It’s “Stupid” to Rely on Judges to Protect Our Rights

During a recent public event, Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court was asked about the NSA’s surveillance programs, made public through the leaks provided by Edward Snowden. 

While conveying concern about judges being asked to decide questions dealing with national security, Scalia replied, “It’s truly stupid that [the Supreme] court is going to be the last word on [the constitutionality of NSA surveillance].”

We agree that it’s stupid. Lawyers in black robes, in their unelected positions as judges, have steadily weakened the constitutional protections originally intended under the 4th amendment. And the reliance by the citizenry upon the opinions of these lawyers as the last best hope of protecting our rights has been proven, time and time again, to be misplaced and naïve.

So let’s take Justice Scalia at his word — it’s stupid to do that. It’s stupid to allow these individuals to opine on what is right and wrong, and what does or does not violate our liberties. It’s stupid, more generally, to assume that the federal government will restrain itself. Here we have a relevant example: Scalia, considered one of the more conservative justices, argues that our “conversations” are not entitled to protection like our property is, and therefore court challenges against the NSA may not find victory at the Supreme Court.

This is why we should put little stock in the opinions of black-robed lawyers. This is why it’s best to work at the state level. This is why I founded Libertas Institute in 2011. This is why individuals should look for other means by which our rights can be exercised and protected, than to wait for permission and approval from Washington, D.C.