Professing "judicial restraint", Supreme
Court nominee Robert Bork insists that the "original intent"
of the Founding Fathers was to recognized no rights but those
spelled-out in the Constitution, or its amendments: Bork is,
thus, constitutionally unqualified for the Supreme Court.
He is in direct opposition to the Ninth Amendment, in the Bill
of Rights: "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain
rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others
retained by the people." Rights such as those to privacy,
equal pay for equal work, and the pursuit of happiness -- although not listed in the Constitution
-- can still be judged
to have legal legitimacy, Bork et al. notwithstanding.
Justice must not be taken hostage by a radical
minority any more than it should be abused by an unjust majority
(as prompted civil rights cases). If a swing-vote Supreme Court
justice will not recognize many of our rights -- which are inalienable,
not "invented" -- then any reactionary nut group, no matter
how small, with enough money to hire a clever lawyer can
successfully challenge laws needed for the progress of all the
rest of us.
If there's a new Constitutional convention or
amendment, consider this: To keep the Supreme Court well
insulated from temporarily mistaken public opinions but also to
keep it constantly in tune with the long-term will of the
people, let's set-up the justices' terms on a rotating, orderly
basis (unlike the current, haphazard system) -- each of
the nine judges would get a nine-year term, and (barring deaths
or early retirements) each year a new appointee would replace a
All in all, let none of us think ourselves
invulnerable to injustice; and let us all remember the
original intent of the rule of law, proclaimed 37 centuries ago
by Hammurabi: "That the strong might not oppress the