The Constitution Is Dead
The Constitution of the United States is dead... "Long live the Constitution!" For those of you who may have had the mistaken notion that our Constitution was merely dying, I regret to inform you that the patient has expired. We were reminded of that today when the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) refused to hear the Wrotnowski case. Although it was obvious that "time was of the essence" and that this case required an expedited review, the Court chose to postpone a decision on whether or not to hear the case from its Friday conference until today, in what can only be described as an obvious delaying tactic. Since the Wrotnowski case was a request for a stay or injunction to stop today's meeting of the Electoral College, the Court's move to wait until today to make a decision effectively made a hearing of the case a moot point. One can only call it the "lost weekend". A weekend that was lost, most assuredly, by design.
The result of this travesty is that we now appear to be a country which no longer operates under "the rule of law", but rather one which operates under "the rule of politics". I believe that denying a hearing of the Wrotnowski case, and the employment of the delaying tactic described above, was nothing short of a political ploy designed to avert a major controversy -- it was a "political" move. Nevertheless, the controversy will continue to fester and it will only get worse until it is addressed. It's like a boil that needs to be lanced, or an infection that needs to be treated. It won't go away by itself. Someday, the unanswered questions will be revealed, and if Barack Obama turns out to be a "usurper", as we fear, then the constitutional crisis which emerges will make SCOTUS wish they had dealt with the issue sooner rather than later.
There are only three basic requirements that a person must meet to qualify for the position of President of the United States: He or she must be at least 35 years of age, must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years, and must be a "natural born Citizen". All of this seems simple enough, yet as we know, nothing is as simple as it seems.
The case brought before SCOTUS by Cort Wrotnowski alleged that two of the presidential candidates on the Connecticut ballot were not "natural born" citizens, and therefore did not qualify to assume the office of the presidency (i.e., John McCain and Barack Obama). John McCain, according to Wrotnowski, is not a natural born citizen by reason of his birth in Panama. Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen by reason of his Kenyan father's British nationality. Since I am no legal scholar, I will refrain from attempting to go into any further detail. But you can go HERE to find a definition of "Natural Born Citizen" and some supporting documentation.
You can read the pleading in the Wrotnowski case by going HERE. Scroll down and click on the "Download" button at the bottom of the page. Wrotnowski asked the Court to issue an "EMERGENCY STAY AND/OR INJUNCTION AS TO THE 2008 ELECTORAL COLLEGE MEETING." The Court's decision (to delay a decision) effectively insured that today's meeting of the Electoral College would officially institute Barack Obama as the President-elect unhindered.
Since SCOTUS gave no reasons, we must assume that the High Court refused to hear the case because either: a) it did not want to risk overturning the election of a man who received 65 million votes, b) it did not want to appear "racist", c) it decided internally that at least 5 of the 9 Justices would rule against it and was therefore a "waste of time", d) the person bringing the case did not have "standing", e) it viewed the case as "frivolous", f) it disagreed with the premise of the case, g) the case would raise a host of other issues that it did not want to address at this time (i.e., "opening a can of worms"), h) some other reason of which I am unaware, or i) some combination thereof.
One would hope that the High Court did not consider this a "frivolous" lawsuit, although some of the Justices may indeed have viewed it as such. It is possible that some of the Justices disagreed with the premise of the case, perhaps even a majority. One would imagine that the strict constructionists (Thomas, Scalia, Roberts and Alito) found merit in the case, while it is equally imaginable that the remaining Justices did not. Assuming for a moment that this was indeed true, then it may have been determined by the Justices that to hear the case would simply be a "waste of time" as a majority of the Justices would rule against it anyway. Denying a hearing on that basis would be nothing less than a matter of 'political expediency', and 'personal resource management' -- commodities clearly on a par with "upholding the Constitution of the United States". D'OH!
