Applying the Constitution to the Judiciary
* Applying the Constitution to the Judiciary*
Many Americans point to the 1960s as the turning point in American culture, when liberal judges, eager to do the bidding of small minority groups, decided that the Constitution was what they declared it to be. The liberalization of law schools––like many theological seminaries––began at the end of the nineteenth century. Among the legal scholars calling for an interpretation of the Constitution that reflected the fluid values of society was Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Justice Holmes served as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court from 1902 to 1932, and as Acting Chief Justice of the United States from January to February in 1930. He was a leading voice calling for an interpretation of the Constitution based upon the evolution of society. Like his liberal colleagues, Holmes believed that Darwin’s theory of evolution should be foundational to American law. Only a few years after Holmes’ retirement, America began to witness the rise of activist judges. Beginning in the 1940s, it quickly became apparent that decades of liberal interpretation of the Constitution in prominent law schools in America would yield bumper crops of liberal activist judges ready to parrot the ideologies of their liberal law professors rather than articulate constitutional law.
For nearly three-quarters of a century, American culture has spiraled downward as these activist judges have overruled the decisions of juries, rescinded the vote of the people, and denied states their constitutional rights. Perhaps the institution most unwilling to hold activist courts and their judges accountable has been the American church. Early American ministers would never have allowed the liberalization of America’s courts without a fight commensurate with what was generated by the American Revolution. Frustrated by a lack of leadership in many churches and denominations, many Americans are giving up on the church as a source of renewal for the nation and are turning to support parachurch organizations. Whether Americans turn to the church or parachurch organizations to stand up and speak out against the tyranny of liberal judges, there is a consensus among Americans that our nation’s courts have become lawless. By understanding, developing, and implementing the following steps, churches and individuals can begin to hold judges accountable for their decisions.
The following is an outline for subsequent articles––each major point being subsequently enlarged.
In contemporary America, a critical fact has been overlooked in the relationship that exists between the laws and religion of any society. The author of Psalm 135 (verses 15-18) clearly understood this principle and its practice around the world:
The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.
The Hindu goddess, Kali, was believed to be a bloodthirsty god. Consequently, her followers became like her in the atrocities they committed against others. Kali was believed to be bloodthirsty, and her followers became bloodthirsty just like her. In fact, around the world worshipers have taken on the character of their gods. The Greeks and Romans practiced sexual perversions because their gods and goddesses were also believed to be sexually perverse. They assumed the characters of their gods. The same was true of the Norsemen and people groups all over the world.
As should be expected, the laws of those nations reflected the character of the gods and goddesses a people group worships. In twenty-first-century America, secularists argue that developing an irreligious state void of religion will result in peace and tranquility. But in fact, secularists and the irreligious never bother to relate that the laws that resulted from Darwinian secularism of the twentieth century resulted in the deaths of 100 million individuals ––not much peace and tranquility. When man––who is the god of secularism––worships himself and becomes the final source of authority in law, atrocities are always the result! Irreligion (secularism) and wrong religion always produce tyrannical governments.
It has required nearly a century to subdue the Christian influence that had permeated all of American society, from the time of the first European settlements in the New World extending into the twentieth century. While it is true that the Spanish settlement of the New World was dominated by interests in gold and material resources, English settlements in the New World were far more influenced by spiritual interests and a biblical worldview. As a result, the American English colonies that became the foundation for a new nation were far more heavily influenced by the ethics and morals of the Bible than any other nation in the history of the world.
Presenting the majority opinion of the Supreme Court on February 29, 1892 (in Holy Trinity v. United States), Justice David Brewer declared that the historical record of America overwhelmingly demonstrated that the United States “… is a Christian nation.” In the 1930s, this Supreme Court decision was once again affirmed, but soon after, the courts began to reflect the liberal training of law schools. Had Christian institutions been faithful in inculcating biblical orthodoxy in the students being training for the ministry, we have every reason to believe that they would have counteracted the liberalism of law schools.
