Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Over two centuries ago, Alexander Hamilton pointed out that due to the “natural feebleness of the judiciary”, it’s “in continual jeopardy of being overpowered, awed, or influenced.”
Jeopardy long ago became reality. Now our nation’s future is in jeopardy.
As mobs fill the street, the Roberts Court shows the weakness of a conservative judiciary that is willing to issue conservative rulings only on those issues that won’t infuriate the mob too much. Faced with blatant election rigging, judges across the country have retreated from having to make the hard choices and safeguard our constitutional republic against political gangsters.
Or rather conservative judges have.
Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner, Stacey Abrams’ sister, is happy to intervene on behalf of her sister in Georgia’s Senate rolls and protect the dirty voter rolls from being cleaned up by Republicans. Throughout the Trump administration, the Democrat judges appointed by Clinton and Obama haven’t been shy about blocking every administration move on specious grounds.
Democrats then seized on the pandemic to rig elections in key states. This wasn’t just gaming the system like gerrymandering or using dirty census figures that include illegal aliens: both traditional Democrat means of rigging elections. Instead Democrat governors, judges and secretaries of state bypassed legislatures to unilaterally change how elections were conducted.
This wasn’t just crooked or dirty. It violated the plain text of the Constitution which put the power into the hands of state legislatures in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania to determine how elections would be conducted. Federal judges and the DOJ have spent two generations monitoring elections in southern states because of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
It wasn’t until seven years ago that the Roberts Court finally limited the reach of the VRA that forced states to get preclearance from the Department of Justice or the Attorney General before making changes to their elections because it was a mere 40 years out of date.
But the DOJ still, as regular as clockwork, sent observers to 18 states for the 2020 election, not to combat these unconstitutional abuses, but to enforce the Voting Rights Act. Meanwhile, not a single DOJ official or judge thought that Article II of the Constitution was worth enforcing.
To the DOJ and the judges, enforcing outdated anti-discrimination measures from 1965 was more important than protecting the constitutional role of state legislatures in elections from 1787. The Constitution is a dead letter in a judicial system that puts 1965 over 1787.
And we’re still in 1965.
The Left intends to seize power any way it can. It doesn’t follow any rules except those that favor it or those that it makes up. It manufactures crises and exploits them. When it can’t get its way, it turns to violence. And the judiciary has proven to be a feeble defense against the Left.
President Trump’s victory terrified the Left because for the first time the radicals were facing a populist movement that connected the president to the people and wasn’t afraid to meet them on their own terms. It wasn’t the judiciary that terrified the radicals. What drove them so hard to destroy Trump and his supporters was the fear of opponents who wouldn’t play by the rules.
The fatal weakness of conservatism is that it identifies a leftist tactic and then slowly develops and deploys a countermeasure that deals with that specific threat and assumes that it’s safe. After identifying an activist judiciary as a threat, the conservative movement built a worthy and impressive judicial movement that slowly drew down the power of the federal judiciary.
Conservatives celebrated the rise of a conservative judiciary while the Left publicly raged and privately laughed at the spectacle of their enemies imagining that they can win by the rules.
Instead, the Left pivoted to court packing and plotted to steal the White House and Senate.
President Trump showed the Left can’t be beaten by playing by the rules. And certainly not by playing by their rules. When the law is violated and mobs roam the streets, when gangster politics are the order of the day, and Lenin’s “Who, Whom” is the game plan, then it’s all too easy for an establishment that doesn’t have the stomach to fight the Left to fall into line.
There are no safe spaces when fighting the Left. There’s never a ‘checkmate’ by the rules and there will never be a strategy or tactic that safely secures the United States of America.
It’s an open-ended struggle that requires eternal vigilance and cannot be outsourced.
The MAGA movement has threatened both establishments because it is a populist, not a process movement. It has shown the ability to bring patriots to the streets in a way that is unprecedented in the GOP or the conservative movement. It demands real change, and it has learned from the Left to apply direct pressure on the establishment at the grass roots level.
Where the establishment is concerned with following institutional rules, MAGA pushes for results. It isn’t interested in how well the establishment plays the D.C. game, but in taking back the country, especially their parts of it, from Washington D.C. and restoring America.
The Founding Fathers built the best system in the world, with strengths and weaknesses, checks and balances, but its ultimate safeguard is not the judiciary: it’s the people.
The final check against abuses is not the system, but the people it’s accountable to.
The people should hope that a naturally feeble judiciary finds the strength not to be “overpowered, awed, or influenced” and that state legislatures take back the authority that was stolen from them by governors, secretaries of state, and judges, but these officials are only vessels for channeling the right of the people to choose their representatives.
The judiciary has been empowered to protect elections. That is its responsibility and it should not be deterred from fulfilling that duty by angry mobs or the D.C. cocktail party circuit.
But if the judiciary fails at its basic responsibility of protecting the constitutional link between state legislatures and elections, then it will have reduced itself to a legal irrelevance. The Constitution of the United States, unlike those of so many other countries, made the people into the ultimate guardians of their liberties and its government into a means of assuring those liberties. The power of state legislatures to determine elections provided direct local control over even presidential elections. When that power is taken away, then the elections are worthless.
In the United States, the popular vote that the Democrats keep demanding is no substitute for a system built around local communities and states. The national government that was meant to safeguard that system has spent over a century systematically undermining its foundations.
The judiciary must decide if it wants to stand for the constitutional government of 1787, or if it wants to be a cog in a national government being taken over by leftist radicals and their allies.
That was the question on the ballot in 2020. It’s still the question in 2021.
If the judiciary chooses to abdicate its responsibility to the mobs and political thugs, America will survive because its patriots will never stop fighting to protect and reclaim this great nation.
President Trump has built a movement that is the true resistance to the Left. It’s a populist movement, not a movement of political weekend warriors, and it won’t give up and go away. The judiciary may decide to abdicate its responsibility to the Constitution, but MAGA will not. It is going to retrace the leftist ‘long march’ through this nation’s institutions, reclaiming electoral offices, but also maintaining a relentless pressure on the machinery of the administrative state.
That is why the Left was so afraid of President Trump. It’s why it remains so afraid of his supporters. The Left has built phony populist movements, but MAGA is the real thing.
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