Categorized | Opinion

Is the Judiciary Responsible for the Erosion of Liberty in America?

Over the last couple of days, I have heard increasing insight into the role of the judiciary in the deterioration of American liberties. Mark Levin, hearkening back to his first book, Men In Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America, lambasted The Court last week for essentially superseding its authority, time and again. If you haven’t read Men In Black, consider it the classical introduction to judicial corruption on the market. You’ll want to check it out.

This morning, I read a piece by Zach Werrell, former campaign manager for Dave Brat and Vince Haley, entitled Judicial Power Threatens American Federalism and Republican Liberty, over at Bearing Drift. In it, he rings the bell and issues the final decision on the age old debate: Federalists or Anti-Federalists  – Who was right?

His victor? The anti-federalists.

One could argue their enumerated fears over the Presidency have been largely errant… the true danger of the Presidency lies in willful defiance by those elected to the office of the bounds of its power (and for some, the existence of a perpetual standing army). So on that front – fears on the Presidency – the Anti-Federalists were largely incorrect. They were fearful of the right office, but for the wrong reasons.

Where the Anti-Federalists, specifically Brutus, proved to be spot on were on the dangers to the sovereignty and power of State governments from the Supreme Court as constructed in the Constitution.

Quoting the pseudonym, Brutus, the primary retort to the Federalist Papers, Werrell demonstrates the practically psychic prescience of the author (whoever he was).

Perhaps nothing could have been better conceived to facilitate the abolition of the state governments than the constitution of the judicial. They will be able to extend the limits of the general government gradually, and by insensible degrees, and to accomodate themselves to the temper of the people.

And, of course, this is in fact what we’ve seen over these last hundred years.

But I wonder if the issue isn’t somewhat murkier and more disturbing. I agree with Zach, that, yes, the Anti-Federalists were right, though usually for the wrong reasons. Yet, why such a deterioration now?  Why does Progressivism rise in tides over generations, only to be temporarily rebuffed, but always ready and able to rise again, and always to rise upon the foundations built before?

And one answer to this question is, yes, The Supreme Court; as future progressive courts will always use the precedent of previous progressive courts to support their current progressive rulings. This is the nature of power and corruption, but what bothers me is not the idea that power corrupts, or that progressives seek the unraveling of the United States Constitution. I take these for granted. Why has the Supreme Court been successful? Why has our Congress, perpetually unpopular and despised, never backed down from their own private political agendas – agendas unhinged from the foundation of the American populace and their constitutional sovereignty as citizens?

But the other answer is, “us”.

Is it really that the Supreme Court, and the Congress, and the Presidents, have stripped our liberties from us? Or is it We the People who have demanded, deliberately or stupidly, our government take these liberties from us, as though they were but a burden we no longer sought to bear?

I believe that we have divorced the moral and physical responsibilities necessary for the sustenance of liberty from the concept of liberty itself. There can be no liberty without self-reliance, personal responsibility, and a civic duty and respect toward ones’ fellow Americans. The reality is, that self-reliance, personal responsibility, and civic duty have never occurred naturally in the majority of men, but rather occur only in the best men born into this world.

A collection of such virtuous men may be enough to build a nation, but their memory was never going to be enough to sustain it. No conceivable ordering of words nor structuring of meanings, penned upon parchment three hundred years ago could have prevented Man from being Man, and the ones responsible for preserving the virtue, philosophy, and culture of those great patriots that freed this continent from tyranny was each man and woman living, from then until now, and we have failed. We have failed catastrophically.

What can we say to our government in our defense?

“You have no right to tread upon my liberty!”

The government retorts, “it was not we who demanded an expensive government necessitating centralized control over your employers and institutions, but you who demanded we provide you with more and more services; and it was you who demanded we step further and further into your lives to decide every irrelevant matter of justice imaginable. It was you who brought the lawsuits which ended in legislations and rulings and you who celebrated US every time WE came to save you from whatever peril you encountered in the course of your free exercise of liberty”.

“WE did not stop you from knowing how to survive in nature and thus, become dependent upon complex economies. That was your choice! And when your economies collapse, do you not look to US as responsible for doing something about it? Every time you’ve asked US to get involved in your lives, you’ve forced US to allow ourselves more power, powers attractive to the rich and powerful above you. And if WE can regulate your economies, was it not obvious to you at the time that those with the most on the line, would knock the loudest at OUR doors?”

“You kept demanding US to do something – and whatever did you think would happen by transferring your power as individuals to US as government? That WE, from time to time did things you approved of, makes you think for some reason that WE would not use those same powers to do things you despised? Hypocrites! Do not point the finger at US! If WE backed down and backed out of your lives and returned you to liberty you would panic! OUR power has always depended upon your consent and, for good or ill, your self-subjugation has made US what WE are today, and you can yell and scream all you’d like, WE don’t believe you really want US to let you free. WE don’t believe you even remember Liberty. Take your complaints elsewhere! WE have work to do!”.

And what is our defense? We’ve done this to ourselves. It’s not the federalists or the anti-federalists. It’s us.

Liberty demands self-reliance, personal responsibility, and civic duty. When we surrendered these, we surrendered everything. If we want to take our liberty back, we better embrace these and that which they depend upon, if we’re to have any chance in turning the tables on this government and our rulers.



About Steven Brodie Tucker

Graduated with a degree in Philosophy from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Also studied economics and political science at George Mason.

