Acton Institute Powerblog

Bush Says Abortion Not A Limtus Test For High Court

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President Bush, on his way to the G-8 Summit, said that views like abortion or gay marriage will not serve as litmus tests for selecting a Supreme Court nominee. "I’ll pick people who, one, can do the job, and people who are honest, people who are bright and people who will strictly interpret the Constitution and not use the bench to legislate from," Bush said. "I will take my time," Bush said. "I will be thorough in my investigation." The president hopes to see a new justice in place by the time the court begins its new term in October.

Robert Bork comments on interpreting the Constitution:

If there is an "actual" Constitution it can only be the set of principles those who made the Constitution law understood themselves to be ordaining.

The idea that the Constitution should be interpreted according to that original understanding has been made to seem an extreme position. That is convenient for those who want results democracy will not give them, but the truth is that violation of original understanding ought to be the extreme position. Would it be legitimate for a judge in the United Kingdom, which has no constitution comparable to ours, to strike down an act of Parliament on the ground he did not like it? Obviously not. But a U.S. judge who goes beyond the Constitution behaves like the hypothetical U.K. judge.

Democratic theory requires that a judge set the majority’s desires at naught only in accordance with a superior law-in our case, the written Constitution. A judge who departs from the Constitution, as the majority did in the five cases mentioned, is applying no law other than his will. Our country is being radically altered, step by step, by Justices who are not following any law.

Anthony Bradley Anthony Bradley, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics in the Public Service Program at The King's College in New York City and serves as a Research Fellow at the Acton Institute. Dr. Bradley lectures at colleges, universities, business organizations, conferences, and churches throughout the U.S. and abroad. His books include: Liberating Black Theology: The Bible and the Black Experience in America (2010),  Black and Tired: Essays on Race, Politics, Culture, and International Development (2011),  The Political Economy of Liberation: Thomas Sowell and James Cone of the Black Experience (2012), Keep Your Head Up: America's New Black Christian Leaders, Social Consciousness, and the Cosby Conversation (2012), Aliens in the Promised Land:  Why Minority Leadership Is Overlooked in White Christian Churches and Institutions (forthcoming, 2013). Dr. Bradley's writings on religious and cultural issues have been published in a variety of journals, including: the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Detroit News, and World Magazine. Dr. Bradley is called upon by members of the broadcast media for comment on current issues and has appeared C-SPAN, NPR, CNN/Headline News, and Fox News, among others. He studies and writes on issues of race in America, hip hop, youth culture, issues among African Americans, the American family, welfare, education, and modern slavery. From 2005-2009, Dr. Bradley was Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Ethics at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO where he also directed the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute.   Dr. Bradley holds Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from Clemson University, a Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Westminster Theological Seminary.  Dr. Bradley also holds an M.A. in Ethics and Society at Fordham University.

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