The View From 1776

The Judiciary: Tyranny’s Active Agent

Have the Constitution’s checks and balances come unglued?

The First Things website carries a provocative essay by Richard John Neuhaus.  The essay explores the contention that, as Anti-Federalists feared in the 1787-89 Constitutional ratification debate, the judiciary has come to be the dominant power in the Federal government.

Without exaggeration, it can be said that most of the activist, anti-traditional measures of government have been judicially imposed.  Those have been predominantly aimed at outlawing Judeo-Christian morality, notably Roe v Wade and measures to banish spiritual religion from education and politics, while encouraging an accelerating descent into the cesspool of sensual gratification.

Such measures were judicially imposed precisely because there never has been sufficient public support for them to gain passage in Congress.  Federal judges have simply legislated what, in their person opinions, the law ought to be.

The effect of judicial activism since the late 1950s has been an unconstitutional establishment of atheistic socialism as the official religion of the United States.

Beginning with Chief Justice John Marshal’s Marbury v Madison decision, the courts have increasingly exercised legislative power, overriding Congress.  In the regard, see also Judicial Activism - Summary of Prior Postings.

The following are key excerpts from the First Things essay


Budziszewski suggests we should pay more attention to the anti-Federalist writer who styled himself as Brutus and was probably New York