Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. ― William Pitt the Younger
Supreme Court, You're Fired!
by L. Neil Smith
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
I've written, in several places now, that the judiciary is one of two national institutions most responsible for the mess America has become, and it badly needs to be scoured out with flame-throwers and firehoses.
The other institution is/are the socialist mass media.
Signs of decadent collapse within the judiciary -- of massive and abysmal ignorance of logic, history, and the law itself -- are to be seen (and smelled) everywhere, most noticeably at the top. One expects that sort of thing in California, of course, where the state supreme court has just proclaimed that the 1000-year-old right (and duty) of juries to judge the law as well as the facts of a case no longer exists.
How these morons expect to detect the "crime" and enforce the "law" is a mystery. It's nothing that was ever granted or bestowed by government. Kings couldn't stop it with dungeons, pincers, and red hot pokers.
But the California supreme court is far from alone in its insanity and stupidity. Just a couple of weeks ago, the Supreme Court of the United States decreed that it's perfectly all right for the police to jerk a woman from her car, twist her wrists behind her back, and lock them together with handcuffs -- in full view of her terrified children -- for the "crime" of failing to have used seatbelts in the prescribed manner.
Presumably, if she resists playing bondage games with the blue gang strenuously enough, they can shoot her dead, ultimately for having disobeyed a law designed (however erroneously) to save her life. One wonders what lesson that will teach the children who witness it.
As a former reserve police officer, I've been on both sides of the issue. I know that individuals are unpredictable. Arrested for the merest of crimes, they sometimes turn on you with more violence than any bank robber. And yet depriving a person of the use of his hands, taking from him one of that small clutch of attributes that make us human, is a more serious and portentous act than most people realize. And the police perform it much too often for any free society to tolerate.
To me, that unpredictablility always seemed like yet another good reason to repeal those laws that create the "merest of crimes". I was also well aware that the Constitution does not provide for the passage or enforcement of laws designed to protect us from our own stupidity, and that the illegal attempt to do so is the very fountainhead of tyranny. What the Supreme Court has accomplished with this incredible ruling is to give vicious new fangs to the Nanny State -- a concept first expressed, I believe, as "Support Mental Health or I'll Kill You".
This week, they took another step, leaving the fangs and removing the Nanny. In a unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court ignored the voters in several states to declare that cannabis sativa, however medical its use, is still illegal. Along the way, they expressed their view -- embarrassingly ignorant -- that the weed isn't of any help to anyone, and you're supposed to die of chemotherapy in order to save you from addiction.
Now I've written before, on more than one occasion, that I don't personally approve of drugs, including marijuana. I've also said, from time to time, that I find the medical marijuana movement -- and the hemp thing, too -- to be pusillanimous and sneaky. Nobody, on any side of the issue, is fooled by them; everybody understands that these are attempts at gradualism, the final aim of which is the legalization of drugs. Because I'm a libertarian and a Constitutionalist, I'd rather see those who want drugs legal lead a battle for the Ninth Amendment right to grow, manufacture, distribute, sell, possess, and consume them.
This idiotic Supreme Court ruling only underscores my point. All that effort, and what do you get? Eight old women and a female lawyer tell you that standing in the broiling sun all summer in front of the city library collecting petitions signatures, campaigning at county fairs and city festivals, biting your nails through election night -- and winning, despite the odds -- none of that counts for anything at all.
Screw the voters who don't know what's good for 'em. Wiser heads prevail.
What to do now? Two things. First, there is little-known provision in the Constitution under which the congress may prevent the Supreme Court from taking certain cases and ruling on them. To my knowledge, that provision has never been excercised. Perhaps the time for that is now.
The other thing? Well, while it's true that sick people often feel better for using marijuana, and it's equally true that you can make very amusing hats from hemp, try standing up like a man (of whatever gender) and insisting on your rights. Folks will respect you more for it.
And maybe support your cause.
Now where did I leave my flame-thrower and firehose?
Reprinted from The Libertarian Enterprise for Number 123, May 28, 2001
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