Recently we decided to re-sod our lawn. As anyone who has ever undertaken this task knows the best way to do this is to kill the existing lawn or in our case existing weeds. You spray a herbicide on the surface of the old lawn and it dies. But again anyone who has ever done this knows, to be truly successful you must not only kill the blades of grass or the foliage of a plant, to eradicate a plant of any kind you must kill it right down to its roots. That is what the more powerful herbicides are designed to do, kill plants completely right down to their roots so they can never sprout again to interfere with the new sod, or whatever you are replacing it with.
As those of us that see the Constitution of the United States as the primary reason for this nations greatness look out over the political and cultural landscape of our nation in distress at its demise we wonder what has happened. There are many reasons for it from cultural decay to cronyism but strictly from a political stand point we are killing our roots.
Laura K. Donohue a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and director of Georgetown’s Center on National Security and the Law has a very good article in the Washington Post whose title pretty well sums up the problem. The title of her article is NSA surveillance may be legal — but it’s unconstitutional.
For those who believe in quaint old ideas such as the premise that the constitution is the law of the land, that headline is an oxymoron. In the America there is no such thing as something being unconstitutionally legal. It is actually rather simple, black and white if you will, if something, anything, in the United States of America is unconstitutional it is also illegal. Think of it like a sporting event, say basketball. The ball must go through the basket for a point or points to be scored . A referee can not award points to a team regardless of the circumstances unless a ball goes through the opposing teams hoop...period. To attempt to do so is not only a violation of the rules, it makes a mockery of the sport.
In her article, Professor Donahue summarizes the reason for the creation of the FISA court and its evolution from an agency of government meant to protect citizen's civil liberties to one that facilitates the violation of them. This was done by spraying a herbicide of laws and policies over the institution which has succeeded in killing the root. the root being our constitutional protections. What the majority of Americans see as a birthright, our nannied over legalistic ruling class has turned into our prison. As the Professor notes in what I believe most Americans would consider basic American liberties she writes
"Americans reasonably expect that their movements, communications and decisions will not be recorded and analyzed by the government".That reasonable expectation is now considered to be irrelevant to a large segment of the governing body of this nation on both sides of the political spectrum. That reasonable expectation is now seen as a hinderence to their quest to protect us. In their naive arrogance they fail to remember, if they ever knew, the primary purpose of the Constitution is to protect us from them, not this generations external threat. No external threat could ever bring down a free America, we are much too big and powerful, but the internal threat they are creating with their herbicide of laws are quickly killing the roots of our existence.
Indeed among the political class is the belief that laws, even repugnant unconstitutional laws, if passed through "the system" supersede the Constitution itself. When the NSA disclosures first came out, in defense of the practices, many made the point that all three branches of government were involved in the process so therefore it had to be good and legal. It reminds me of every parents response to the child who excuses his misbehavior by implicating his friends. " Well if Johnny jumped off a cliff would you do it to?" The first words of the Constitution are We The People, not we the government. The fact that all three branches of government have committed treason against its citizens does not make the crime any less treacherous, in fact it makes it far worse. The fact that no branch of government is willing or able to stand up for our liberty shows how much of the roots have been rotted in the Capital City.
I often joke, no humor intended, that lawyers did not create the United States but they are doing a damned fine job of destroying it. Despite the fact that every government official takes an oath as a condition of employment and that is all they are, employees, to defend and protect the Constitution, they consistently, with ever increasing frequency, pass laws and enact regulations that undermine and ignore it.
One of the best illustrations for the lack of regard for the Constitution by elected officials was recently given to us by a US Senator. Senator Dianne Feistein (D-CA) in a heated debate with Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) over gun control made the following pronouncement "...Congress is in the business of making law. The Supreme Court interprets the law. [If] they strike down the law, they strike down the law."
And that my fellow citizens is precisely how far too many elected official look at their job. They are so busy doing things for Americans they have totally lost sight of what they are doing to American citizens. Like undermining their Constitutional guaranteed liberties.
Even if we had a Supreme Court totally committed to the protection of our liberties under the Constitution rather than maintaining legal precedents, the legislative branch enacts far too many laws and the executive branch institutes far too many regulation for them all to be reviewed or even come before the Supreme Court for for "interpretation." Only the most egregious make their way through the system of courts to the Supreme Court and then it is a crap shoot on how they will rule. See Obamacare as an example.
This is why the Framers of the Constitution , Dianne Feinstein's ignorance not withstanding, made all three branches of government responsible for upholding the Constitution, this is why they all take an oath to do so. Not so they can pass laws and enact regulations and leave it up to the Supreme Court to strike down the ones that are wrong. If the ruling class of this nation took their oaths of office as serious as they take their desire to pander to their constituents, few if any laws would require "judicial review."
This is how we have reached the sad state of affairs we are in today. Our government has smothered us with a multitude of laws and regulations, some good many bad which rather than springing forth from the roots of our Constitution are instead designed to diminish or even nullify its intent, the guarantee of our personal liberties. Our overseers have created a system by which they may act legally but unconstitutionally.
America is being lawed to death.