Over the course of the past few years, Republicans have shown a predilection to usurp the powers of the Executive Branch because they cannot countenance an African American President issuing executive orders, even if Republican presidents issued the same directives as a matter of course. It began with President Obama’s first executive order and has continued as of late with the Republican idea that a Black President cannot set American foreign policy or negotiate with foreign nations. It is true that Republicans hate the President, but particularly since they gained control of the House in 2011 they hate the Constitution’s “separation of powers” even more than they hate Obama. Their mantra has become when things do not progress according to their will, the first order of business is subvert the Executive Branch and abolish the Framers’ idea of separation of powers and checks and balances in favor of Republican fascism.
Now, because things are not proceeding the way the religious right and Republicans believe a theocracy should be governed, evangelical hero Ted Cruz wants the U.S. Congress to eliminate the power of the federal judiciary, including the Supreme Court, by passing a law banning them from hearing or ruling on marriage equality cases. Apparently, because too many federal courts have followed the Constitution and not the Christian bible on the question of same-sex marriage, it is likely that Cruz wants Congress to give that authority to the evangelical right to decide. It is yet another in a long line of attempts by Republican fascists to control the nation and eliminate the Constitution’s separation of powers.
Old Ted is not the first Republican to attempt to strip power from the federal courts, and he may believe the effort has a chance of succeeding, but it is just as likely he is pandering for, and garnering, major support for his presidential bid from the theocracy crowd. However, one should not underestimate the seriousness of Cruz, or the evangelicals, in their attempt to prohibit the judiciary from ruling on any number of cases involving religion. Apparently Cruz and his religious right supporters are battle-ready insane over the prospect of a possible Supreme Court ruling that marriage equality is constitutional according to the “due process” and “equal rights” clauses of the 14th Amendment; something Cruz, Republicans, and the religious right believes is an abomination.
The likelihood that the High Court will rule that all 50 states must recognize same-sex marriage terrifies and infuriates Cruz and his acolytes and preventing that eventuality is what drove Cruz to propose the simple solution of preemptively “stripping the entire federal judiciary of its power” to hear cases brought by same-sex couples. Cruz proposed the fascist idea during a speech in Iowa while praising the original Indiana discrimination law because it protected evangelicals’ religious liberty to discriminate against the LGBT community with impunity. Cruz complained that a bunch of liberals and big businesses were behind the “radical gay marriage agenda” and told the audience they supported the revised law because it persecutes people of faith for disagreeing with marriage equality. Cruz’s solution is, in effect, stripping the federal judiciary of its power and handing it to a cabal of evangelicals likely headed by Ted Cruz’s preacher-daddy.
This bizarre, and unconstitutional, idea of eliminating one branch of government to benefit one specific group of Americans is not new, and unsurprisingly has been proposed in the past by Republicans on behalf of the evangelical right; those who claim the Constitution is out of sync with Christianity. In the past Republicans attempted to strip the Supreme Court’s constitutional authority for the benefit of the bible-crowd over prayer in the schools, abortion, school bussing, and various other state court rulings based on the Constitution. In fact, another radical Republican, Jesse Helms, attempted to abolish the High Court’s ability to hear, and rule on, cases involving forced Christian prayers in schools; a decision he believed was best left to the evangelical right. Helms’ proposal prompted Senator Barry Goldwater to claim that what Helms and the Christian right really wanted was to “outlaw the Supreme Court” and effectively outlaw the Constitution; something Ted Cruz, most Republicans, and the religious right are panting to do as a matter of course.
This is not the first time a Republican, or the entire Republican Party, has attempted to vanquish the Constitution’s separation of powers over one specific issue or on behalf of one group and it certainly will not be the last. It really is inconsequential what the particular issue at hand is, the idea of restricting the federal judiciary’s authority to hear and rule on any case is not just ridiculous, it is fascist tyranny. The concept of one branch of government, in Cruz’s case the legislative, dictating to another branch, the judicial, about what kind of cases it hears completely eviscerates the concept of an independent judiciary so crucial to not only the balance of power but to the foundations this country was built on.
As one pundit noted, what Cruz proposes is the ultimate congressional version of “legislating from the bench.” In other words, Ted Cruz wants Republicans beholden to evangelicals to determine what is Constitutional by “adjudicating from the legislature;” something the Founding Fathers and Constitution’s framers never considered for obvious reasons.
Obviously, the U.S. Congress has never passed legislation banning the federal judiciary, including the Supreme Court, from ruling on any cases, likely because it would send the nation into the worst constitutional crisis in America’s history. However, just the fact that Ted Cruz proposed, and obviously advocates for, such a move should inform all Americans exactly how radical and dangerous the teabagger favorite really is and how committed to crazy religious fascism his supporters are. It is noteworthy that as un-American and unconstitutional Cruz’s proposal to restrict the federal judiciary and “outlaw the Supreme Court” is, there are tens-of-millions of evangelicals and so-called patriots who believe that Ted Cruz should be president because his fascist and unconstitutional ideas will usher in the religious tyranny they lust.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.