A Dred Scott Moment in American History

This is an important week in American history–and I want you to feel its significance. I especially want you to pray for nine very important human beings as a result of your understanding.

I’m sure many of you remember the name of “Dred Scott” from the history books–but you may not recall the magnitude, the infamous nature of the name in American history.

The Dred Scott Decision was handed down by the United States Supreme Court on March 6, 1857 by a 7-2 vote stating that people of African descent brought into the United States and held as slaves (or their descendants, whether or not they were slaves) were not protected by the Constitution and were not U.S. citizens.

The decision was tragic–and flat-out wrong. It led to the Civil War and the death of 600,000 precious lives–all because nine US Supreme Court justices didn’t have the clarity to “judge righteously.”

This week we are faced with another Dred Scott moment. The US Supreme Court is hearing three days of arguments over Obamacare. African-American rights aren’t at stake here–but the rights and future of all of our citizens.

We don’t need another Dred Scott. We need nine individuals to do the right thing.

Those individuals, of course, are the current members of the United States Supreme Court. In recent “man in the street” interviews, I’ve notice how few people even know their names, let alone understand the power that they wield. Here the current US Supreme Court justices, in bullet form for emphasis:

  • Chief Justice John Roberts, 57. Nominated by George W. Bush and sworn in 2005.
  • Antonin Scalia, 76. Nominated by Ronald Reagan and sworn in 1986.
  • Anthony Kennedy, 77. Nominated by President Reagan and sworn in 1988.
  • Clarence Thomas, 63. Nominated by George H.W. Bush and sworn in 1991.
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 79. Nominated by Bill Clinton and sworn in 1993.
  • Stephen Breyer, 73. Nominated by President Clinton and sworn in 1994.
  • Samuel Alito, 61. Nominated by George W. Bush and sworn in 2006.
  • Sonia Sotomayor, 57. Nominated by Barack Obama and sworn in 2009.
  • Elena Kagan, 51. Nominated by President Obama and sworn in 2010.

Memorize those names: Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Let’s not be part of the uninformed.

These people are far more important than the following list of nine: Snookie, Gaga, Adele, Tiger, Kobe, Brad, Angelina, Bono, and Bieber.

However, what’s ironic (and a major problem in our culture) is that though I gave you just “one word names” in the second list, most of you probably know all of the people–but we don’t know the first or last names of our US Supreme Court justices who just might determine our national fate for years to come.

It’s true that most of the time, Supreme Court justices are fairly inconspicuous. Normally, the states and national Congress pass laws with little controversy so the judges can stay out of the limelight.

Not now. A liberal president–Senate–and House of 2006-2008–gave us a horrendous boondoggle of a bill that contained 2700 pages, created numerous new bureaucracies, would explode the national debt–and most importantly, takes away a number of our God-given liberties.

We need the Supreme Court on this one–and we don’t need them to give us another dreaded Dred Scott decision.

The justices are hearing arguments this week on the future of Obamacare–the massive progressive takeover of healthcare in this nation–representing one-sixth of the economy. At stake in the ruling are a number of complex and nuanced issues, but the heart of the matter is whether the Federal Government, under the Commerce Clause, has the right to force Americans to buy anything– including insurance.

If the justices get this wrong, it probably won’t start a civil war, but it could be the final straw in the coffin of our economic undoing.

A few days ago, we quietly “celebrated” the two-year anniversary of one of the worst laws in American history– The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act popularly known as Obamacare. No one has done a better job of capturing the essence of that ignominious event than John Hayward, one of my favorite columnists at the National Review.

Here is his astute analysis.

(By-the-way, Human Events puts out an excellent Daily Events e-mail of the best blogs or columns that saves a lot of time and reading. You can sign up for Daily Events here.

ObamaCare’s Lonely Birthday

He’s just a bill, sitting here on Capitol Hill

By John Hayward, March 23, 2012

“This week marks the second birthday of ObamaCare, among the greatest legislative disasters in American history.  By even the most conservative estimates, its costs are more than double what we were originally promised.”

