Bryan Fischer
January 24, 2010
Left hates it when "judicial activism" happens to them
By Bryan Fischer

It has been hilarious and instructive to watch the puffer fish on the left virtually explode in an apoplectic frenzy over the Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling upholding the First Amendment and freedom of speech while gutting the plainly unconstitutional restrictions of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill.

For the left, this ruling has suddenly become an egregious example of judicial activism run amok.

Let's assume for the sake of argument they actually mean it when they accuse the Court of judicial activism. What does this tell you? Exactly what we have been saying for decades: judicial activism is bad! It's about time they caught up.

One of the ways you can tell this was an excellent ruling is by identifying the people who have been flapping their wings in frustration: President Obama and the Democrats. They were already looking for another way around the First Amendment before the ink was even dry on the Court's missive.

McCain-Feingold was so bad that even the ACLU thought its key section should be struck down. (The ACLU has been strangely but not unexpectedly silent over a ruling they should be celebrating.)

Leftists accuse the Court of "judicial activism" for overturning a precedent that had been on the books for more than 100 years, a law that had been on the books for over 60 years, and another (the McCain bill) that had been on the books for less than 10.

In this we see the fundamental difference between what the left calls judicial activism and what judicial activism actually is.

For the left, judicial activism simply means any departure from prior court rulings they like and which advance their agenda. For conservatives, judicial activism means any departure from the plain and original meaning of the Constitution itself.

In sum, activism for the left is a departure from precedent, while for the right it is a departure from the Constitution.

When the Court strikes down a precedent which is unconstitutional, it is not engaging in judicial activism, it's simply doing its job.

But when the Court goes all the way back to the Constitution itself, which clearly prohibits "Congress" from making any "law" that abridges "freedom of speech," and overturns a recent law that violates that provision of the Constitution, the left tries to snatch the cloak of activism and wrap it self-righteously around themselves.

Sorry, Charlie, it's not going to work. You're late to the party and you're wearing clothes that don't fit.

© Bryan Fischer


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Bryan Fischer

Bryan Fischer is the host of the daily 'Focal Point' radio talk program on AFR Talk, a division of the American Family Association. 'Focal Point' airs live from 1-3 pm Central Time, and is also simulcast on the AFA Channel, which can be seen on the Sky Angel network.


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