The landmark Supreme Court decisions are bulk-discounted this week, so here's this hour's. In my conversation with Hugh Hewitt yesterday, I said:
As you know, Hugh, I'm not a believer in Supreme Courts that are as supreme as America's Supreme Court is.
But here they are redefining an institution that pre-dates the United States by thousands of years with gay abandon. Ireland held a referendum to approve same-sex marriage a few weeks ago. I would not have voted as my fellow Irishmen did, but I can respect their decision. Likewise, I can respect those legislatures from Belgium to Uruguay where the people's representatives, accountable to their electors, have voted to introduce gay marriage by law. But a system where, in effect, Anthony Kennedy gets to decide for 300 million whether he can divine a right to same-sex nuptials that its drafters cannily left tucked discreetly in some or other subordinate clause of the US Constitution is to torture that document beyond rational meaning - even before John Roberts started doing his "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'state' states" routine. In other words, American republican constitutionalism has itself become as meaningless as Obamacare or the definition of marriage. Why don't we just cut to the Twitter version?
We the... whatever.
The crude reality is that the judges are responding to the same cultural pressures as everybody else. In the foreword to The [Un[documented Mark Steyn, personally autographed copies of which are exclusively available and help to prop up my end of Mann vs Steyn, I deplore the myopic emphasis of "conservatives" on politics to the exclusion of all else. As a result, they win every midterm election, and lose everything that matters. As for judges, I write:
We're told that the presidency is important because the head guy gets to appoint, if he's lucky, a couple of Supreme Court judges. But they're playing catch-up to the culture, too. In 1986, in a concurrence to a majority opinion, the Chief Justice of the United States declared that "there is no such thing as a fundamental right to commit homosexual sodomy". A blink of an eye, and his successors are discovering fundamental rights to commit homosexual marriage. What happened in between? Jurisprudentially nothing: Everything Chief Justice Burger said back in the Eighties – about Common Law, Blackstone's "crime against nature", "the legislative authority of the State" – still applies. Except it doesn't. Because the culture – from school guidance counselors to sitcom characters to Oscar hosts – moved on, and so even America's Regency of Jurists was obliged to get with the beat. Because to say today what the Chief Justice of the United States said 28 years ago would be to render oneself unfit for public office.
What will we be playing catch-up to in another 28 years? Not so long ago, I might have suggested transsexual rights. But, barely pausing to celebrate their victory on gay marriage, the identity-group enforcers have gone full steam ahead on transgender issues... Supreme Intergalactic Arbiter Anthony Kennedy wields more power over Americans than George III did, but in a year or three he'll be playing catch-up and striking down laws because of their "improper animus" and wish to "demean" and "humiliate" persons of gender fluidity.
That "year or three" may be underestimating the urgency. Onward!
As for all those "fundamental liberties" - speech, religion and the rest - I would bet we're in for more jihads on cake-bakers ...because the guys who wants this stuff are serious about power, and not shy about letting you know that.