Quote Of The Day: Robert Bork On The Limits Of The Supreme Court’s Power

“Once, after I had given a talk on the Constitution at a law school, a student approached and asked whether I thought the Constitution prevented a state from abolishing marriage. I said no, the Constitution assumed that the American people were not about to engage in despotic insanities and did not bother to protect against every imaginable instance of them. He replied that he could not accept a constitutional theory that did not prevent the criminalization of marriage. It would have been proper to respond that in any society that had reached such a degenerate state of totalitarianism, one which the Cambodian Khmer Rouge would find admirable, it would hardly matter what constitutional theory one held; the Constitution would have long since been swept aside and the Justices consigned to reeducation camps, if not worse. The actual constitution does not prevent every ghastly hypothetical law, and once you begin to invent doctrine that does, you will create an unconfinable judicial power.” — Robert Bork

Exactly.

Judges are supposed to be umpires, not managers, referees, not coaches. Their job isn’t to make law or decide whether laws are good or bad, it’s to measure laws already written against the Constitution. Assuming those laws pass muster, then the judges may be called upon to settle disputes between parties over the meaning of the law.

When judges overstep the Constitutional limits that are placed on them and make law or strike down laws they personally disagree with regardless of their constitutionality, it is an egregious abuse of power, one that unfortunately, happens rather regularly in these days and times.

*** This post was edited slightly for clarity’s sake ***

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