On the first day of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearings on the nomination of Judge John G. Roberts to serve as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Sen. Joe Biden (D.-Del.) gave Americans new reason for gratitude that the ethical lapses discovered during Biden’s 1988 bid for the presidency foreclosed his own chances of nominating a Supreme Court Justice.
Referring to “our constitutional journey”, Biden discoursed on “a genuine intellectual debate going on in our country today over whether the Constitution is going to continue … to empower the federal government”. What he meant, of course, is whether the judges who interpret the Constitution are going to continue to ignore its limitations on federal power.
Had Biden done more of his own work in law school, perhaps he would realize that the Constitution is supposed to protect the people from the government. That’s why there’s a Bill of Rights. That’s why there is an enumerated list of federal powers.
Biden wants a Constitition that changes with the times. That’s okay. That’s why there’s an amendment process–an amendment process that leaves the power of Constitutional revision to the people, not to judges.
What’s not okay is for judges to interpret the Constitution as if it it said what they want it to. That is called judicial activism. And it’s another example of public officials seizing the power that the Constitution houses with the people.