Texas has a monument to the Ten Commandments at its State Capitol. The United States Supreme Court ruled that it was perfectly legal. The Ten Commandments monument was privately funded as a monument to western legal tradition. In fact, the Ten Commandments appear at the United States Supreme Court’s building for the same reason.
But the Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled a monument placed under similar circumstances as in Texas to be unconstitutional according to the Oklahoma constitution, not the federal constitution. This is Oklahoma. The decision was a 7-2 decision.
The monument, by the way, had been smashed by a mentally ill person last year. He drove his car into the monument smashing it. A new one was erected on the location.
Here is what is going on. The politicians on the Oklahoma Supreme Court recognize, after last Friday, that the United States has divorced itself from Judeo-Christian values and laws. They are just the first state court to really get in line with the new cultural zeitgeist. This is Oklahoma, though, not Massachusetts. The voters of Oklahoma might have a different opinion on this.
We are neither a republic nor democracy these days. We are an oligopoly and our oligarchs wear black robes and are no longer accountable.
But all of this comes back to a key issue. We are neither a republic nor democracy these days. We are an oligopoly and our oligarchs wear black robes and are no longer accountable. No politician will cut the budget of the courts. No one will deprive them of law clerks or power bills or even impeach them. They can get away with anything these days short of outright crime.
A politician in this country needs to wage war against the judiciary. Federal judges have their income protected, but many state court judges do not. Further, even the federal courts can see their budgets slashed. We should also get over ourselves on the issue judicial impeachment.
Judges in the United States are not scared of the people. They think they rule the people. Until the legislature and executive are willing to push back, we are out of a representative democracy and into the oligarchy of black robed masters.
Oklahoma’s Ten Commandments monument was set up in a similar way to Texas’s. The United States Supreme Court ruled that constitutional and the Oklahoma Supreme Court decided that its version was a violation of Oklahoma’s constitution. Not only that, the Oklahoma Supreme Court deviated from earlier court precedents interpreting its constitution to get to that result. They arrived at their conclusion, much like Anthony Kennedy, then wrapped some half-baked legal reasoning around it.
It is profoundly hard to believe that the drafters of the Oklahoma State Constitution in 1907 would have thought a display of the Ten Commandments unconstitutional. But seven members of that state’s highest court have done it. The legislature and governor, who support the Ten Commandments, should grow spines and fight back against judicial tyranny.