5 Responses to “Is the Judiciary Responsible for the Erosion of Liberty in America?”

  1. Zach Werrell

    Stephen, I do not disagree in the slightest.

    In fact, I completely agree. I diagnosed the symptom, you diagnosed the disease.

    The cure may be unpleasant, but it is always darkest before it is light… but I believe we are merely at twilight at the moment.

    • Indeed, as I agree with your take on the anti-federalists. It’s amazing to go back and read about George Mason and Patrick Henry and their opposition to the US Constitution – and to think, wow, they didn’t know exactly how all this was going to blow up in our faces, but they knew the Constitution wasn’t air tight. I suppose my addition to this was simply, no Constitution would have been air tight.

      I don’t know how to get America to embrace virtue, self-reliance, personal responsibility, and civic duty. I don’t know if it can be done.

      But I know this, our opponents depend upon lies and idealism to get their voters in their corner. I will always be out here fighting for truth, with as few or as many other people still believe that reality is unalterable; facts, context, understanding, perspective – these things cannot be allowed to be spat upon by punks in political positions. They look so damn foolish in the light of the day. That’s our job. Shine that light on them every chance we get!

  2. Robert Shannon


    While I have profound appreciation for your philosophical wisdom and keen insight, it always boils down to practical steps–does it not ?

    Referendum reform at the State level , which goes well beyond term limits, it allows local citizens to push back on spending via Caps on real estate and property tax hikes. Take the money away–or expose citizens willingness to turn over more of their own money voluntarily. It also allows citizen driven initiatives to be placed on local ballots. Virginia is one of the most restrictive States in the nation on Referendums, limiting Virginians to only have this tool on new taxes ( food & beverage for example, and local bond issues ). Local elected officials hate the idea because they are now void of the ability to buy votes. At the local level they buy public sector employees, along with school employees ( a nice voter base when you look at how big they have become ) and caps on tax hikes kills/lomits their ability to buy those votes.

    At the State level you hit legislators hard—very hard. Look at what Del Peace bragged about after this last session—-they ( the G.A ) got the State song changed……. and not a word from the local Patriot groups openly mocking him for such a silly proclamation . He should be excoriated for the moxie it takes for a elected official to make such a profoundly stupid statement. Problems drowning the State are ignored while we allow someone like this to actually tout changing the state song as an accomplishment worth heralding. It is a reflection of the cowardice Steve alludes to.

    At the National level you have some integrity when you walk into a voting booth and simply write in another’s name should the candidates fail to embody the principles that matter to you. I have written in another persons name , rather than to hold my nose and vote for Rob Wittman for years , and the consequences are of no concern to me regarding any outcome. I will not be a party to the election of any more career pols who simply go along with the Chamber crowd.

    This is where the philosophical issue comes most into play, at the federal level. I have begged these Patriot groups all over the Northern Neck to employ active and energetic campaigns to organize a ” write in protest vote”, if not to actually change the outcome to begin the process of arresting the speed of the decline. Let the republicrat party know their is enough of us out here who have had all we can take and will organize to affect change.
    What happens is just quite the singularly most disturbing element of all of this—these local Patriot groups roll out the red carpet for this guy, treat him with a level of respect he certainly doesn’t deserve and continue to cast ballots for a man unworthy of any Patriot’s support. That is a change that must be led, and too many of these folks are more followers than leaders.

    Bob Shannon

  3. Steven Tucker

    I take a lot of comfort in how petulant the Virginia republican party has become. We’ve backed them intro a corner and they are fighting us, finally, with all their might. That tells me they can be broken. I agree with Bob that we’ve got to up the practical pressure and I think, in some counties, we’re seeing that. While the HOP is trying to “move the bar” the activists are trying to “swing the pendulum”. We’ll need more people involved to win these battles though.

  4. Robert Shannon


    Once again you are spot on– ” we need more people ” That comes down to LEADERSHIP, a trait that is sadly lacking in the Patriot movement.

    I believe many who got onboard the train in 2009 got off along the way because they saw with their own eyes what I have witnessed, a lot of “woofing” that made noise, never achieved much of anything but noise.

    Success begets success. Brat won because of the local activism in the 7th District, lead by the Mechanicsville TEA Party and the Patrick Henry TEA Party. Look at what has happened to those groups. Feckless leaders who think quoting Patrick Henry or Thomas Jefferson on their signs is going to accomplish something. Instead of building on that success and going after Peace and some others at the local level ( Hanover B.O.S ) for example they value more their coveted seat at the table that Tom White has properly pointed out. Members who had participated in these groups have dropped off in droves because they rightfully concluded they could sit at home and complain. Nothing of any significance has occurred up there since Brat’s election—-and it is directly attributed to the lack of Leadership. Look at how someone like Trump has skyrocketed in the polls and ask a simple ,clear question—WHY.
    It is in my opinion the yearning out there for someone to say the obvious as Trump has. His best lines , and most beloved lines has been has been his direct attack against politicians who ” are all about talk, and no action” Like him or not, Trump has drawn that level of support because he is such a breath of fresh air. People are sick of the wind bags most of our elected officials are.

    What would happen if you had some ” Trumps” leading these local groups, or the VTPP, the State organization which today is a mouthpiece for the RPV and an influential PAC. Perhaps things will have to get much worse, impacting directly much larger numbers……I simply don’t know.

    What I do know is that people will follow leaders, but you have to have them to start with.
    Bob Shannon


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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