“It’s going to strip 20 to 50 million Americans of their health insurance, as overwhelmed employers decide the best course of action is dropping coverage altogether, with the resulting fines increasingly viewed as a wise investment to escape ObamaCare’s clutches.  The President’s infamous promise that ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it’ has become a bitter joke, of the variety often traded across the Siberian snow.”

“ObamaCare has been causing health care costs to rise, and it will actually reduce our supply of doctors.  It has already destroyed thousands of jobs, and it will soon unleash a fresh avalanche of job-killing taxes on job creators.  It has destroyed religion and conscience, forcing Catholic institutions to pay for birth control, and even dropping an abortion surcharge upon everyone enrolled in plans that cover elective abortions.”

“Even as it devours American prosperity, liberty, and health, great festering chunks of spoiled legislation have been dropping from ObamaCare’s flanks.  The CLASS Act is gone, as are some of ObamaCare’s most instantly repulsive feeding mechanisms, such as the scheme to force American small businesses to submit millions of 1099 tax forms every year.  The House just voted to disable the death panels.  Enraged Americans have watched Obama’s Health and Human Services Department issue thousands of ObamaCare waivers to politically connected businesses and labor unions.”

“The Supreme Court is on the verge of striking down the very heart of ObamaCare – the individual mandate that gives Congress limitless power to force Americans to purchase politically approved goods from selected private firms – as the Constitutional outrage it so clearly is.”

“Meanwhile, lopsided majorities of Americans favor the complete repeal of ObamaCare, and have consistently done so for years.  It might be the best sustained polling ever seen for a policy preference.  The latest Rasmussen poll has Americans favoring repeal 57-39 percent.  Strong support for repeal reached an eight-month high in the wake of Obama’s war on the Catholic Church.” 

“The Heritage Foundation has launched an online petition demanding ObamaCare repeal.  If President Obama could somehow be persuaded to repeal the law, it would become, by a huge margin, the most successful job-creation initiative of his presidency.”

“Of course, that won’t happen… but it’s interesting to note that Obama doesn’t seem very eager to talk about his “signature achievement” any more.  It’s swirling down the memory hole, along with those nostalgic sepia-toned photo-ops of the President touting Solyndra as one of the greatest successes of his trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ bill. “

“Give Obama another month, with a few more points shaved off his poll numbers, and he’ll be claiming ObamaCare wasn’t his initiative per se.  Actually, he’ll start doing that the moment Mitt Romney secures the Republican nomination.  Isn’t it funny that the sole political value of this towering legislative triumph lies in convincing voters that RomneyCare is just as bad?”

“The Republican National Committee does what the Obama Administration refuses to do, and commemorates the second anniversary of this melancholy bill with a video birthday greeting.  Raise a glass of your favorite government-approved healthy beverage (soon to become a mandatory purchase, under the next wave of “individual mandates”) and celebrate ‘ObamaCare’s Lonely Birthday.'”

Well said.

Obamacare, from its inception, was an act of tyranny–a liberal dream to control the lives of three hundred million Americans. It doesn’t matter what the motivations were for such a bill–and maybe some were sincere. But the practical truth is that Obamacare will be the back-breaker of the American economy and the coup d’etat of sinking America into a European style social democracy.

If you like the future of Greece, or Italy, or Portugal in their present state–that’s the direction Obamacare takes us. It kills the free spirit of the American experiment in liberty.

There are only two final ways to resist the tyranny of Obamacare.

The first is to pray that the Supreme Court justices will see the light to either strike down the individual mandate in the legislation or the entire legislation. It is likely that Anthony Kennedy will be the deciding vote in a close Court decision. Pray for Justice Kennedy (and all the rest).

If the Court gives us another Dred Scott disaster–and it’s happened before in history–we do not need to pick up arms and go to war, but rather win at the polls in November. This is the final realistic option. We must elect a God-fearing, Constitution-honoring conservative majority in both the the US House of Representatives, the United States Senate, and also a US president committed to abolishing the law.

If Mitt Romney gains the Republican nomination, he is committed to doing so. (So are the other Republican contenders.)

But our first stop this week should be to watch the Supreme Court proceedings, pray for the presenters and the justices, and await their decision–which may come sometime this summer.

This is a Dred Scott moment in our history.

May our leaders choose wisely while we back them up in prayer.




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