Sometimes it's a little disconcerting to realize that an idea you thought was obvious may actually be ahead of its time - or that the people around you, whom you respect, may be behind the times. Such seems to be the case with what to me is just straightforward common sense: That judges ruling on the Constitutionality of a law must actually ground their decisions in the Constitution to be legitimate. In other words, that the role of judges in a free, constitutional society is not "lawgivers" in the ancient sense of Roman magistrates who could rule however they pleased without adhering to professional legal doctrines. There is no "Divine Right of Judges" that makes anything they say, no matter how groundless or abusive, a valid addition to the corpus of US law. The authority of a judicial ruling comes from its foundation in the social contract, not the other way around. So come on, folks, this is basic constitutionalism, not some radical left-wing doctrine cooked up in Abby Hoffman's imagination.
1. Not everything is an opinion. There is such a thing as reality, and human beings can make statements that accurately reflect it to a reasonable extent. If you find anything remotely objectionable in this statement, you're on the wrong side of politics because reality has a liberal bias and liberals have a pro-reality bias. Furthermore...
2. Judicial rulings are not "opinions" in the normal sense of a person arbitrarily expressing their preferences and perceptions: They are professional actions with tangible consequences, and derive their authority exclusively from being grounded in law and previous precedents also grounded in law. So a court cannot rule the Constitution unconstitutional, arbitrarily expand its own authority or contract the authority of other branches, rule that 2 + 2 = 5 or that up is down, or "interpret" that the Constitution really meant the exact opposite of both its letter and spirit. If they were to issue such rulings, they would have no authority behind them because...repeat after me...courts derive their authority from the law, not the other way around.
But, you might ask, if courts are the ones charged with interpreting what the law is, whose legal opinion is being used to state that theirs is lawless? Well, ours. The people's:
3. The Constitution is not an abstruse set of commandments sent down from heaven - it is a social contract that most people can reasonably understand, at least as it pertains to their own rights before the law. And what that social contract tells us is that the citizenry may not be discriminated against in voting on the basis of race, and Congress has the authority to pass what it deems to be appropriate legislation guaranteeing that (Amendment XV).
When a court decision flies in the face of that guarantee and the authority granted to enforce it - and what's more occurs as a brazen and shameless partisan tactic to skew upcoming elections - there is no authority behind that decision. A court of law minus the law might as well be a tennis court for all the relevance its arbitrary rulings have for the legitimate process of government in this country. Decisions like the recent VRA ruling are radical and unprecedented in that they have zero legal foundation - not even something one could call sophistry. They are a house of cards constructed on the lawless majority's own arbitrary rulings, with nothing but thin air connecting them to the US Constitution.
This has, frankly, never happened before in American history: Even infamous rulings like Dredd Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson were outrageous largely in being morally bankrupt and Pharisaical interpretations of the Constitution rather than being utterly arbitrary and fictitious. So, whether anyone wishes to acknowledge it or not, we are in the midst of a Constitutional Crisis - and unlike the proverbial war where no one shows up, one side has most definitely shown up for this one. So unless we show up as well and acknowledge that we are in the midst of a crisis, it will simply be decided by default in favor of the lawless faction. More decisions like Citizens United and the VRA ruling are guaranteed to follow, and legislation addressing them will either be perpetually obstructed or itself struck down. In the miraculous case that Constitutional Amendments are passed, they will be ignored or malignantly "interpreted" into oblivion.
So it's our choice whether that's the future we want - whether we are in such a rut as citizens that even demanding acknowledgment of the problem is just too frightening. Because if we pretend there is a "Divine Right of Judges" or shrink from the task of demanding law-abiding courts because of the difficulty and complexity involved, we might as well just tell these judges not to bother offering such ludicrous excuses for their rulings in the first place: Just have them issue terse orders telling the nation what they command, accompanied by four words that embody the simplest of all legal reasonings:
Or stand up for common sense and rule of law, and get these crooks impeached before they start ruling that losing elections is a violation of Republicans' equal protection rights. Sign the Change.org petition demanding Congress and the President condemn the VRA ruling and pursue impeachment of these so-called "Justices." This is our country, and the Constitution that gives these people their authority is a social contract with us. The conservative majority of the Supreme Court violated that contract with the VRA ruling, and either we have the basic clarity of mind and courage to admit that they're the problem or we should just stop pretending to have any intention of succeeding as a progressive movement.
If you're not on board with this, just rename whatever legislation you're pushing as "Future SCOTUS Strike-down #4331," and whatever Constitutional Amendments you're pushing as "Another Amendment to Be Ignored By SCOTUS." It would be more honest than continuing with the charade that you intend to change anything. Or take the oh-so-radical step of acknowledging the simple facts of the situation, and acknowledging what the task before us is regardless of how hard it is. No one's asking you to storm the Bastille or the beaches of Normandy, just admit that the current SCOTUS majority is the problem and at least rhetorically commit to addressing it. The petition is 23 signatories short of the 100 mark, so let's get there and then see where to go from there. Reject the "Divine Right of Judges" and demand a law-abiding Supreme Court.