it is smart to know your limits

Posted: June 30, 2012 in Observations and Commentary
Tags: , , , , , , ,

All across America people are dancing in the streets while others are decrying the end of country they love. In case you missed it this past Thursday the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) rendered a 5-4 decision to uphold the “Affordable Care Act.” The details of the ruling are complex and shoot down the President’s argument this bill is not a tax. Yet the bottom line is the Court did not rule this significant piece of legislation unconstitutional.

Americans remain sharply divided regarding the “Affordable Care Act” and Thursday’s ruling has ratcheted up the rhetoric yet again, but this is nothing new. Whenever SCOTUS makes a controversial decision the people who disagree with it emerge from the woodwork and blather on about how they fucked it up, how they don’t know what they are doing, how they are trampling on the Constitution and our freedoms, how they are a bunch of old fogies without a grasp on reality. Listening to this type of vitriol from either side of the aisle is exhausting.

Regardless of how you feel about SCOTUS’ powder keg of a decision this much is true: The Supreme Court Justices know constitutional law better than you do. To borrow a basketball analogy, that is a slam dunk. The fact they rendered a split decision is certainly interesting. It is also further proof the United States Constitution is not black and white. How could it be? It must have the flexibility to adapt to the nation’s evolution or it becomes ultimately useless. Few things in life are definitive, including the documents which were written to guide our country. We need a judicial body to interpret those fuzzy areas of the law which are bound to arise as time ticks along. Hence the Supreme Court.

When they render a decision contrary to your personal ideology it is instructive to recall those times they agreed with your particular beliefs much to the dismay of your neighbors and fellow citizens. Many of the same folks who are lambasting the Court today applauded their 5-4 Bush v. Gore decision. Conversely, many of the same folks doing a Martha Reeves on Main Street bemoaned the Court’s 5-4 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision. The purpose of SCOTUS is not to piss people off, although inevitably they will. It ain’t perfect, but it is what we have. And for the most part they have done a pretty good job over the past 223 years. For every ruling you think sucks you can easily find one you believe glorifies what it means to be an American. It is part of the package of living in a democracy. You don’t always get your way.

Here’s the deal. When you come up with a fairer and better way to decide complicated and contentious points of law, please let us all know. But until then you may want to consider carefully choosing your words when criticizing people whose knowledge and experience regarding these matters crushes yours. No one is saying you can’t bitch and moan. Flap your gums all you want. Just realize the more you go on and on about something far beyond your area of expertise the sillier you sound.

  1. rangewriter says:

    THIS is a great post! “The Supreme Court Justices know constitutional law better than you do.”


  2. I completely agree with you on this one. Surprised?


  3. surroundedbyimbeciles says:

    It is the Court’s job to determine constitutionality. It does not have the job of deciding if a law is bad or good. Personally, I believe this is a bad law, but that isn’t the point. The court determined that it fit within the framework of our government


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