Judicial Activism: Figment or Fact?

Julaine Appling

2020 | Week of June 22 | Radio Transcript #1365

Judicial activism is alive and well in America, especially in our US Supreme Court.

On Monday, June 15, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 6-3 decision, redefining the term “sex” in the congressionally passed, legally enacted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, to now also include sexual orientation and gender identity. Justice Neal Gorsuch, supposedly a conservative originalist and textualist when it comes to the Constitution, was part of the majority and even authored the majority opinion.

The Supreme Court’s rewrite of the Civil Rights Act in Bostock v. Clayton County, however, has sweeping consequences not only for the constitutional balance of powers, but also for individual rights.

Changing the definition of a word in a congressionally passed law is not the purview of the court; that is for the legislative branch. However, this group of six unelected, unaccountable judges have once again rewritten laws and trampled the freedoms of all Americans. This is judicial activism, which those who disagree with me tell me often is just a figment of my imagination or is simply when, you know, a court disagrees with me. Fortunately, I and millions of other Americans know the truth. And so does Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito who made the same assertion in his dissenting opinion.

“There is only one word for what the Court has done today: legislation,” wrote Alito. “A more brazen abuse of our authority to interpret statutes is hard to recall.”

Despite its best intentions, Alito concluded, the Court’s job is to interpret law, not make it. He writes, “[T]he updating desire to which the Court succumbs no doubt arises from humane and generous impulses…..but the authority of this court is limited to saying what the law is. The Court itself recognizes this: ‘The place to make new legislation…lies in Congress. When it comes to statutory interpretation, our role is limited to applying the law’s demands as faithfully as we can in the cases that come before us.’” Alito says, “It is easy to utter such words. If only the Court would live by them.”

What’s more, Alito warned, despite Justice Gorsuch’s assurances in the majority opinion that First Amendment religious liberties “can” override employment discrimination laws and that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act “might” supersede Title VII, last week’s ruling jeopardizes several constitutional freedoms.

“As the briefing in these cases has warned,” Alito wrote, “the position that the Court now adopts will threaten freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and personal privacy and safety. No one should think that the Court’s decision represents an unalloyed victory for individual liberty.”

Alito writing in his dissenting opinion specifically warns this ruling has the potential to force women to endure biological males in bathrooms and locker rooms, pit female student athletes and even professional athletes against male competitors, require faith-based schools to hire teachers or employees in open defiance of the schools’ professed doctrines on sexuality, compel employers to pay for sex-reassignment surgeries, threaten employers or schools that don’t conform to preferred-pronoun usage, and pressure employers to suppress any statements by employees expressing disapproval of same-sex relationships and sex-reassignment procedures.

While Gorsuch’s majority opinion offered some weak assurances against these kinds of cases, Alito forcefully disagreed.

“What the Court has done today,” he said, “–interpreting discrimination because of ‘sex’ to encompass discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity–is virtually certain to have far-reaching consequences. The Court’s brusque refusal to consider the consequences of its reasoning is irresponsible,” concluded Alito.

Exactly how this sweeping decision will impact churches and faith-based ministries is yet unknown. This we do know: this victory for the LGBTQ crowd will not be enough. No victory has ever been or will be enough for them; they will press even harder now to cause everyone to bow the knee—including and maybe even most especially churches and ministries.

Churches and ministries will be targeted because those that actually believe, teach and live the truth of the Bible, stand directly in the way of those pushing this agenda’s goal of everyone being forced to accept, normalize, confirm and even affirm their personal sexual orientation and gender identity choices.

Judicial activism is no fiction. It is very much alive and well and impacting our freedoms and our lives on multiple levels.

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

Julaine Appling has taught on the junior high, high school, and college levels, and for five years was the administrator of a private school. In 1998 she was asked to become the Executive Director of Wisconsin Family Council, where her mission is to advance Judeo-Christian principles and values in Wisconsin by strengthening, preserving, and promoting marriage, family, life and liberty. In addition to regularly being interviewed for Wisconsin television, radio, and newspapers, she is the host of "Wisconsin Family Connection," aired weekly on almost 50 radio stations in Wisconsin including the VCY America radio network.

Learn more at WIFamilyCouncil.org

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