For the ’06 election cycle Hugh Hewitt, in Painting the Map Red, identifies five GOP messages and we are looking at them here from an evangelical and Mormon perspective. Message 3 is:
The Democratic Left and Its Senators Have Declared War on the Judiciary
John: An Evangelical Perspective
Of all of the points in the book, this one is to me the most obvious. The most devastating point is made when Hugh reprints these tables. It is clear that the Democrats are losing political influence, but attempting to hold control through judicial action.
This is a clear attempt to override the checks and balances among branches of government and the political ebb and flow that the nation was designed to accommodate. This issues is also, to my mind, of almost singular importance. The “War on Religion” discussed as the previous issue is largely being fought in the judiciary. From abortion “rights” to “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, the greatest restrictions of the religious voice in public life have come not through the ballot box or the legislature, but from the courts.
I’m not sure there is an “evangelical perspective”on this particular issue – I think there is simply an American one. If the courts escape the bonds of their constitutionally restricted purview, that is to say interpretation, not creation, of law, then we will rapidly fall into autocracy. We would no longer be the United States of America.
We find ourselves in that position now, at least when it comes to certain issues. The vast majority of American, somewhere around 90%, identify themselves in believers of in God. Yes, there is an immense spectrum of such belief, but most believe in a Higher Being/Creator. And yet, decision after decision after decision comes down from the courts of our land seeking to deny this simple statistical fact from public discourse and consideration.
From the filibusters of a huge number of Bush’s appellate court nominees to the lines of questioning aimed at other nominess, it is clear that the Democratic left seeks to control the nation through the courts. They seek to short-circuit the democratic process and re-write the constitution without a vote fo the people. This simply cannot be tolerated.
Lowell: A Mormon Perspective
I don’t believe there is a particularly Mormon view of this issue. A politically conservative Mormon will see the matter the same way any conservative evangelical or Catholic or Methodist or Jew would see it, and would agree fully with John’s post.
There are several reasons for this. As John notes, liberals tend to see the judiciary as a means of overriding the Constitutional system of checks and balances, and so they want desperately to control the courts. This is probably because liberals know they cannot achieve their policy goals (such as abortion on demand and same-sex marriage) at the ballot box, so they see the courts as mini-legislatures where they can do so.
Abortion on demand is the great liberal success story in this regard. How do Mormons see that issue? The LDS Church opposes abortion, and so Roe v. Wade is outrageous toÂ MormonsÂ who are paying attention to what the Supreme Court did in that case.
Turning to gay rights, the Church filed a “friend of the court” brief in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, the case in which the Supreme Court came within one vote of deciding, as a matter of Constitutional law, that the Boy Scouts must allow homosexual scoutmasters to serve. (I blogged extensively about Scouting and the Supreme Court here.) The Mormon Church also recently announced its support for theÂ Federal Marriage Amendment, which provides, in pertinent part:
“Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.”
Romney’s already on record as opposing gay marriage, and vigorously criticizes his own state’s Supreme Court for discovering a right to gay marriage in the Massachusetts Constitution. That case was called Goodridge v. Department of Public Health. Romney’s opposition to the Goodridge decision, which he repeatedly calls “judicial legislation,” is quite well-known. So there appears to be little doubt where he stands on the role of the judiciary.
All of these cases exemplify judical arrogation of power. Opinions among Mormons will differ, but there is nothing in Mitt Romney’s religion that would separate him from Hugh Hewitt’s proposition that there is a “liberal war on the judiciary.” Indeed, I am confident that most committed Mormons would readily agree with Hugh that the judiciary is too often deciding matters best left to the legislative branch. And most conservative evangelicals should be delighted with Romney’s position on the issue.
[tags]Hugh Hewitt, Democratic left, courts, judicial legislation, Boy Scouts, gay rights, gay marriage, filibuster, abortion, Pledge of Allegiance[/tags]