I remember as a child seeing the bumper stickers “Impeach Earl Warren.” For those who don’t remember the Warren Court, I’ll rehash a little history.
Earl Warren was a “progressive” Governor of California, who was appointed to the Supreme Court by Dwight Eisenhower as a part of the deal made by Eisenhower to get the Republican nomination for President in 1952. Eisenhower had not been able to secure the nomination over his more conservative opponent, Robert Taft of Ohio, and so, to obtain the Republican nomination, he went to Governor Earl Warren and Senator Richard Nixon, then the heads of the California delegation to the Republican National Convention, and told them he would choose one of them for his Vice President and one for the first vacancy to the Supreme Court, if they delivered the California delegation for his nomination. The rest is history. Warren was appointed to the Supreme Court. Dwight Eisenhower once called it the “biggest mistake” of his presidency.
The year is 1962. The case is Engel v. Vitale. The Supreme Court declared prayer in schools unconstitutional under the Establishment clause of the First Amendment. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth among conservatives across the country. How could the court upset over 150 years of precedent and ban God from schools? But that wasn’t all the court would do. Between 1962 and 1973, the court would literally rewrite the Constitution to find a whole variety of different activities previously left to the states unconstitutional. In 1965, the court decided that a right to privacy existed in the Constitution, in the case Griswold v. Connecticut, even though the word privacy exists nowhere in the Constitution. In 1966, in Reynolds v. Sims and Baker v. Carr, the court threw out the Constitutions of the fifty states, and required that, no matter what the States’ Constitutions said, the US Constitution required that all state legislative seats have to be districted by population. In Miranda v. Arizona, the court required local police to “read” the rights of the criminal to him or any evidence collected would be thrown out. Try to find the Miranda warning in the Constitution (hint: it’s not there, but the Supreme Court found it). In case after case, whether it was “free speech,” “establishment of religion,”the Warren Court constitutionalized any number of issues that the left in the United States had not been able to get legislative bodies to enact. While Warren retired in 1969, the Court’s activism did not subside, reaching its zenith in the 1970’s, with the decisions throwing out most of the death penalties in the country and of course, Roe v. Wade, so criminals could live, but babies would die.
According to the Court, the Constitution was a “living document,” that is, it didn’t matter what the words of Constitution were, the Court could find them to mean whatever the Court wanted them to mean.
So now you know why the “Impeach Earl Warren” bumper stickers were on cars everywhere in the 1960’s. Today, you are seeing the “Impeach Clarence Thomas” petitions everywhere.
Why, you ask? This last week, the current Supreme Court started to return the Constitution to its roots, and give the words of the Constitution their actual meaning. And the left, no longer able to implement their agenda through court dictate, started crying. How could the court “take away” our rights, they say. Rights, of course, that are nowhere in the Constitution. For years, the leftists in the state legislatures and in Congress have been protected from unpopular votes by saying “hey, it’s not under my control, the courts dictate the outcome.” No more. Legislators are now the decision makers, accountable to their voters for the decisions they make. And those legislators are afraid. They will have to actually listen to voters’ opinions on a whole bunch of issues they have been able to avoid over the last 60 years. Quite frankly, most voters do not hold the same opinions on major issues as the leftist legislators and their apologists in the mainstream media.
Next year, the Supreme Court is going to decide whether state and federal courts can draw the district lines for legislative and Congressional districts. For over 230 years, the courts left that in the hands of the state legislature under Article 1, Section 4 of the US Constitution. In the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, when Republicans complained about gerrymandering, the Supreme Court called it a “political thicket” best left to the state legislatures. In those days, the Democrats controlled most of the state legislatures, and drew the districts to keep control of Congress for over 40 years.
After 2010, when Republicans took control of a majority of the state legislatures, all of the sudden leaving the redistricting decisions to the state legislature was “unconstitutional,” because these Republicans were “gerrymandering” like Democrats had been doing for 80 years. After agreeing it was permissible for Democrats to gerrymander from 1932 to 2010, the courts started interfering with this “political thicket” and started drawing the districts themselves, of course, appointing “special masters” who just happened to be liberal college professors from around the country (check the stories on Virginia and North Carolina as evidence of this trend). The US Supreme Court has now decided to review this process.
Hence, the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the left today. Still crying over Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, New York Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen, and Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, the left is now wailing that the Supreme Court is about to destroy democracy by allowing gerrymandering around the country, and implement the “independent state legislature” doctrine. The case, Moore v Harper, will review the status of the ability of entities other than the state legislature (which, by the way, Art. I, Sec. 4 of the Constitution gives to those legislatures the exclusive control over determining Congressional lines) can draw the lines for Congressional districts. The left will then be required to go to the 50 legislatures and persuade them to draw fair lines, something they were not willing to do when they were in charge.
I have to admit, it is fun to watch the poor losers cry.