Patrick Leahy, U.S. Senator from Vermont, on the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court:
Is this a nominee who will protect and expand our constitutional rights, or will she neglect and narrow those rights? Learning the answer will be at the core of what the American people and the Senate need to know from the hearings on this nomination.
I call your attention to two words in the first sentence: “and expand“. Since when is the Supreme Court charged by the United States Constitution, Senator Leahy, to “expand” constitutional rights? (Oh, that’s right, ever since FDR stacked the Court with non-constructionists to get his way with the federal bureaucracy. My mistake.)
Expansion of constitutional rights is a duty assigned to the people, through their legislators in Congress and in their state bodies. Congressional rights are “expanded” through constitutional conventions, not through judicial activism. Such ignorance on the part of a majority of the American people is why our elected officials are able to get away with such foolish statements as that uttered above by Senator Leahy. Since basic civics are apparently not getting taught in our public schools any longer, how can we expect our citizens to fully comprehend how their government is supposed to work?
Here’s a little secret about conservatives and Roe v. Wade, just in case you’re wondering: not all conservatives are pro-life. I know this may come as a shock to the mouth-foamers on the Left, and even to those on the Right who like to walk around with blinders on, but it’s true. (Personally speaking, this conservative is pro-life.) Yet these same conservatives who are not pro-life oppose Roe v. Wade. Why? Because it came about in precisely the same way Senator Leahy seeks, based on his statement above: judicial fiat.
You would find far less vocal opposition from the Right if the right to an abortion was in the Constitution as a result of a constitutional convention, passed by the Congress, and two-thirds of the states. We wouldn’t like it, but at least we would know it was there as a result of the process set forth by the Founding Fathers, not arbitrarily created by men in black robes. For the expansion of rights to occur otherwise is to have, as The Federalist Patriot put it, “James Madison is rolling in his grave!”