The Hot Issue Of The 2012 GOP Primaries

By Jesse Taylor
Saturday, April 4, 2009 13:31 EDT
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My guess? Overturning Marbury v. Madison. Ed Whelan spends a rather significant portion of his (limited) mental energy railing against the ideas that a.) times change (THEY DO NOT, he says on a five-pound laptop computer connected to the Internet) and b.) that judges talk funny.

Rod Dreher is fearful that Christianity itself will be stigmatized should the ongoing march of pretending that gay people aren’t the asshole Mogwai that pop out of good Christian families after you get them wet continue unopposed. The National Organization for (Some) Marriage (For Some People) says this is a rejection of the family itself, despite clear evidence that a male/female marital partnership isn’t necessary to raise healthy, well-adjusted people. Representative Steve King declares that judges should stop “making laws from the bench”, because the entire point of our tripartite system of government was that the legislature be given carte blanche to pass whatever laws it wanted until a new legislature came in.

While I, for one, think an all-powerful and unaccountable-except-for-a-reversible-veto legislature is a bucket of fun, the Supreme Court determined a long time ago (in full view of the bulk of the Founders, mind you) that the courts reserved the right to review legislation. It works. It is, on balance, a good thing. It works against the tyranny of the majority and/or the powerful in dictating to the rest of us how and why we function in America. It also, at least theoretically, raises the level of interest in an unelected judiciary to a level it otherwise wouldn’t reach. It’s not perfect, but nothing about democracy is.

I do, however, predict that this foundational element of American jurisprudence will become part of a populist rallying cry for conservatives in 2012, in which it should be fun to hear months of explanations from Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney about why Brown v. Board of Education was tyranny writ large.

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
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