Sessions: Court is overreaching

Published 3:00 am Saturday, July 4, 2015

United States Supreme Court justices made themselves “supreme legislators” with their 5-4 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, said U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.

“The 10th Amendment to the Constitution explicitly says all powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved to the state’s people,” Sessions said during a visit to Pike County this week. “Marriage is clearly not delegated to the federal government, and without any doubt has been the sole province of states since the founding of the Republic …

“The marriage decision to me was just a blockbuster violation of the role of the court and that’s why it generated in the four members that dissented some of the most harsh and aggressive language that I’ve ever seen. The justices felt this went beyond making a mistake for a case, but actually was a deliberate assertion of Supreme Court superiority to the American people and to law to advance and agenda. That’s unacceptable.”

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The majority opinion, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, is something that Pike County Republican Chairman Donna Horn said the justices shouldn’t have even had a chance to write. In 2006, 81 percent of Alabamians voted to uphold the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman with the Sanctity of Marriage Amendment, but Horn said justices had completely disregarded that choice.

“This is the Democratic way to try and control everything,” Horn said. “As a Republican, I believe in less government, more freedom for the people, so I am totally against somebody in Washington D.C. telling me what I should believe and what I should do.”

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan shared similar sentiments in a press release shortly after the ruling.

“Our boundaries have been breached once again by the overreaching hand of the federal judicial system,” Lathan said. “The majority of the people in Alabama lost their voice today.”

Sessions also said that as a country begins to strike and change its shared faith and traditions, a new faith would take its place.

“When the family is not the center of American life, the government is,” Sessions said. “This ruling is part of a continuing effort to secularize, by force and intimidation, a society that would not exist but for the faith which inspired people to sail across unknown waters and trek across unknown frontiers.”

At least one Supreme Court justice said the nine justices were reaching into state governmental affairs with their same-sex marriage ruling.

In his dissenting opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia said the practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine robbed the people of their most important liberty — the freedom to govern themselves.

“Today’s decree says that my ruler, and the ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of nine lawyers on the Supreme Court,” Scalia said in his opinion.

But, the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling on the legality of same-sex marriage isn’t the only ruling that has left some Americans scratching their heads.

The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 vote, also ruled that subsidies created through the Affordable Health Care Act are legal. In King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court ruled that a premium tax credit would be put on qualifying people, whose health insurance is subject to the Affordable Care Act in all states.

Gov. Robert Bentley said he was disappointed in the way justices ruled and that the law clearly states that subsidies do not apply to states that did not create a state-based health insurance marketplaces saying the Supreme Court had become an “activist court by rewriting the law.”

“As a physician and governor of one of the 34 states that did not establish a state-based healthcare exchange, I agree with Justice Scalia in his dissent that States are clearly not the federal government and that definition of a state shouldn’t be rewritten for the purpose of this law,” Bentley said.

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., said her fight with Obamacare is not done.

“I have repeatedly voted to repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered health care that isn’t run by the government,” Roby said. “This ruling does not change my commitment to working to replace the president’s health care law with policies that make sense. It does show how important it is for us to elect a president who will uphold the rule of law and appoint Supreme Court justices who will do the same.”

And, Sessions agrees with Roby. If the federal government has begun to reach its hand a tad too far into the proper way of government, a new presidential candidate is the safest, easiest fix, he said.

With the next president of the United States possibly having the opportunity to nominate two or even three justices and numerous federal judges, the 2016 presidential election is crucial to the fate of the nation.

“All who seek high office, whether legislative or executive, must pledge to curtail these abuses and support only the nomination of those who will do the same,” Sessions said. “The American people are losing the power to control those who seek to control them. In a single week, we have seen the Congress surrender its legislative authority through fast-track, we have seen the court rewrite the dictionary to protect Obamacare and we have seen unelected judges rewrite the Constitution in order to impose the will of five on 300 million. But, whether these progressive victories are transient, or permanent, depends on us.”

And, like Sessions, Horn agrees.

“The next presidential election is going to be very, very important for conservative people to get out and vote,” Horn said. “We can’t afford to have Hillary Clinton in office, so we need to find our candidate that expresses our beliefs and our ideas, and we need to get behind that candidate and make sure he goes to the White House. We can’t afford another presidency like we’ve had the past eight years.”