Since the 1940s, judges have been rendering verdicts that have been increasingly deviant and wide of the boundaries of the Constitution. More concerned with the “rights” of small interest groups, judges have denied the majority of Americans their Constitutional rights to govern through the ballot box. Instead, these judicial social engineers have taken it upon themselves to nullify the ballot box and the findings of juries and have dictated the outcome of elections and verdicts. How may Americans ensure the federal judiciary is forced back into its place under the Constitution? The answer, in part, is through the practice of “impeachment”! Since the 1940s, barely a handful of judges have been impeached, but prior to this era, impeachment was a vital means of controlling the judiciary.
One reason secularists and the irreligious have enjoyed remarkable success for more than half a century is that Christians do not study and understand the laws of the nation. Because Christians and the general population of America have limited knowledge of the Constitution, liberal judges routinely violate this foundational document with impunity, even believing they are correct in their disregard for the Constitution’s expectations.
While pastors and Christians in early America were very much involved in the formation and development of the nation, the political arena is far less welcoming to believers today. By default, earnest Christians have conceded important governmental position to unbelievers who purport themselves to be unbiased arbiters of the Constitution and state laws.
America deserves to know its true heritage.
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Part of the remedy to the enormous liberalization of America’s judiciary is the awakening of the Christian Church in America to its responsibility to champion the causes of truth and righteousness. In particular, the Church must understand constitutional limitations, especially the boundaries placed upon the judiciary. While an extended study of the Constitution would be of great value, the portion of the Constitution which pertains to the federal judiciary is of greatest importance. Christians must be capable of understanding and articulating constitutional expectations pertaining to the judiciary. Without restraining and reversing many judicial decisions, America’s republic will be overthrown and replaced by an oligarchy dominated by secularist judges.
The Constitution makes elected officials accountable to the people. Originally, all elected officials were susceptible to impeachment. However, only a few years after the implementation of the Constitution, Congress decided to exempt representatives and senators from impeachment. Accountability to the people was the intent of the Constitution, and since representatives and senators would be held accountable at the ballot box, they were exempted in 1797. Since federal judges are appointed, they are never accountable to the people at the ballot box. For decades, many federal judges have violated the will of the people by overturning ballot initiatives and jury verdicts. As a result, many liberal judges believe they have the right to establish policies and laws for America. The solution to such judges is impeachment:
Policy-making was attempted by the judiciary even during the early years of the republic and has since continued periodically across the years. However, contrary to the current climate, in earlier years, judicial activism and policy––making often resulted in a recourse authorized by the Constitution itself: impeachment!
“High crimes and misdemeanors” have been the criteria for impeachment. Generally, the expression of “high crimes” has been understood to mean the violation of established law, but the expression “misdemeanors” has historically been interpreted to mean political or official mal-conduct and was far more subjective in interpretation. While yet a representative, Gerald Ford argued for the impeachment of a Supreme Court justice with the following definition of impeachment:
An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history; conviction results from whatever offense or offenses two––thirds of the other body considers to be sufficiently serious to require removal of the accused from office.
While much of the American public has become immune to the misconduct of liberal judges, their judgments often violate the Constitution. Several areas are routinely violated. Americans have come to expect and accommodate judges who overturn the vote of the people, but this a violation of the rights of the people. While judges may review cases, they are not permitted to overturn the vote of the people, but this has become a common practice. Another area that experiences systematic intrusion by liberal judges is the revision of jury decisions. Again, judges may review cases, but they are not at liberty to annul or revise the decisions that juries hand down in duly prosecuted cases. A third area judges routinely violate concerns states’ rights. Given the present atmosphere of federal abuse of states’ rights, who would imagine that the Constitution denies the federal government the right to regulate school prayer or determine matters related to marriage. These issues, and many more, are the prerogative of the states, not the federal judiciary.
For decades, federal judges have been routinely overreaching the power granted to them by the Constitution. Christians must step forward to insist that federal judges be restrained to the limits of the Constitution!
