Men in Black, written by Mark Levin (BTW THIS IS NOT the movie, in case any knuckle dragging liberals are confused) is about the Supreme Court. Levin reviews the history and characters (sometimes-called Justices) of the Court for the last 200 or so years. Levin is a lawyer, a smart one, and the President of the Landmark Legal Foundation. The tone is set by the Preface where the Justices are described as “Men not Gods”. Levin demonstrates the tendency for some to the Justices to view their existence as Divine.Levin writes.
“The biggest myth about judges is that they’re somehow imbued with grater insight, wisdom, and vision than the rest of us; that for some reason God Almighty has endowed them with superior judgment about justice and fairness.” Levin does not share the Justices opinion of themselves. Rather he objects because “They’re unelected, they’re virtually unaccountable, they’re largely unknown to most Americans, and they serve for life.”
Mostly he has a low opinion of the Court because of the activist, legislating from the bench, usurping the will of the people agenda of some of the Justices and their utter disregard for the Constitution in formulating many rulings. ”The Great Ones ‘first book Men in Black is a constitutional lawyer’s clarification of the Supreme Courts role in our government. Mostly, he teaches and documents how the Supreme Court has become the third legislative body, (after the House and Senate) but the one, which claims supremacy over all others. He gives an interesting review of some of the most notorious judges hounded by bankruptcy, psychotic depression,,”incurable lunacy” requiring hospitalization, racism, prior KKK membership, probable communist sympathizing, and more.
Levin systematically reviews the many activist rulings and explains their extra-constitutional basis. In the Free Exercise chapter he writes;
” Madison interpreted the “free exercise” of religion, according to American Enterprise Institute scholar Vincent Phillip Munoz, ”to mean no privileges and no penalties on account of religion.” The establishment clause, Munoz writes was “intended to end things like special religion taxes, religions qualifications for public office, and the enforcement of religions orthodoxy through Sabbath-breaking laws.” The establishment clause was never intended to ban the invocation of God in public forums or the voluntary participation in “ceremonies or rites that recognized God”. In other words, it was never intended to create a strict wall of separation between church and state (a phrase, of course, that appears nowhere in the constitution.
In the chapter on Gay Marriage, he points out the lack of legislative success in the Gay Marriage movement. With sympathetic Judges Gay advocacy groups advance their agenda by judicial fiat. In doing so, the Supreme Court has overruled the elected state legislators and imposed its version of the new morality.
He explains, “The Justices substitute their own vision of morality for democratically elected representatives in the state and sometime federal legislatures”. As an example, he quotes Justice Stevens, in his dissent on Bowers v. Hardwick, a case asking the “Supreme Court to find a fundamental constitutional right to engage in homosexual sodomy. It refused” Stevens wrote” in his dissent,;”the fact that the governing majority in a State has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral is not a sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting the practice” White countered, “The law, however, is constantly based on notion of morality and if all laws representing essentially moral choices are to be invalidated under the Due Process Clause, the courts will be very busy indeed. Stevens opined his view of morality trumps the States". To give Stevens a little credit, the majority morality may not be correct as it was not during slavery. That said, Dred Scott was not decided on "moral" grounds. Levin exposes numerous examples of the Activists rulings by the court touching almost everything we now do.
Levin convincingly reviews the errors made the Supreme court in its most well known rulings; Dred Scott, 1856, (supporting slavery) Plessey 1896, (legal segregation), Korematsu 1944, (Japanese internment), Roe 1973 (abortion clothed in an imaginary right to privacy).
He continues to explore immigration, Socialism (commerce clause), silencing free speech and terrorism.
The socialism chapter was my favorite. Levin listed 10 or 12 cases decided before Roosevelt stacked the court with liberal activists. Prior to the Activist takeover, the earlier rulings forbade the government from interfering with commerce. Then, in 1942, the turn toward Socialism went sharply left in Wickard v FIlburn. The court decided Mr. Filburn could not grow and eat his own wheat. Instead of what was a free country, with free enterprise, individual liberty with the ability to make choices for oneself, the court decided the federal government could forbid Mr. Filburn from growing and consuming his own wheat. In what must have delirium, it was determined by the court that Mr. Filburns self-consumption of his own wheat interfered with Interstate Commerce by preventing Filburn from buying someone else’s wheat and he was fined $117.11. This is the hallmark of what has become judicial activism and it has expanded ever since. After this ruling, the court could (and did) find anything and everything affected interstate commerce and therefore was subject to government regulations.
In what was another ludicrous example of Justice Breyers anti-constitutional activism, I want to quote from another dissent. The congress in its lack of wisdom passed a law banning firearms within 1000 feet of a school. It used the commerce clause to justify the law. In 1995, US v Lopez was considered. The law was overturned and Justice Rehnquist wrote
” The possession of a gun in a local school zone is in no sense an economic activity that might through repetition elsewhere, substantially affect any sort of interstate commerce”. Justice Breyer dissents “For one thing reports, hearings and other readily available literature make clear at that problem of guns in and around schools is …serious…Based on reports such as these Congress obviously could have thought that guns and learning are mutually exclusive. Congress could therefore have found a substantial educational problem… and concluded that guns near schools contribute … to the problem. Congress could have also found, given the effects of education on interstate and foreign commerce, that gun-related violence in and around schools is a commercial … problem. Education…has long been inextricably intertwined with the Nation’s economy.”Examples of the Courts insanity are what make the book great. HOW COULD BREYER WRITE THIS DRIVEL?
It was at times hard to understand how anyone, including supposedly intelligent Judges, come to some of the conclusions and decisions they reach. It can only be explained by these Judges and Justices deciding what they what to accomplish (social or political agenda) in advance and then working backwards to try and rationally explain themselves. Obviously, the inverse was intended, consider the facts, the law, and the Constitution and on this basis decide what the ruling should be. I really liked the book and it is impossible not to agree with everything Levin says. Everyone interested in the law and how we got “here” should read this book. Quite clearly it is the whole truth and nothing but the truth.