We make a tragic mistake when we view the decisions of the Supreme Court as either final or wise. After all, they are decisions made by nine fallible people who sometimes get it wrong as all human beings do.
American history contains a number of SCOTUS blunders.
The recent same sex marriage decision announced on June 30, is a case in point. I believe the justices got it wrong–very wrong. And when the Supreme Court errors, millions of people suffer.
Here are four examples.
I’m not a lawyer, constitutional scholar or an ardent follower of the Supreme Court. But I am a student of history and understand a few things about the rise and fall of nations and how civilizations destroy themselves.
We are currently witnessing that prospect in the Western World and in particular, in its pillar nation, the United States of America.
The recent Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalizes gay marriage, is a decision that greatly hastens the decline of the American nation.
That subject we will take up in a future article.
Regarding the Obergefel v. Hodges case, the right outcome wouold have been based on a simple trinity: 1) Marrriage is God-created between a man and a woman for the procreation and nurture of children, 2) God-ordained marriage and family is the social bedrock of all wise and prosperous nations, and 3) All sex outside God-designed marriage is immoral and ultimately hurts people.
This decision, like other historical mistakes, will cause many people to suffer.
It’s happened before. The Supreme Court has made a number of erroneous decisions over the past 200 years that have greatly hurt the American people. Two of them were overturned through decades of struggle. The other two are ongoing battles.
The Court is never the final word. We the People are–in concert with the favor and power of God.
Here are four of the worst decisions ever made by our highest Court. I will place them in historical order.
Dred Scott v. Sandford – 1857
In perhaps the Court’s most infamous case prior to 2015, Dred Scott, who was born a slave but brought to live in a number of states where slavery was illegal, was not only returned to slavery by the Court, but held to have no rights. All Americans of African descent were not citizens, contrary to the laws of several states and the federal Missouri Compromise.
Dred Scott was a dreadful decision that kept millions of black people in chains and lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths in the Civil War.
The Court got it wrong and millions suffered and thousands died.
Plessy v. Ferguson – 1896
I learned more about this decision while watching Bill O’Reilly’s Legends and Lies television series recently on the Fox Network. The story was told on a segment which featured the probable inspiration of the Lone Ranger character–a black U.S. Marshall named Bass Reeves.
Yes, the Lone Ranger was not a white man with a black mask. He was a black man! And a very courageous one at that who rode a white horse and had an Indian sidekick. And at the end of his life, the Plessy decision hurt him very badly.
In Plessy v. Ferguson the Court foolishly upheld a Louisiana law requiring forced segregation by train car on the East Louisiana Railroad. This enshrined racial discrimination in state laws under the “separate but equal” doctrine and would remain in place until Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.
Plessy was an incredible setback for social justice. During reconstruction, though difficult in the southern states, much progress had been made toward liberating and bringing blacks as equal partners into American society. This is sometimes forgotten by our history books.
Plessy destroyed that progress by not just allowing for self-segregation or discrimination by private individuals. It expressly upheld the right of states to force segregation upon others.
This incredible error by the Court caused nearly seventy years of racial struggle in the United States, not fully being corrected until the Civil Rights laws of 1965.
If the Supreme Court had ruled rightly in 1896, there would have been no need for Dr. Martin Luther King. This very bad Supreme Court decision caused millions of African Americans to suffer for seven decades.
Roe v. Wade – 1972
The battle for life itself began in Texas, which outlawed any type of abortion unless a doctor determined that the mother’s life was in danger. The anonymous Jane Roe (later known to be Norma McCorvey who became a strong pro-life advocate) challenged the Texas law, and the case made its way to the highest court in 1972.
The Supreme Court struck down the Texas law, and essentially the right to life enunciated in the Declaration of Independence by an incredible 7-2 vote. Seven justices got it horribly wrong.
Using the same reasoning as the Griswold v. Connecticut decision, the majority of the justices maintained that a right to privacy was “implied” by the Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments–a crazy stretch of imagination now criticized for decades.
Fifty-five million human beings have been slaughtered through abortion since 1972 in the United States as the result of Roe. It is one of the greatest genocides of all time.
NFIB v. Sebelius 2012 and King v. Burwell – 2012
Two of the worst SC decisions of all time relate to Obamacare, in 2012, and again last week.
In 2012 the Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare (the Affordable Care Act). Chief Justice John Roberts appeared to hijack this decision by ruling that ObamaCare was a tax and not a mandate, and was therefore declared constitutional. The convoluted decision stunned the nation.
No one died as a result of this decision, but it affected millions of people who were left on a pathway to socialized medicine with the Federal Government strengthening its nanny state role while effectively taking over one-sixth of the US economy. The decision created great confusion among American businesses that are now sitting on 1.7 trillion dollars of cash that they’re fearful of investing in job creation.
And last week in a stunning decision in King v. Burwell, the Court revealed that it was illerate when it said that the word “States” in Obamacare could also refer to the “Federal Government” which was clearly not the case. The 6-3 decision was a triumph of political judiciary tyranny over the plain meaning of words.
Millions of consumers will suffer for at least two more years as a result of these bad rulings.
Obergefell v. Hodges – 2015
Which brings us to the same-sex marriage decision. The two big constitutional questions in the case were: ” 1) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex? 2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?”
The Supreme Court erroneously answered these constitutional questions this week by a 5-4 decision. The results of this case will essentially be the final death knell to marriage, family, and cultural stability in the United States.
The decision will allow same-sex marriage in public documents including marriage licenses and death certificates which translate into money, benefits for families, as well as a recognition of people’s marriages. The real outcome of the case will open a Pandora’s Box of other groups and entities seeking marital status and will greatly increase discrimination and persecution of Christians.
So should we trust the Supreme Court?
Ben Howe of Redstate.com recently reported that “many lack trust in the Supreme Court’s handling of those two issues according to a new CNN/ORC poll…Only about half say they have at least a moderate amount of trust in the court on health care (50%) or same-sex marriage (49%).
That’s wisdom on the people’s part.
The Supreme Court sometimes gets it wrong. When they do, millions of people suffer. But the people have the “next” word and the final one will come from God.
Are we on his side, and will we persevere for justice and holiness on these great issues of our day?