Wednesday, August 03, 2005

What Has Happened To Popular Consent?

This is a production of Stop The ACLU Blogburst!

Our founding fathers were faced with the dilemma of how to create a government that would be accepted by all. A representative democracy, which was referred to as a republic by the framers of the Constitution, was adopted through a majority vote. Democracy is derived from two Greek words demos (the people) and kratos (authority or power). Thus in a democracy, the will of the people is what governs them all (otherwise known as popular consent). Due to the mass numbers of people that were involved at that time (relatively few by today's standards, but still unmanageable if everyone at that time came to the table to debate doctrine) representatives were elected by each state to create legislation. This system was unique in the way that it was established, because the founders provided three areas of government - the legislative, the judicial, and the executive branches to provide checks and balances for the country - so no one branch could exceed it's authority.

Which brings me back to my title. What has happened to popular consent? Anyone of these three branches of government is subject to the "will of the people" as dictated by "popular consent". Yet we have the Supreme Court creating rulings that are in direct defiance to "popular consent" as in their recent rulings on eminent domain in the case of Kelo et. al. v City of New London, Connecticut. Can you name a single person here in this country happy with that ruling? Probably not, especially in the situation where they are looking at their property being taken by a business who - in theory - will be a source of tax revenue many times over what the individual landowner would be generating for the local government. The saddest part of the entire debacle here is, there is no guarantee the business will thrive and generate the revenue speculated. Yet that individual (and the individuals before him and after) would have generated a consistent (albeit small) tax revenue stream into the system. The Supreme Court was originally designed by the founding fathers to settle dispute of Constitutionality at a federal, not state level. See what we have evolved to today? To damper the effects of Supreme Court meddling at a state level, states are scrambling to introduce legislation to limit the power of the Supreme Court ruling in this matter. Why? Because the people they represent are not happy (popular consent).

Another recent ruling of the Supreme Court has been met with dismay by a majority of the people. 2005 Surveys by First show that 56% of those taking the survey strongly agreed that government officials should be allowed to display the 10 Commandments inside government buildings. Additionally, when asked whether the 10 Commandments should be allowed to hang in public school buildings 50% strongly agreed. 66% of those surveyed strongly agreed with allowing the 10 Commandments to be placed along side of other historical documents in public buildings.

In the Supreme Court ruling of MCCREARY COUNTY V. AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION OF KY the 10 Commandments were ordered to be removed from a McCreary County government building breezeway. This was done obviously against the wishes of the majority of the people in the community. So much for popular consent. A small group of individuals who didn't like the way things are changing the rules for the majority.

Will the public allow the Supreme Court to dictate community wishes? This remains to be seen, but in one example of how the public is fighting to take back their rights by majority Utah Senator Hewellel is preparing to introduce legislation to limit the amount of interference by the Supreme Court rulings on a state and local level and give back the right to express religion in a public setting as the people see fit. The local chapter of the ACLU has already PROMISED they will sue on behalf of the minority Establishment Clause camp, if the Utah legislators (acting on behalf of the will of the people in popular consent) create law that supersedes the Supreme Court rulings.

In yet another case of Establishment Clause chicanery, the ACLU is threatening to sue Clay County of West Virginia even though a vote of the local citizens decided by popular consent (a 40 to 1 ratio) that the 10 Commandments would remain hanging in their government building. Evidently, the ACLU does not recognize "popular consent" any more than the Supreme Court does. So this private organization (ACLU) maximizes the short-sighted and narrow-minded tunnel-visioned wisdom of the Supreme Court to not conform to popular consent. How? By getting a narrow ruling and then present multiple new cases that relate to the original ruling. A real money making cash cow system for the ACLU. And the decisions are all based on complaints of a very small group of individuals, who are unhappy living in a land with popular consent.

So what has happened to popular consent? Rather than legal decisions being made in the first place that reflect the will of the people (which is what all three branches of the government are charged to do under our republican democracy), the people are having to spend enormous amounts of tax dollars to undo unpopular decisions made by a small group of individuals who are disregarding the will of the people. So popular consent is working for us all - but, if you were to put the people to a vote, popular consent would probably show that the people would rather have the decision that reflected their will done initially.

Regarding those individuals the ACLU represents in all of these absurd cases (and pushes the cases up through the system to their friends in the Supreme Court as much as possible to make the rulings become federal law) such as the visitor to a state prison feeling discriminated upon when forced to choose to remove her Muslim headcovering or not come in; in the removal of the Soledad Cross because an individual has to drive by it and it makes him uncomfortable; the case of the 10 Commandments monument that sits in an obscure corner of a public park - the monument is older than the guy, who moved AS AN ADULT into the community, is suing to have removed; or in the cases of Clay County of West Virginia and Sen. Hewellel who have been told are GOING TO BE SUED after exercising popular consent - let me remind all of you disgruntled loosers in the minority this one point...

We are a country based on popular consent - which means that someone has to loose - it is about time you all realized that and quit litigating our country to death.

posted by Is It Just Me? at 10:05 PM