One Step Closer to Tyranny

Author: Andy Woods
Date Written: October 30, 2013
From the archive of
And now for the complete and total outrage of the week! On Monday, a Federal District Court struck down a reasonable pro-life Texas law. Why is this decision so outrageous? Consider the following three facts.

And now for the complete and total outrage of the week! On Monday, a Federal District Court struck down a reasonable pro-life Texas law. Why is this decision so outrageous? Although the Court did not strike down the law in its entirety, consider the following three facts.

First, this law merely provides reasonable restrictions on abortions. Far from illegalizing all abortions in the state of Texas (which I would have preferred), due to the well-acknowledged medical reality of fetal pain, this law only prohibits abortions after five months of pregnancy. The law also mandates that all abortion providing facilities operate under the same regulations and requirements that have already been imposed on other surgical facilities. Additionally, the law also requires that abortion-providing doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital within thirty miles of the abortion clinic where they perform abortions. This is hardly radical stuff. These are all reasonable restrictions that most rational people and the majority of Americans would consent to. This law was passed in the wake of the partial birth abortion horrors brought to the attention of the American people through the infamous Gosnell trial.

Second, this law was passed through the will of the duly elected representatives of the state of Texas. In other words, the branches of state government (legislative and executive) that are directly accountable to the electorate through the ballot box passed this important legislation. If these branches of government were governing against the will of the people of Texas by passing a piece of legislation outside the mainstream of the values of the average voter, then these elected representatives might pay a political price for it during the next election cycle. As is true with most cases, the fact that these politicians passed the law is indicative of the fact they believed that they were acting consistently with the will of the people. I can assure you that this law went through the normal legislative channels, the process of full debate, and proper factual and legal analysis in both the Texas House and Senate. Part of my assurance on this matter relates to the fact that I traveled to Austin to witness the legislative process leading to the eventual passage of this bill into law. In fact, I was in Austin at this very time, thanks to the invitation of my State Representative Rick Miller, to testify in favor of the bill. I was happy to testify since I saw it as my basic duty as an American and Texas citizen, a Christian, a spiritual leader, a political activist, and a person who is concerned about a basic human rights violation known as abortion. Since the unborn obviously cannot speak for themselves, who will defend them if we do not?

Third, despite the law's reasonable nature and democratic origin, it was struck down by an unaccountable federal judge. I use the word "unaccountable" because judges and justices at the federal level are appointed for life. Unlike the Texas legislators and governor that passed the legislation, federal jurists enjoy life tenure and consequently do not care one whit what the Texas voters think. They will never have to face these voters by standing for reelection. I do not mind judges having the power to declare legislative acts null and void in order to counter the people and their representatives behaving in a blatantly unconstitutional manner. For example, if the people's representatives passed a law limiting our First or Second Amendment freedoms, of course, I would want the federal judiciary to intervene in order to protect our Constitutional rights. However, in the case of the Texas statute in question, no interference of Constitutional rights occurred. In fact, they were being protected. The rights of the unborn were being secured. Some might inquire, "What about the right of a woman to have an abortion?" I defy anyone to show me in the text of the Constitution where such a right exists. In our Constitution, not only will you not find the word "abortion," the word "privacy" is not there either. In fact, when our Supreme Court began manufacturing this right out of wholesale cloth in a string of decisions going back to Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) and Roe v. Wade (1973), they could not point to these words in our national charter either. Instead, they said they emanated from our Constitution's shadows or "penumbras." By waving a magic wand and ex-nihilo creating something out of nothing, these justices exchanged a real and legitimate right (the right to be born) for a phony one (the right to procure an abortion). Even with this existence of this manufactured right, many legal scholars, jurists, and opinions would dispute the fact that it encompasses the kind of late-term abortions the Texas statute prohibits.

Sadly, Monday's District Court decision is not an isolated incident. Judges frequently overturn the will of the people when their actions contradict the politically correct orthodoxy of the elite. I have observed this pattern over several decades. Casualties include Colorado's Amendment 2, California's proposition 187 and proposition 8, and now the Texas law. Many other examples could be cited. Given this reality, what incentive is there to vote or even participate in the legislative or democratic process? No wonder voter apathy persists and grows. If life-tenured, unelected judges based solely upon Constitutional fabrications and innovations, can overturn at will the reasonable and Constitutional will of the people's elected representatives, then we are no longer really living in a democratic or republican form of government. Being governed by an unaccountable, politically correct elite smacks far more of oligarchicalism (being governed by a few) or soft tyranny than it does democracy or republicanism. I remain hopeful that the higher appellate level Federal Fifth Circuit Court will see the light and uphold the law by reversing what the district court has done. However, as Americans, we better wake up and wake up fast to what is happening in our very midst. We should only support candidates for office with an actual philosophy and history of respecting the will of the people and our Constitution. The President controls the tone of the very federal judiciary that just overturned the Texas law since he is the one who appoints federal judges and justices.

Thus, an appropriate question for any Presidential candidate is whether they will appoint members to the federal bench who have respect for the will of the people and our Constitution's original intent? On the other hand, will his judicial appointees instead impose political correctness on the electorate by circumventing the Constitution's plain meaning and by routinely amending the document from the bench? Given the left's track record of Supreme Court appointees (Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, etc ... ) it is obvious that nationally we are moving in the wrong direction. If we do not wake up and change this trajectory, to quote Ronald Reagan, "One day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." Here is a link to the news article.




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