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News Opinion Readers Respond

Justices join assault on U.S. Constitution

When President Barack Obama at his inauguration swore upon his word to the "best of my ability to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States," he should have included, "except when I want to ignore it" ("Reform moves ahead," June 29). When our Constitution was ratified in 1789 it was the product of years of stubborn deliberations, significant writings, precise opinions and highly charged arguments between the most brilliant minds of the time. But it was because of this interplay that our Constitution has become the most important work in political history ever written for the establishment of a free and governed people. George Washington described its creation as "a miracle."

That miracle is in high jeopardy, assaulted by the Congress, the president and as of this week, the Supreme Court. Attorney General Edwin Meese, who served under Ronald Reagan, has written that the court was not granted the power to advance a political cause through judicial opinions. The court's recent decision on individual health insurance mandate of "Obamacare" is exactly that. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has stated that she would "not look to the U.S. Constitution" if she "was drafting a constitution in 2012." And U.S. Rep. Phil Hare, an Illinois Democrat, has remarked on the mandate for health insurance that he doesn't "worry about the Constitution … to be honest."

President Obama, with his own background as a constitutional law professor, defies gravity with his many late night end runs around Congress such as making four political appointments last January without Senate confirmation even though they were not in recess. Or, there are his many executive orders that have bypassed Congressional oversight. Perhaps the most notable being that religious groups must provide health insurance, contraception and support for their female workers to visit abortion clinics.

Now we have Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and a mere handful of others, all never having stood for election, who are dictating policy to Congress, the states and the people of this country with an overreach of judicial authority reshaping the Constitution beyond its original intent to advance this president's political agenda.

The framers of our republic had no intention of substituting one form of tyranny for another. Yet, the healthcare mandate upheld by the court provides the definition of judicial and legislative tyranny rather than from the consent of the governed.

Not only is the mandate decision a redefining of the traditional origin of taxation, it is the loss of freedom to choose.

Health care has always been an elective decision. One decides to see a doctor or not, seek treatment or not, buy insurance or not, take medication or not. Now we shall be forced to pay a tax even if we choose not to be covered by health insurance. That is tyranny in its highest form — taxation without the ability for redress of a grievance.

The arrogance of power has been displayed in ample measure by the Obama administration since 2009. We, the people, have a choice to make this November. Should the term of the current president be hopefully changed this year, I suggest that term limits for Supreme Court justices be the first order of business in order to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Tony Lambros, Fallston

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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