Testing Justice in America

Testing Justice in America
In front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building

President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace the retiring Anthony Kennedy is already a scorching hot issue. I received 21 different news stories and alerts in my email within two hours of the announcement.

It will become more heated and should dominate the news for the next few weeks. It will likely reach the molten state during the upcoming confirmation hearings.

Those hearings will be America’s panorama of how our system tests justice as an ideal embodied in the Supreme Court. They will also be a test of the form and function of the government itself. With such on the table, it is wise to examine the biblical take concerning justice, judges, and the law.

Justice Is a Divine Principle of Law

7406735492_9f6ea99486_mThere are well over 400 appearances of the Hebrew word translated as “justice” in the Old Testament. There are 48 occurrences of the Greek word for “justice” in the New Testament.

In both cases, justice between humans is defined as a judgment rendered in a specific place under the law. The modern-day equivalent would be a courtroom.

The “Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Dictionary” gives 14 definitions of the word mishpât or ‘justice.’ 10 of the 14 specifically concern legal decisions and procedures judged under the authority of a court. This quote from the prophet Amos is illustrative:

Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. Amos 5:15 [ESV]

To “establish justice in the gate” meant to hold a court proceeding in a public arena. The arena was at or ‘in’ the proximity of the city gate (ancient cities generally had walls around them). That was considered the courthouse.

Judges Must Judge According to the Law

5304492399_805a329467_qJudges are those people granted the authority to make judgments. There are many qualifications for judges referred to in Scripture. However, one thing is clear from biblical teaching.

The job of a judge is to exercise judgment according to the established law. Such instruction was given to priests and “judges” in the book of Deuteronomy.

According to the terms of the law which they teach you, and according to the verdict which they tell you, you shall do… Deuteronomy 17:11 [NASB]

The law of God was the established law for believers and non-believers alike in ancient Israel. The biblical principle of judging according to the established law still applies today. The established law for the United States of America is the U.S. Constitution.

Only a Constitutional Originalist Fulfills the Biblical Principle

The U.S. Constitution grants the president the power to nominate justices to the Supreme Court. The only person who fits the bill would be a Constitutional “originalist.”

Why so? Because an originalist believes that the text of the Constitution and what its framers intended is paramount. He or she believes that the actual text must be applied to the legal case at hand. That is a standard which upholds the biblical injunction concerning judging.

2722210623_6059a1615d_mAnother reason is very simple. Someone who limits themselves to adherence to the Constitution will not try to make new law as a judge. Additionally, they will not re-interpret the law to serve their own ends. That is both unconstitutional and unbiblical.

This factor of fallacious interpretation and neglect of the law is one of the things Jesus chastised the Pharisees for doing.

But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Luke 11:42 [ESV]

President Trump’s Nominee is a Constitutional Originalist

Brett Kavanaugh qualifies as a Constitutional originalist. He has a long record of decisions as an appellate court justice in the D.C. circuit.

His record is consistent with a conservative Constitutionalist’s view. This fact commends him to conservatives and causes condemnation by those in the Senate on the Left.

However, it would not have mattered which candidate President Trump would have chosen. The various hysterical reactions after Kennedy retired even before Kavanaugh was named are evidence of that.

The Left Disregards Fidelity to the Constitution

Those on the Left do not agree that fidelity to the text of the Constitution is a judge’s responsibility. Their position is that the Constitution is a ‘living document’ which changes and evolves over time.

There are two main motives behind this stance. The first is carrying out the societal goals of the Left. Legislating through court rulings is often simpler and more permanent than legislating through Congress.

The second reason the Left disregards fidelity to the Constitution is that they disregard and disrespect the creators of the document. According to the leftist drones, the Founders were a bunch of slave-holders and evil oppressors of the indigenous land dwellers.

The Left’s Sanctimonious Moral Stance

4450007974_fee36252de_mThis reveals a defining characteristic of leftists. They believe they are morally superior to others, even those who founded America. There are various reasons they believe so and I have written of some of those before.

Yet, few could truthfully claim they would not have behaved much the same as those they condemn if they lived back then. That is if we are honest with ourselves and about our weaknesses.

The true believers of the extreme and dangerously ascendant Left do not recognize their own weaknesses. Thus they are blind to limitations on their behavior.

Such blindness has resulted in harassment and violence by anti-Trump leftists already. That path is a road resulting in very bad consequences for their Socialist dream, and the destruction of many lives along the way.

The Left is supremely blind to such dire consequences for the nation and themselves. In that manner, they are again like the Pharisees of whom Jesus said,

…they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit. Matthew 15:14 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001
The New American Standard Bible, Updated Edition, The Lockman Foundation, 1997

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Jeff Kubina’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of nikkijw’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of John Taylor’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Steven Nichols Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Fibonacci Blue’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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