the three branches. Hamilton was rarely that wrong.
Astute historians identify the grand leap forward by the judiciary began with John Marshall, in Marbury v. Madison, in 1803, when the chief justice asserted a right to review of all laws enacted by Congress to ensure conformity to the Constitution. Marshall was declaring that the court’s interpretation of the Constitution was final and binding. However, Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, Lincoln, and constitutional scholars like Professor Edward Corwin, have refuted that claim. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court sits as a “super-legislature” in safeguarding certain secular social agendas, that have uprooted long held edifices, leaving us with an unrecognizable landscape. The framers saw Congress, the federal legislature, and an unrestrained judiciary as a major threat to our liberty.
Numerous lower and high court decisions slowly and precipitously eroded our liberty. For example, in November, 2003, out-of-thin air, Massachusetts Chief Justice decreed the legislature had six months to enact a law granting homosexuals the right to marry. In July, that year, the U.S. Supreme Court likewise struck down the laws of seventeen states that declared abnormal, homosexual sodomy to be a constitutionally protected right. Now nothing’s abnormal. Under judicial fiat, driven by a secularist and egalitarian revolution, courts have ruled nude dancing was an “art form” protected by the Constitution. The only recourse for outraged citizens to “shut down a strip joint” would be to report the dancers routinely opened their act with prayer.
Imagine a resolute, principled, liberty minded president in the White House, who directed the executive branch to ignore the Supreme Court’s claim to be the final authority, purportedly settled in Marbury. It would be a monumental step to returning to the principles of our Constitution, and a shot across the bow of judicial imperialism, paving the way for another revolution, and perhaps reversing the disastrous, unconstitutional Roe v. Wade decision, and more. Before pointing our long boney finger at Congress and judiciary, remember who elects members to Congress. The road to our demise is paved with a load of apathy, self-serving, and cavalier voting by the electorate.
Did we abdicate our role? Did Congress blunderingly capitulate? The courts were once seen as institutions of justice. It wasn’t obligated to enforce a law that was unjust, or they weren’t obliged to uphold acts which ran contrary to Christian theism or Natural law. Like Same Sex Marriage and Roe. The late Phyllis Schlafly reminded us, “Americans believe that revolutionaries usually come dressed in military garb.” We understand this coup d’etat was from men and women donning regal black robes. Wyoming witnessed this mugging first hand, when the lower courts ruled that Allred and Gay had no constitutional standing as private citizens before the state. If we’d mugged someone on a street corner like that, it would be assault and battery. What do you think?
Mike Pyatt’s a Natrona County resident. His email’s firstname.lastname@example.org