Beginning in the 1920s, the Christian influence upon the conception and development of America has been minimized and, where possible, completely eliminated. The truth concerning the Christian origin and construction of America will not be communicated to the nation by secularists. If the truth is to be known, it must be communicated by Christians and churches where pastors and lay leaders possess a vision for the restoration of Christian truth to America. Though additional efforts may be used to get the word out, several important steps are listed below:
Become personally informed––As mentioned above, citizens must understand the limitations the federal Constitution places upon judges. Obtain a better understanding of the Constitution so you might speak more intelligently on the subject.
Inform your family and church––Make an effort to communicate what you learn to your family and your church family. Pastors should be encouraged to champion the cause of limiting judges to the letter of the Constitution.
Inform your community––If you do not write letters to the editor of your local paper, begin today. The subject of judicial tyranny is not the only subject that needs to be addressed in the public arena. Christians have been silent far too long on a variety of social issues. Make an effort to confront the evil in your neighborhood, and expect to be attacked––Jesus was!
Inform your representatives to Congress––Most of us have put up with judicial tyranny for so long, we believe liberal judges when they say a matter is unconstitutional, and that includes many of our representatives to Congress. If your representative is a lawyer and was trained in a liberal law school, you should expect that individual to be ignorant of the truth!
Keep informed––Keep abreast of the activities of judges through watch-dog organizations. Encourage those in authority to act against over-reaching judges.
While updating a very old book that was used by America’s Founding Fathers to develop their theology of government from a Christian perspective, I came to a deeper understanding of what the minority must do when the majority is willing to be dominated by tyrannical government officials. The author of the book was discussing those who resist godless government and he pointed to Deborah (of the Book of Judges) as an example of what must done when the majority are willing to become slaves of governmental tyrants:
Deborah is also an example of what must be done when the majority of people in a society is willing to endure slavery to tyrants. The Lord God had subjected Israel to Jabin, king of Canaan, whom they served for a period of twenty years. It might appear that the pagan Jabin gained his right to govern Israel by acclamation over the kingdom––in part because nearly all Israel left the worship of God in favor of pagan gods. The principal and most powerful tribes, including Reuben, Ephraim, Benjamin, Dan, Asher, and some others, subjected themselves completely to Jabin. Despite this, the prophetess Deborah, who was a judge in Israel, encouraged the tribes of Zebulon, Naphtali, and Issachar––or at least some individuals from all these tribes––to take arms under the leadership of Barak, and they overthrew Sisera the commander of Jabin’s army and delivered Israel. At that time, most of the tribes of Israel had no desire for liberty and was content to remain in bondage. Having shaken off the bondage of Jabin and the Canaanites, Israel reestablished the pure worship of the living God.
Like Deborah and the small tribes of Israel, Christian forces may not be the largest in number, but little is much, if God is in it!
Josiah Bartlett (November 21, 1729 – May 19, 1795) was an American physician and statesman, delegate to the Continental Congress for New Hampshire and signatory of the Declaration of Independence. He was later Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court of Judicature and Governor of the state.Read more...
Robert Morris, Jr. (January 20, 1734 – May 8, 1806) was a Liverpool-born American merchant, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the United States Constitution.Read more...
Francis Hopkinson (September 21, 1737 – May 9, 1791), an American author, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from New Jersey. He later served as a federal judge in Pennsylvania.Read more...
Robert Treat Paine (March 11, 1731 – May 11, 1814) was a Massachusetts lawyer and politician, best known as a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a representative of Massachusetts. He served as the state's first attorney general, and served as an associate justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the state's highest court.Read more...
 [The Holy Bible: New International Version. East Brunswick, NJ: International Bible Society, 1984.]
 [Johnson, Paul. Darwin: Portrait of a Genius. New York: Viking Penguin, 2012.], 136.
 [Barton, David. Impeachment: Restraining and Overactive Judiciary. Aledo, TX: WallBuilders, 1996.], 8.
 Quoted in [Barton, David. Impeachment: Restraining and Overactive Judiciary. Aledo, TX: WallBuilders, 1996.], 25.
 Judges 4:1-24
 [Brutus, Junius. A Christian Defense of Liberty against Tyrants. ed. Stephen A. Flick. Grand Rapids: Westbow Press, 2014.], 36.