Who should protect the little guy?
I was watching Dianne Feinstein question Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
Feinstein was calm, respectful, and informed, yet she remained focused on the issues that she as a Democrat values. This stands in contrast to Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris (or her predecessor, Barbara Boxer). The Democrats could stand to have more Feinsteins.
One of her final questions was for some assurances that Gorsuch would stand up for "the little guy." He quickly recalled several cases where he had in fact decided for the little guy.
But the question is irrelevant. It is not the job of the Court to protect "the little guy" or the big guy, the small company or the big company. One is not evil because he is "big," nor is he a saint because he is the little guy. The Court is supposed to serve the law with no bias in either direction.
It is the Congress that is supposed to protect the little guy. This is a purpose of the law itself, the means used in its application, and the recognition of the Constitution to protect the individual and natural rights of the citizens.
The very congressmen, such as Feinstein, who are the quickest to insist that the courts act to protect the little guy are the most reluctant to use their own powers to do so.
The progressive inclination to submit constitutional protections of individual liberty to majoritarian democracy hurts the little guy. The illiberal politically correct are sanctioned to shout down and inflict violence on the little guy exercising his free speech. Their demonization of dissent silences the little guy.
The vast regulatory bureaucracy serves the aims of the large corporations at the expense of the little guy, who is less able to afford the internal staff to address the explosion of regulations. The politicization of the IRS to punish dissenting views restricts the efforts of the little guy. Lobbyists are far more effective at preserving the tax breaks and regulations that serves their larger clients than acting on behalf of the individual voters.
The disastrous housing policy that led to the mortgage collapse made large bankers and Fannie Mae executives rich and mortgage holders and homeowners poor.
Despite their rhetoric to the contrary, congressmen have passed laws, chartered agencies who are rarely held accountable, pursued wrongheaded policies, frustrated true consumer-oriented market reforms, and otherwise grown government in a way that serves special interests over the little guy.
The progressive idea of government serving to protect individuals from rapacious corporate interests has developed government into an equally threatening special interest. It should be the job of the courts to protect the little guy from this special interest as well.
If congressmen like Ms. Feinstein truly want to protect the little guy, they should start under the dome where they sit.
Henry Oliner blogs at www.rebelyid.com.