The Imperial Judiciary lives. It is instructive to compare this Nietzschean vision of us unelected, life tenured judges–leading a Volk who will be “tested by following,” and whose very “belief in themselves” is mystically bound up in their “understanding” of a Court that “speak[s] before all others for their constitutional ideals”–with the somewhat more modest role envisioned for these lawyers by the Founders.
“The judiciary . . . has . . . no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society, and can take no active resolution whatever. It may truly be said to have neither Force nor Will but merely judgment . . . .” The Federalist No. 78, pp. 393-394 (G. Wills ed. 1982).
From the dissent of Justice Antonin Scalia in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992)
Kim Davis, elected Democrat county clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, goes to jail for defying a Federal court over gay marriage. Details from Allahpundit at Hot Air:
An interesting detail from BuzzFeed: Lawyers for the gay couples who want her to issue the licenses asked the court to fine her, not send her to jail. Since when do gay-rights supporters ask for leniency for a Christian who’s defying them on gay marriage? Since, I think, this case started picking up national media attention. They don’t want to make a martyr out of Davis. Locking her up does that in a visible way that hitting her in the wallet doesn’t.
The court assumed, not unreasonably, that sympathizers would shower her with cash to cover the fine, which means there’d be no real pressure on her to comply with the order to begin issuing licenses. The only way to pressure her was jail.
“I’ve weighed the cost and I’m prepared to go to jail, I sure am,” Mrs. Davis told me in an exclusive interview. “This has never been a gay or lesbian issue for me. This is about upholding the word of God.”
“I would have to either make a decision to stand or I would have to buckle down and leave,” she said, pondering her choices. “And if I left, resigned or chose to retire, I would have no voice for God’s word.
That’s the first time I’ve heard a religious believer suggest that they wouldn’t have a voice for God without their public office, but okay. Meanwhile, Kentucky needs to figure out what to do about marriage licenses while she’s in jail. She can’t be fired; she’s an elected official. She could be impeached by the state legislature, but good luck getting politicians to hold a big public pageant in a red state to boot a devout Christian from office for resisting gay marriage as a matter of conscience.
Well, this is good news. I assume that we can now expect Federal courts to order the jailing of all who defy statutes and court orders. The IRS has blithely stated for years that they simply “are not in compliance” with various Federal court orders and suffered zero consequences. I eagerly await the incarceration of the mayors of hundreds of “sanctuary cities” around the country that have held that somehow the Federal immigration laws of this country do not apply within their communities. Then we have President Obama who has pointedly in the past simply refused to enforce laws that he does not agree with, and has unilaterally ordered what he clearly lacks the power, under the Constitution, to order.
Of course none of this will happen. Why? Because the law, at least in the Federal system, is becoming an increasingly rigged game where its rigor is reserved for those who are politically powerless and who stand in the way of social policy that the Federal courts favor. That is why Kim Davis, an elected country clerk in Kentucky, will rot in jail until she bows her knee to the Federal court made up right of “gay marriage”, while other elected officials who flaunt the Constitution and duly enacted laws have nothing to fear from the Federal judiciary while they are politically powerful and do not stand in the way of the rights prized by the Federal courts, which are, apparently, gay “rights”, “freedom from religion” and abortion. The long term consequences of this are both obvious and disastrous. A rigged game invites nothing but contempt, and the Federal courts have long been giving ample reasons for that contempt. Courts are ultimately fairly weak institutions, and if a majority of the population becomes convinced that they are rigged, then they, and the paper orders they issue, are quickly reduced to impotence. The consequences for societies when this happens tend to be disastrous, but when judges stop acting like impartial referees of the law and become partisan bullies, that is what ultimately happens.