Light is Right Joe Campbell

Light is Right Joe Campbell

Pity the poor legislators. Increasingly, Big Brother watches their every move. Well, not just Big Brother, Big Sister, too.

Being constantly watched is intimidating. Having what you painstakingly put together repeatedly taken apart is demeaning. But that’s the fate of legislators under a judicial dictatorship.

From time to time, I’ve called Big Brother/Sister, also known as the Supreme Court, the judicial magisterium. Not because I think the high court judges are infallible. Rather, because they act as though they were. The way these unelected jurists order around democratically elected legislators is scandalous. The way the legislators cower before the unaccountable usurpers is embarrassing.

Yes, they’re usurpers. Although qualified to interpret legislation Parliament enacts, they’re not content with such an unimaginative role. When it suits them, they re-write the legislation, or strike it down and order the legislators to rewrite it, on the double.

What’s more, with words and acts of abject surrender, the legislators obey. Don’t they realize that their judicial rulers are mere lawyers? Maybe the elected representatives think that appointment to the Supreme Court is the secular equivalent of canonization.

Whatever they think, some of them seem unhinged by the judicial onslaught. Why, they even exhibit symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. This is especially noticeable during question period. They become suddenly irritable and angry, not to mention aggressive, and turn negative and hypercritical. They’re so overwrought, they have difficulty sleeping, even during parliamentary debates.

It’s reaching the point where they can’t legislate, the very thing we elected them to do, for fear of offending Big Brother/Sister. Their only hope is regular sessions of insensitivity training. We have to desensitize them to high court hubris and immunize them against a tendency to deify judges. We can best do this by exposing judicial errors and inconsistencies.

There’s not a moment to lose. The high court has already moved to un-deify the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Although the preamble says that Canada’s founding principles recognize the supremacy of God, the judges ruled in 2015 that it doesn’t mean what it says. That is, it doesn’t authorize the state to consciously profess a theistic faith. I wish they’d explain how the state can recognize the supremacy of God without professing belief in Him.

Although the founding principles also recognize the rule of law, the judges haven’t challenged that. Of course, they haven’t. When they strike down or re-write laws they disagree with, they think the rule doesn’t apply to them.

And yet the Parliamentary website says that if anyone were above the law, none of our liberties would be safe. I can’t help but agree. Thanks to above-the-law judicial activism, the liberties of marriage commissioners, bakers, florists, printers, photographers, and innkeepers, among others, are no longer safe. If, on conscience grounds, they refuse to affirm same-sex marriages, these once free citizens risk severe penalties.

The same goes for health care workers who refuse to participate in, or refer for, medical procedures that, in conscience, they can’t approve. It doesn’t seem to matter that the first liberty the Charter allegedly protects is freedom of conscience and religion.

To desensitize legislators to delusions of judicial superiority, we might begin, as I did, with the high court’s misreading of the founding principles. If that fails, we could follow with the judges’ inability to distinguish disorders from identities and intended from unintended killing.

As for the first noted inability, we could point out, syllogistically, that anything which doesn’t work according to what it’s for is disordered. But the sexual system is for procreation. Therefore, the sexual system is disordered if erotic inclinations and organs are out of sync or genitalia are ambiguous.

Disorder is not a rational basis for recognizing identity. Nevertheless, that’s what judges did when they protected homosexual activity from discrimination and laid the foundation for same-sex marriage.

As for the second noted inability, we could point out that the Supreme Court found no ethical distinction between doctor-assisted suicide and end -of-life palliative care. That is, it couldn’t see the difference between intentionally killing to stop pain and intentionally stopping pain in ways that may unintentionally kill. Which is curious, because in other contexts, property damage, for example, judges have no difficulty distinguishing between deliberate and incidental harm.

When they refuse to recognize that something is disordered if it doesn’t work according to what it’s for, judges violate a self-evident principle. When they ignore the humanity of the unborn, they violate a scientific fact. Nevertheless, they repeatedly rule that children don’t become human beings until they are born alive.

The born-alive rule originated in the Middle Ages, a time of advanced philosophy but primitive science. Back then, the only way courts could prove that an unborn child had been alive was if it survived birth. The rule was a standard of evidence, not a definition of when children became human.

Nowadays, we regularly establish pre-natal life with technologies like real time ultrasound. But while science has progressed, the law remains mired in the Middle Ages. Judges stubbornly retain and misapply the flawed rule.

If the foregoing doesn’t disabuse timorous legislators of the fallibility of the judiciary, we should stop electing them.