calls for change on the Supreme Court.
"We the People" - the opening words of the U.S. Constitution.
The framer's of the constitution left no doubt in the Preamble that
the Constitution was intended to belong to the people. The people were
supposed to be the vigilant guardians of their own liberties. That's
the way our system was created.
But, over the years the Supreme Court has radically undermined this
careful placement of power by making itself the ultimate arbiter and
source of what the Constitution provides and what it does not.
In 1819, a frustrated Thomas Jefferson concluded that the Constitution,
especially the Bill of Rights, has become a "mere thing of wax
in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist, and shape into
any form they please."
For decades, the Supreme Court has contorted the Constitution to mean
that the people may not decide for themselves through their duly elected
officials matters of moral and social importance.
This troubling pattern is well documented. For more that half a century
the Supreme Court has acted as a "super legislature"-no longer
interpreting the Constitution, but rather writing and proclaiming its
Consider what the Supreme Court has done since the early 1960's: prayer
and the Bible removed from public schools and the Ten Commandments banned
from schools and public places. Relying on what was called a penumbra
to the 14th Amendment granting a right of privacy not found in the Constitution,
the Court declared abortion a constitutional right while ignoring the
constitutional rights of the more than 43-million unborn children who
have been slaughtered. And now, utilizing the same right of privacy
that enshrined abortion, the Supreme Court has proclaimed same-sex sodomy
a "constitutional right."
A growing number of Americans see the Supreme Court for what it truly
is. After all, no matter how much a legislature may debate, negotiate,
compromise, and discuss a significant social issue, a mere five-member
unelected majority of the Supreme Court is always free to impose what
it thinks is really best for the American people.
This is not a free people at work, but rather a judicial oligarchy
of which Jefferson warned.
As Jefferson wrote in 1820, "to consider the judges as the ultimate
arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine
indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy
The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal
The idea of a "living Constitution"--whose heart and breath
ends up being nothing more than the ideological predilections of the
Supreme Court's sitting members-is contrary to fundamental principles
of the Rule of Law. As Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story wrote in 1833,
the Constitution is "to have a fixed, uniform, permanent construction.
It should be, so far at least as human infirmity will allow, not dependent
upon the passions or parties of particular times, but the same yesterday,
today and forever."
And consider the words of Abraham Lincoln at his First Inaugural Address
in 1861: "At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that
if the policy of the government, upon vital questions, affecting the
whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme
the people will have ceased to be their own rulers having,
to that extent, practically resigned their government into the hands
of that eminent tribunal."
Americans are a patient and a law-abiding people. But for too long
we have watched as the Justices on the nation's highest court have legislated
from the bench-taken what was to be our nation's roadmap for the people
- the U.S. Constitution-and turned it on its head. It is time for a
change. And thousands of Americans agree. The time has come for several
Justices to retire and I am fervently praying to that end.
Pat Robertson is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Christian
Broadcasting Network, headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA.