My political views aside, the attempted destruction of lives carried out by the recent circus that was the Supreme Court nomination for an Associate Justice these last several weeks was appalling.
What took place should not have happened and need not to have happened but did. I wonder why.
Potentially, the fervent belief the Supreme Court must fall on one side of the spectrum.
Like all political systems, and the court is no different, there will be a swing to and from either side of center.
Generally, it is just a much slower and smaller switch because of the length of service and each justice’s attempt, with limited exceptions, to follow the process and not advocate for their own beliefs but instead to judge within the rules set by the Constitution.
Surprisingly, we have a republic that allows for laws to be created that accomplish much of what the court has been wrongly called upon to do in the last several decades.
It is a fairly easy process, get peers to agree with you by convincing or bargaining with them to vote for what you think is best for this country.
That does not seem to be a viable idea any longer.
What appears to be expected is for the courts to rule on a law by applying a political belief to each question.
What is now desired is to have an outcome-based judiciary, a court that rules in favor of the “right person” in every case.
This is foolish.
The court is in place to rule on what the law says not on what we might wish would happen in each case.
There is no law in existence that can make the “right person” always be the “correct person” since the “right person” changes with whom is speaking.
Somehow our belief has become the Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong.
This belief leads to the argument for never overturning precedent, or at least the “right” precedent.
Contrary to that belief, the court is not infallible.
Sometimes it decides wrongly.
Sometimes it takes time, as exhibited by the limited number of egregiously decided cases that have been reversed, to be recognized.
For some, such reexamination drives the very vocal to the brink of despair, for a few it pushes them over.
Unfortunately, for all those who hold the opinion the court must rule in support of their beliefs, as expressed by individual anecdotes of unfairness or non-outcome based decision making, the court is just a human institution with fallible humans trying their best to be impartial.
There is only one set of rules of which I am aware that are consistent and immutable, that are true and without error.
Those rules were handed down from the Trinitarian God.
That God alone, not the Supreme Court, is the final arbiter of right and wrong.
Disagree as you wish but two plus two will always equal four whether acknowledged and believed or not.
Until we experience something superior, the Supreme Court will rule on the Constitution with honorable and fallible humans doing the best they can.
RICHARD PUGH, of Ottawa, is enjoying life in the Illinois River Valley. He can be reached by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.