Many people are panicked about Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s health. In fact, they are beside themselves.
“If it were possible, would you subtract one day off your life and add it to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life for one extra day of good health?” Politico reporter Roger Simon tweeted recently. “If just 10,000 people did this, it would add 27 productive years to her life.”
The mainstream media is obsessing over her progress through her most recent surgery in December, with The Atlantic’s James Hablin fretting over “The Worrisome Word In Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Cancer Diagnosis.”
They realize that if Ginsburg has to retire, President Trump will have yet another opportunity to appoint a judge to the Supreme Court, depriving Democrats of the ability to advance their policies through judicial fiat.
It’s not supposed to work that way, of course. Laws should be made by the elected representatives in Congress, just as the Framers intended when they created the three branches of government: the executive, the judiciary, and the Congress.
The Washington Post’s Morgan Jerkins acknowledges this fact in a piece yesterday entitled “Obsessing Over Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Health Is Bad For Us, Bad For Her, And Bad For Democracy.”
Yet for decades, activists have relied on the courts to implement policies they could not get Congress to approve, and the ideological makeup of the Supreme Court has generally determined whether that strategy has succeeded.
President Obama, for instance, governed almost entirely by executive order. Even his signature health care legislation, Obamacare, required the Supreme Court to rule on its dubious constitutionality. Meanwhile, Obama legalized same-sex marriage and granted de facto amnesty to hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants by executive dictate, knowing he could count on the judiciary to validate his overreach.
“I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward,” Obama notoriously declared in 2014.
That mentality is perfectly in keeping with the strategy of judicial activism that Democrats have pursued for decades, and it represents a dangerous shift away from the system of government envisioned by the Founders.
Contrary to popular belief, Congress is actually superior to the other two branches of government, not equal. It has powers over the judiciary and the executive that aren’t reciprocal, particularly when it comes to policy-making. It was designed as an elected body of representatives to create law and provide checks and balances over the judiciary and the executive.
The judiciary, while serving to provide checks and settle disputes, is unelected, and it is not on equal footing with Congress as a policy-making body.
Attorney Paul Gewirtz, writing in 1976 for the Center for Law and Social Policy, noted that “there has been a continuing flow of policy-making power from Congress to the executive; that as a result the executive makes major policy which has not been affirmatively endorsed by Congress; and that this is a significant problem in our constitutional system.”
Cancer is a terrible disease, and we should all be praying that Ginsburg enjoys a speedy and thorough recovery, regardless of our political views.
The real reason so many are so distraught by Ginsburg’s recent poor health isn’t because of their compassion for the 85-year-old judicial icon, though. It’s because her replacement by a constitutionalist Justice would weaken their power to undemocratically force their agenda upon the American public.
Madison Gesiotto is an attorney, political commentator, 2016 Inauguration Spokesperson, and former Miss Ohio USA.