The Supreme Court, like every other branch of government, has become the playground of special interests. These interests are reflected in their decisions, and in their departure from the Constitutional principles is evident in their arguments as well. The discussion below is intended to help people think about the role of the Supreme Court in a principled way, rather than as a group to which they can appeal to achieve personal benefits or impose moral views on others through their decisions.
The Purpose of Government is the Happiness of the People
When the U.S. Founders established the Constitution, their goal was to establish the best system for all people to pursue happiness. In Federalist 62, Madison stated:
A good government implies two things: first, fidelity to the object of government, which is the happiness of the people; secondly, a knowledge of the means by which that object can be best attained. Some governments are deficient in both these qualities. Most governments are deficient in the first. I scruple not to assert that in the American governments, too little attention has been paid to the last. The federal constitution avoids this error; and what merits particular notice, it provides for the last in what increases the security for the first.
The Declaration of Independence is the Mission Statement of the United States. The Constitution is the legal structure designed to achieve it, and the Federalist Papers are the best explanation of the principles behind it.
The recent Supreme Court decisions on Arizona’s enforcement of illegal immigration and “The Affordable Health Care Act” show little knowledge of the means by which that object can best be attained because they retained a more myopic focus on justifying positions based on legal precedent and popular culture rather than the principles of sound governance that concerned the Founders.
The Supreme Court Reflects Political Factions