It is also possible that SCOTUS felt that Cort Wrotnowski did not have standing to bring the case. Other cases have been thrown out on such grounds, including: Hollander v. McCain, 2008WL2853250 (D.N.H. 2008); Berg v. Obama, 08-04083 (E.D. Pa. 2008). This is perhaps one of the most frightening of all possibilities. It would suggest that an average citizen no longer has any rights to bring a lawsuit in important cases of national prominence as it pertains to the Constitution. Since when is an average citizen unqualified to file a grievance? If memory serves, our Constitution begins with the words, "We the People..." thereby acknowledging that it is the people (i.e., average citizens) who empower the government and not vice versa. I seem to recall being taught that our government was supposed to be "of the people, by the people, for the people". But when an average citizen no longer qualifies to bring a grievance to court, then our government is no longer controlled by the governed -- it is out of control -- and the Preamble of the Constitution is meaningless. Mark J. Fitzgibbons presents an intelligent and thoughful analysis of this subject at American Thinker.
Three of the other potential reasons cited, including: a) it did not want to risk overturning the election of a man who received 65 million votes, b) it did not want to appear "racist", or c) the case would raise a host of other issues that it did not want to address at this time (i.e., "opening a can of worms"), are again nothing more than 'political expediency'. If there was some other reason why the Court refused to hear the case, a reason of which I am completely unaware, then it would have been nice if the Justices served the interests of all Americans and enlightened us to it. The silence on this whole issue of Obama's status as a 'natural born citizen' is simply "deafening". Obama won't talk, and now apparently SCOTUS won't either. Why?
In an ideal world, all 9 Justices would have found this case extremely important, even if they feared the potential fallout that hearing such a case could generate. Under such a scenario, the Justices would agree that compliance with the Constitution is of paramount importance to the exclusion of all else. For what other reason does the Supreme Court exist than to safeguard our nation against laws, behaviors and practices which are "unconstitutional"? The Supreme Court Justices swore an oath to "uphold the Constitution of the United States". Will they now turn a blind eye to compliance with that Constitution by none other than the prospective Chief Executive? What does that say about our Constitution, Court and Presidency?
In a somewhat less than ideal scenario, all 9 Justices would have found the case extremely important, but might have determined amongst themselves that the potential fallout that hearing such a case could generate would be too damaging to the nation to risk enforcing compliance with the Constitution, and then ADMITTING IT. Denying the hearing of a case under such circumstances would also be nothing less than 'political expediency', but at least it could be considered a defensible position as part of the government's mandate to "insure domestic Tranquility" according to the Constitution's Preamble. (Lest we forget, the SCOTUS is a part of the federal government.)
Unfortunately, we know that at least 2 Justices did not consider such a case important enough to be referred to the Court for conference (or they were too politically motivated to refer it). Justice Souter denied the Donofrio case -- as well as the Berg case -- before Justice Thomas later referred it to the Court, and Justice Ginsburg denied the Wrotnowski case before Justice Scalia later referred it to the Court. The fact that at least 2 (and undoubtedly more) Justices are unwilling to insure that the requirements of the Constitution are upheld, is simply apalling. If Supreme Court Justices do not consider the Constitution sacred, then what are they doing on the Supreme Court? ...And why did they spend so much time in Law School studying about it if their only intent was to ignore it, or overthrow it?
What does this imply then about the health of our Constitution? It suggests that the Constitution is more than sick -- I think it is dead. When the Supreme Court of the United States is unwilling or unable to uphold the preeminent law of the land, then we are no longer operating under the "rule of law". When the Supreme Court of the United States is willing to turn a blind eye to compliance with the Constitution, then 'political expediency' is the law which governs. The Constitution has become a meaningless, unenforceable document. It is nothing more than a piece of paper with nice-sounding words on it, which bears little or no resemblence to reality.
It is not exactly clear when the Constitution died. No doubt it was long before this weekend. But like the movie "Weekend at Bernie's", the Constitution is being held up like a prop for the sake of appearances. It is being used and abused by people who want you believe it is still alive -- and plenty of people are being fooled. All around it, people are laughing, partying and celebrating -- completely oblivious to its recent demise. In the background, a subplot of cash, corruption and crime plays out. In the foreground, we watch with unbelieving eyes as morons mistreat a corpse. Unfortunately, this is no laughing matter.