MISGUIDED SUPREME COURT DECISIONS SHOW CONNECTION BETWEEN TRADITIONAL MORALITY AND PROPERTY RIGHTS
Allan Carlson, President of the Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society, has a different perspective on this week’s Supreme Court decisions on public display of The Ten Commandments and last week’s eminent domain ruling.
In the New London case, the Court expanded the definition of eminent domain to allow local government to take private holdings (including homes and family businesses) for use by other parties, with the goal of increasing tax revenue and/or employment.
In contravention of the 5th Amendment, the Court decided that if local government thinks a developer has a better user for your home or business, it can be taken from you.
In a pair of Ten Commandments decisions (involving displays in Kentucky and Texas), the Court continued to misinterpret the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause to prohibit any public display of the Decalogue which emphasizes America’s Judeo-Christian heritage.
In his scathing dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia said the Court’s majority has once again demonstrated its hostility to religion – in particular the religion on which this nation was founded.
Carlson commented: “In one case, the court turned its back on America’s moral heritage. In the other, it said to government, ‘Thou shalt steal, when you believe it’s in the public interest.’ There’s a wrongheaded consistency here.”
“Economic conservatives often don’t understand that property rights are secured by the moral absolutes reflected in The Ten Commandments,” Carlson observed. “It’s no coincidence that judicial activists on the Supreme Court have rejected one and undermined the other.”
“Social conservatives must make the case that The Ten Commandments are not an archaic code that ‘had something to do with the founding of the Republic,’ but part of the essence of who we are as a people. Activist judges are opposed to public display of The Ten Commandments because they are afraid people will take the Decalogue seriously and, in so doing, understand that rights come not from a judge, but -- as the Founding Fathers noted in The Declaration of Independence -- from the Creator.”