“Follow the Law or Resign” – Good Advice for Supreme Court Justices

Oct 29, 2015

Last week, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy reportedly told law students at Harvard University that government officials should step down and resign if faced with a law that violates their conscience. Although he did not refer specifically to Kim Davis, the message was clear – government officials who disagree with him and his four other colleagues regarding their newly invented and groundless marriage opinion ought to resign. Essentially, he said follow the law or resign. While this might sound good, the real question is “What is the law and what happens when Justices violate their oath to interpret the Constitution?”

Unjust laws should be resisted. Religious freedom and conscience should be protected. Justices or judges who disregard the Constitution and impose their own will should resign.

Thomas Jefferson did not believe in judicial supremacy. He would not enforce the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 that President John Adams had signed. Jefferson wrote a letter to Abigail Adams saying, “What gives you the idea that the judges have the final authority to be the arbiters of the law? If that were the case we would have a despotic branch.”

We must stop fooling ourselves that whatever five people on the Supreme Court say is automatically the rule of law imposed on every American. When the Justices violate their oath and discard the Constitution they are sworn to uphold, they act on their own without constitutional authority. While there are many legal points that are debatable, it is beyond obvious that there is no constitutional authority to impose same-sex marriage by judicial decree.

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