The Left Accuses Republicans of trying to Rig the Court

by: the Common Constitutionalist

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I’ve stated before that if we wish to witness where the left really wants to take us – don’t read the Washington Post, the New York Times or even watch CNN. No – to get the true pulse of the left, we must look at off-the-wall leftist sites like ThinkProgress.

ThinkProgress makes no effort to soft sell its Marxist ideology – no veiled attempt at fairness. Every article written and all commentary is unvarnished progressivism. These are the views of all leftist statists, if they dared to be honest. But they cannot, for if they were to be, they would never win another election.

A couple of days ago, Ian Millhiser, the “Justice Editor” at ThinkProgress, penned a piece entitled, “We may be living in the final days of the Supreme Court of the United States – Constitution, meet crisis.”

Without even reading, we should be able to surmise that Mr. Millhiser is going to whine about the lack of a ninth supreme Court justice – that it is a crisis – that it’s just not fair, and that the republican Senate is shirking its Constitutionally mandated responsibility. read more

Constitution 101 (7)

Lesson 7: “Crisis of Constitutional Government”

Study Guide

Overview:

At the heart of the American constitutional crisis of the mid-nineteenth century stood the moral, social, and political evil of slavery. At stake in this crisis was the future of republican self-government.

Abraham Lincoln saw the dilemma facing the nation as the “crisis of a house divided.” While the American Founders worked to put slavery, as Lincoln said, “on the course of ultimate extinction,” the institution had instead flourished in the first half of the nineteenth century. By the 1850s, efforts to expand slavery threatened to tear the nation apart.

Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas championed the idea that Americans living in the territories should choose whether or not slavery should be legal there. “Popular sovereignty” eventually became the law of the land with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

For Lincoln, “popular sovereignty” was an abandonment of moral principle. Man does not have a moral right to choose a moral wrong. Self-government cannot mean ruling other human beings without their consent. The Kansas-Nebraska Act, although disguised in the language of liberty and self-government, was in fact at odds with the core principles of the American regime.

The Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision marked a further departure from the principles of the American Founding. Writing for the majority in 1857, Chief Justice Roger Taney declared that the Founders never intended for the principles of natural right enunciated in the Declaration to apply to blacks—whether enslaved or emancipated. Furthermore, Congress had no right to ban slavery in the territories. For Lincoln and the opponents of slavery, this decision was not only constitutionally and historically wrong, but it also further enabled the legal expansion of slavery nationwide.

Lincoln and Douglas debated both popular sovereignty and the Dred Scott decision in their Illinois Senate race of 1858. Douglas maintained that self-government and slavery were compatible and mutually beneficial in certain climates, and it was up to the majority of citizens to determine whether or not the conditions prevailing in their territory or state made slavery useful. Lincoln countered that republicanism and slavery could never exist in harmony, and that self-government could never be compatible with the denial of consent. America, he held, could not long exist half slave and half free; it must become one or the other.