Justice Kennedy’s America - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Justice Kennedy’s America

What Justice Kennedy regards as liberty, America’s founding fathers considered license. Casting license as liberty increasingly defines modern America, as it hurtles toward the full embrace of all things unnatural.

The founding fathers saw liberty as a gift from God, with limits set by God. For Justice Kennedy, willful man, not God, determines liberty. Whatever humans deem liberty, no matter how obviously it repudiates God’s order of creation, is liberty. Kennedy spelled this out in his famous description of abortion rights.

“These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the 14th Amendment,” he wrote. “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the state.”

The radical relativism contained in this passage continues to unfold, driving out of almost all discussions in modern America any notion of a God-based concept of liberty. In the absence of that understanding, the Supreme Court will inevitably endorse a constitutional right to gay marriage.

What God and the states have joined together in marriage, activist justices are eager to put asunder. At this week’s Supreme Court hearing on the question of the constitutionality of gay marriage, it appears that no one asked if Kennedy’s understanding of the 14th Amendment was actually shared by the authors of that amendment.

In a spirit of faux-objectivity, justices, including Kennedy, did ask advocates for gay marriage on Tuesday why the court should overturn a definition of marriage accepted by mankind for thousands of years. But given that these same justices have had no problem ignoring tradition on other issues such as abortion, those questions don’t indicate much. Kennedy, in previous rulings, has said that tradition should give way to claims of modern enlightenment.

One would think justices asked to assess the constitutionality of a national right to gay marriage might focus their questions on the views of the authors of the Constitution. But that’s a subject they wish to avoid, since it is so abundantly clear that the founding fathers never intended to deprive the people of the right to pass laws in accordance with God’s will. They would have considered a judicial denial of that right to be straightforward evidence of tyranny and a justification for the formation of a new government.

Homosexual activists claim overwhelming popularity for gay marriage, even as they rely upon judges to do what they can’t achieve democratically. These activists are not confident enough in the public’s support to pursue a constitutional amendment in favor of gay marriage. They know it would fail. So they need Kennedy and company to find gay marriage in the penumbras of the Constitution.

And they will. After the court declared the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional, Justice Scalia predicted that Kennedy and company would apply the same reasoning to all state bans on gay marriage:

It takes real cheek for today’s majority to assure us, as it is going out the door, that a constitutional requirement to give formal recognition to same-sex marriage is not at issue here — when what has preceded that assurance is a lecture on how superior the majority’s moral judgment in favor of same-sex marriage is to the Congress’s hateful moral judgment against it. I promise you this: The only thing that will “confine” the Court’s holding is its sense of what it can get away with.

The justices appear to have concluded that that moment has arrived. They fear the backlash of opponents of gay marriage far less than the wrath of an impatient liberal elite, which can’t rest until all of God’s commandments have been shattered.

Justice Kennedy’s America is coming to pass, with the natural law replaced by man-centered delusions. Progress in it, from the reverential coverage of Bruce Jenner’s “journey” toward self-mutilation to the endless euphoria about gay marriage, is measured not by respect for God-ordained realities but by contempt for them. A Supreme Court ruling that dignifies all of this as “liberty” will not make the nihilism underneath it any less destructive.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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