This is the kind of shit that drives me crazy:
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority in the 5-to-4 decision, said “ceremonial prayer is but a recognition that, since this nation was founded and until the present day, many Americans deem that their own existence must be understood by precepts far beyond that authority of government to alter or define.” (Italics mine.)He's talking about the decision to allow prayer at government meetings. And it's not the prayer, per se, that bugs me so, although it most certainly does. It's that sort of rationalization, posing as judicial review. Posing as impartial interpretation of the Constitution. It's clearly true that "many Americans deem..." yada yada. But in what way does that justify nullifying separation? Why is that argument, so often made by so many, deserving of deference by the highest court in the land? And isn't the fact that it's "many" but not "all" Americans that so believe the exact point of the First Amendment, and the very reason why his argument makes no sense? Jesus Christ on a waffle! The highest court in the land. Give me a break!!
I've long since thrown in the mental towel: this country is headed, inevitably, toward theocracy; and it's because people have, in effect, thrown in their mental towels, too. They've given up trying. The problems we face are too big, too hard, too complex for a dumbed-down nation of deniers. How much easier to resort to magical beliefs and pretense. Let's just pray it away. And if that doesn't work, at least we prayed, right, so we should be good when we arrive at the gates. Right?
And I've long since recognized that our so-called "originalists" on the Court are anything but. Following their usual game plan in all matters, rightists complain about liberal "judicial activism" as a way to disguise their own far more outrageous transgressions.
I grew up in a family of lawyers and judges. My dad was everyone's idea of what a judge ought to be: a follower of the law, even when he disagreed with it. A believer that it's not up to judges to change the law; that that's the job of legislators.
When our Supreme Court predictably splits along 5-4 lines on nearly every major decision, it becomes clear there's no such thing as fixed intent of the Constitution. Judicial activism has become SOP for the right, their protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.
Using the sort of justification that Kennedy did in this opinion is a travesty.