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Abraham Lincoln & Judicial Activism

We are living in a time of growing judicial activism, where an unelected minority of black robed activists impose their leftist agenda on the electorate. In state after state, the will of the people is overturned by an “enlightened” Court who believe they know better than the citizens they are appointed to serve. How do we stop this madness? What can we do to hold the judiciary accountable?

I like the approach taken by one of our greatest American presidents, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln watched as the Supreme Court in his day ruled that the Missouri Compromise, which banished slavery in some states, was unconstitutional. The Court ruled that Congress lacked the authority to forbid and abolish slavery in federal territories. This ruling meant that a slave named Dred Scott had to be returned to his owner and to his horrible life as a slave.

Here we have an example of an unjust law. We also have an example of¬† the Court thrusting itself into a divisive and morally charged issue, as it did in 1973 when it ruled on Roe v. Wade. So what was Lincoln’s response to this horrid ruling?

When Lincoln became president, he simply ignored the Court’s decision! He viewed the Dred Scott decision with moral outrage. As Colson comments, “Not only because the Court came down on the wrong side, but because the Court claimed authority to decide for other branches of government once and for all what the Constitution required.” What effectively happened was that the Court placed the Executive and Legislative branches of government in a position of inferiority and subservience. This is something our Founders specifically avoided and rejected.

Lincoln understood our system of checks and balances. Our Legislative branch is responsible for enacting law; not the Courts. Since the Courts over-stepped their legitimate sphere of authority, their ruling was without merit. Instead of obeying a morally bankrupt and illegitimate ruling, Lincoln’s administration treated free blacks as citizens, issuing them passports and other documents. He openly defied the “law” and signed legislation restricting slavery in the western territories. In short, he put the courts in their place!

How we need some legislators with the conviction and courage of Abraham Lincoln in our day! Where are the leaders who are willing to tell the Courts, “Sorry, the people have spoken. We choose to disregard your ruling. Thanks for your opinion, but the people have determined otherwise.”

Imagine  where we would be as a nation if Abraham Lincoln was president during the infamous and illegitimate Roe v. Wade ruling. Fifty million babies can only imagine.

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