Dear Governor Fallin,
The board of Oklahoma Eagle Forum and our members across the state thank you for signing HB 3399. Thank you for your leadership in recognizing that Oklahoman’s should write their own educational standards and return to local control of our curriculum. You have courageously begun to get us out of the grip of the nationalization of education.
Thank you for your leadership and commitment to making sure our children get a quality education.
Thank you for listening to the grassroots who let their voice be heard. I have worked with the grassroots since 1975 and not since the opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment have I seen so many people speak out against an issue—common core. Phyllis Schlafly has said the same thing is happening in other states, too.
We all want Oklahoma to lead the nation in academic excellence. We sincerely hope the grassroots, parents, educators, legislators and business leaders can unite and strive to achieve that goal.
Oklahoma Eagle Forum
P.O. Box 32265
Oklahoma City, OK 73123
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Now let’s talk about some of the critical issues at hand, beginning with one we don’t hear about very often: judicial supremacy. Though the judicial branch of government is supposed to be the toothless division designated purely for determining the constitutionality of issues brought before them, they have gone far beyond that. In “The Supremacists,” a book by Phyllis Schlafly, we can learn how the “blind” system of justice is really an activists interest group bent on interpreting what they view as an ever-changing document. That same document is the very Constitution we rely on to keep our country glued together, and yet in the last 50 years, we’ve seen little else but a continuous trampling of that essential document. Schlafly writes:
“An Embarrassment for Supremacists
The judicial supremacists like to cite Marbury v. Madison because it is just too embarrassing to cite the case that really started judicial supremacy: Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857), the first case in which the Supreme Court tried to expand its power over other branches of government. It was for many reasons one of the most disastrous court decisions in history.
Dred Scott was a black slave who traveled to free territories and then sued for his freedom. Instead of simply deciding the controversy, the Supreme Court handed down an aggressively activist, judicially supremacist, pro-slavery decision. It dismissed Dred Scott’s complaint, saying that he didn’t even have the right to be a plaintiff in a lawsuit: blacks “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect,” and even the free blacks in the Northern states didn’t have the right to be citizens. The Court declared unconstitutional the federal law, passed in 1820 as part of the Missouri Compromise, forbidding slavery in most of the Western territories. It was only the second federal law in history declared unconstitutional.
The Constitution limits the jurisdiction of the federal courts to “cases and controversies.” Federal courts are not supposed to give advisory opinions about issues that are not before them as a case or controversy. Dred Scott is a good example of the Court trying to decide issues that were not necessary to its decision, and the Court ended up causing gross injustices. Abraham Lincoln refused to accept that the Supreme Court could set public policy, and he endured much criticism for attacking the Dred Scott decision. But Lincoln was absolutely correct in identifying not only the intrinsic wrongness of the decision, but also its terrible consequences in upsetting our form of government.
In his First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1861), Lincoln admitted that the Supreme Court decision was personally binding on plaintiff Dred Scott, but Lincoln expressed the hope that its “evil effect” would be “limited to that particular case, with the chance that it may be overruled and never become a precedent for other cases.” In other words, Lincoln accepted judicial review as binding in the case, but he rejected judicial supremacy-the notion that the Supreme Court was supreme in creating new laws for the nation-because that would abolish self-government and submit us to the rule of judges. Lincoln identified the evil of judicial supremacy: “If the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.”
Precisely. Lincoln agreed that the Supreme Court could decide the fate of Dred Scott. But he rejected the notion that an “eminent tribunal” should be allowed to make public policy. That would mean submitting to the rule of judicial supremacists rather than to the Constitution and the rule of law.
Lincoln defied the Dred Scott opinion by issuing passports to blacks and otherwise treating them as citizens, and he signed legislation to place limits on slavery in the Western territories. The Dred Scott decision exacerbated the conflict over efforts to restrict slavery and pushed our country toward a terrible war to correct the injustice wrought by the power-grabbing Supreme Court.
Unfortunately, later generations forgot the principles of our Constitution that Lincoln so clearly understood. It’s time we listened to his wisdom.
Anyone who thinks that we need judicial supremacy to protect the rights of minorities must accept that judicial supremacists gave us the injustice of the Dred Scott decision. Anyone who thinks we need judicial supremacists to protect civil rights should remember George Washington’s warning that we should permit the Constitution to be amended only in the way that the Constitution provides: “Let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”
Judicial supremacy is a creeping shadow. It’s like the water the frog sat in on the stove top. The water felt cool at first, but because its temperature rose so gradually he never realized the deadly heat until he was boiling to death. Don’t let the Constitution – or our rights – be boiled to death. Learn what judicial supremacy is and learn how you can fight it. Read more in Phyllis Schlafly’s book, “The Supremacists.”