Monday, June 22, 2015

Congress is the Ultimate Authority!

Weekly Opinion Editorial


by Steve Fair
     The Supreme Court will take up two very important cases in the final two weeks of the current term.   The first is King vs. Burwell which will determine whether the Affordable Care Act lawfully gave the Internal Revenue Service authority to extend tax-credit subsidies to coverage purchased through exchanges established by the federal government under Section 1321 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  It is generally conceded the ACA didn’t expressly address the federal exchanges, but was implied.  In oral arguments March 4th, seven of the nine Justices seem to have staked out their position, leaving Justices Roberts and Kennedy the swing votes.  This case made its way to the high court because two lower courts disagreed in their appellate opinions. 
     Oklahoma Solicitor General Patrick Wyrick says King vs. Burwell is a simple case.  King v. Burwell presents a straightforward question of statutory interpretation, the sort judges decide routinely and readily. The case is a symposium-worthy blockbuster not because of the question presented, but because of the statutory vehicle that delivered us that question,Wyrick says.
     But because this case is about the Affordable Care Act, Wyrick sees it being transformed into a more complicated and partisan case than it should be.  “A false narrative is being created: that resolution of the case in the challengers’ favor would require the abandonment of all basic principles of textualism. This way, a loss can be blamed on politics, rather than on the true culprit: the IRS’s decision to execute the law it wishes Congress had enacted, rather the law Congress actually enacted,”  Wyrick says.  A decision on King vs. Burwell could come as early as Friday morning.
     The second major case is Obergefell vs. Hodges.  This is the same-sex marriage case.  It will rule as to whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and does it require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state? Oral arguments were presented before the court April 28th for 2 ½ hours.  Justice Kennedy appears to be the swing vote again.  A decision is expected as early as Friday.
     If same-sex marriage is ruled to be the law of the law, it will attempt to define something God has already defined.  In the Garden of Eden, it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.  No matter what nine black robed judges say marriage is between one man and one woman and no Supreme Court ruling will change that.

     These cases highlight a situation all Americans need to consider: the SCOTUS has more power than any other branch of government!  The Supreme Court for a long time — indeed, since 1803 when it declared it could void statues or laws — has claimed for itself the ultimate authority to decide what the Constitution means.  Much of the debate is whether the Constitution is to be interpreted literally, just as it was written, or whether it is meant to be a living, breathing document that changes over time. There are a number of examples where the court has overturned laws and ‘legislated from the bench.’
     Many of these decisions have been after voters have overwhelmingly made a decision and the courts decided to overturn the decision of the people.  And it is not just the SCOTUS.  Right here in Oklahoma, the State Supreme Court has overturned legislation and ruled State Questions unconstitutional.  An activist judiciary is a real threat to self-government.

     The intent of the founders of our country was for the legislative branch to be the most powerful with the Executive branch being the weakest.  Evidently President Obama doesn’t believe that because on the White House website, it says, “Each branch of government is balanced by powers in the other two coequal branches.”  Co-equal?  Not right! The legislative branch is the closest to the people, and that is why it was made the most powerful branch of government.  Article 1 of the Constitution gives explicate authority to the legislative branch to impeach the judicial and executive branches.  Just because Congress lacks the political will to do it doesn’t mean they don’t have the constitutional authority to do it.  Of course, if the case went to the SCOTUS, they would likely rule an impeachment of a Supreme Court Justice unconstitutional.

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