More and more areas of American life have been withdrawn from voters’ democratic control and delivered up to the bureaucratic and judicial emergency mechanisms of civil rights law. Civil rights law has become a second constitution, with powers that can be used to override the Constitution of 1787.
While the hallowed doctrine of stare decisis—the rule that judges are bound to respect precedent—certainly applies to the lower courts, Supreme Court justices owe fidelity to the Constitution alone, and if their predecessors have construed it erroneously, today’s justices must say so and overturn their decisions.
Economists since Adam Smith have taught us that in a competitive economy, the pursuit of private interests leads to the best possible outcome for everybody. But notice the qualifier: for this arrangement to work, there must be competition.
In thinking about the kind of person who should take his seat on the Court, it is worth reflecting on Justice Scalia’s principles of jurisprudence.
The Justice Department plays a fundamental role in our nation’s life, because its work has to do with how honest, how fair, and how safe our country is.