Alito's warning

Shelagh Gray
Justice Samuel Alito Wednesday warned Americans of a grave danger to constitutional governance, laying blame squarely on the nation's law schools.

Having suffered the president's critical remarks and the ensuing Congressional Democrats' standing ovation at the 2010 State of the Union address, the headline from Justice Samuel Alito's "Let Judges be Judges" speech Wednesday night at the Manhattan Institute's Wriston Lecture was that he doubts he will be in attendance when the State of the Union address is again delivered next January. Sad as I am to see the rot of dirty politics sully a dignified custom of our great nation, I was far more disturbed by another section of Justice Alito's speech in which ...

"... he used the occasion to warn that the nation's most prestigious law schools are now dominated by "judicial theorists" who oppose judges applying the laws and the Constitution as written.

"It's critical for alternative voices to be heard in the law schools," the justice said during the question-answer period. "
The Federalist Society does a fantastic job of providing an alternative voice in law schools," Alito said, referring to the 20,000-strong conservative legal society that believes the judiciary should "say what the law is, not what it should be."

"Asked whether a judge should apply the law as written or do what the judge thinks is fair and just, two thirds of those polled said ‘apply the law as written,'" Alito noted. Judges "have no warrant to pursue a reform agenda that is not grounded in the Constitution, and they should not aim to be theorists or crowd-pleasers," he added. "Let judges be judges, for if they are not our legal system as we know it will fade away."

In raising the issue of our law schools actually training students ... who will be our future lawyers and judges ... to legislate from the bench and to interpret the Constitution as a "living document" rather than "as written" by the nation's founders, Justice Alito validates the dangers to our freedom of an overreaching judiciary. Our Founders provided that changes to the Constitution be made by the people through the amendment process and not by judicial rulings. In its Pledge to America, Congressional Republicans have promised "... to honor the Constitution as constructed by its framers and honor the original intent of those precepts that have been consistently ignored." If made a majority in the midterm elections, the GOP has promised it "... will require that every bill contain a citation of Constitutional authority."

For the sake of our nation and the freedom of generations to come, I pray that Republicans will take the majority in Congress this November. But even if that happy event should transpire Conservatives will still have much to do. For those of us who believe our precious legal system should be guided by the Constitution as written rather than as politically expedient judicial interpretations, our efforts  must be on holding Congressional Republicans to their word. Every action, every reform must emanate from authority granted by the original intent of the Constitution and we must be vigilant to see that the GOP holds to its pledge.
Justice Samuel Alito Wednesday warned Americans of a grave danger to constitutional governance, laying blame squarely on the nation's law schools.

Having suffered the president's critical remarks and the ensuing Congressional Democrats' standing ovation at the 2010 State of the Union address, the headline from Justice Samuel Alito's "Let Judges be Judges" speech Wednesday night at the Manhattan Institute's Wriston Lecture was that he doubts he will be in attendance when the State of the Union address is again delivered next January. Sad as I am to see the rot of dirty politics sully a dignified custom of our great nation, I was far more disturbed by another section of Justice Alito's speech in which ...

"... he used the occasion to warn that the nation's most prestigious law schools are now dominated by "judicial theorists" who oppose judges applying the laws and the Constitution as written.

"It's critical for alternative voices to be heard in the law schools," the justice said during the question-answer period. "
The Federalist Society does a fantastic job of providing an alternative voice in law schools," Alito said, referring to the 20,000-strong conservative legal society that believes the judiciary should "say what the law is, not what it should be."

"Asked whether a judge should apply the law as written or do what the judge thinks is fair and just, two thirds of those polled said ‘apply the law as written,'" Alito noted. Judges "have no warrant to pursue a reform agenda that is not grounded in the Constitution, and they should not aim to be theorists or crowd-pleasers," he added. "Let judges be judges, for if they are not our legal system as we know it will fade away."

In raising the issue of our law schools actually training students ... who will be our future lawyers and judges ... to legislate from the bench and to interpret the Constitution as a "living document" rather than "as written" by the nation's founders, Justice Alito validates the dangers to our freedom of an overreaching judiciary. Our Founders provided that changes to the Constitution be made by the people through the amendment process and not by judicial rulings. In its Pledge to America, Congressional Republicans have promised "... to honor the Constitution as constructed by its framers and honor the original intent of those precepts that have been consistently ignored." If made a majority in the midterm elections, the GOP has promised it "... will require that every bill contain a citation of Constitutional authority."

For the sake of our nation and the freedom of generations to come, I pray that Republicans will take the majority in Congress this November. But even if that happy event should transpire Conservatives will still have much to do. For those of us who believe our precious legal system should be guided by the Constitution as written rather than as politically expedient judicial interpretations, our efforts  must be on holding Congressional Republicans to their word. Every action, every reform must emanate from authority granted by the original intent of the Constitution and we must be vigilant to see that the GOP holds to its pledge.