Liu choice confirms what we know

Steven Greenhut: Gov. Jerry Brown is still reliving the 1970s, and as such has appointed Goodwin Liu to the California Supreme Court, someone whose radicalism falls neatly in line with Brown’s previous picks, most notably Justice Rose Bird. The Wall Street Journal has a good piece on this today. Liu details his views in this free online book called “Keeping Faith With The Constitution.” Bottom line: the Constitution is a living and breathing document that means whatever we say it should mean.

In Liu’s view, in the bad old days “the Supreme Court articulated a restrictive view of federal and state authority that blocked measures to reduce some of the inequities, hardships, and economically harmful conditions that accompanied
the industrialization and urbanization of the economy.” But then the court started to interpret the Constitution in a more broad-minded manner and then we end up in the present:

“Today, Americans do not think twice about the authority of government to respond to economic needs. Social Security, Medicare, collective bargaining and minimum wage laws, disaster assistance, regulation of the financial markets, and robust initiatives to stabilize the economy comprise large parts of the work we expect our federal and state governments to do. Reasonable people may disagree about the specific policies needed to deal with various economic conditions, with regulation of the marketplace, and with the economy as a whole. But there is no question that developing, enacting, and implementing such policies are an important and legitimate part of what government does.”

Liu, whose lack of graciousness was on display when he attacked John Roberts, sees no limits on the power of government. In order to promote the general welfare, modern government can do anything it wants to do except, perhaps, to restrict abortions or gay marriage. In Liu’s book, the chapter on Liberty deals solely with abortion and various gender-related social rights. In his worldview, traditional liberties are all subject to government affirmation even as the government establishes new rights. To Liu, freedom means the right of gays to marry and of women to have abortion but he has nothing to say about the type of rights that led to the American Revolution — the right to be left alone to run our businesses, raise our families and keep the authorities out of our business.

This is an absurd perversion of the U.S. Constitution. But, let’s be frank — our society and this state in particular has long ago moved past that Constitution. Government has unlimited powers. We have far fewer freedoms and those remaining freedoms keep evaporating. The state “has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance,” as the Declaration of Independence declares.

This is the world that exists. The U.S. Constitution no longer really exists. Consider Brown’s appointment of Liu as a sort of truth in advertising. We know that California’s courts do not protect our liberties but instead serve as the cat’s paw for an unrestrained and aggressive government. Liu and Brown dispense with the pretenses. They don’t even pretend to adhere to a liberty-minded view of the nation.

JULY 27, 2011

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  1. So. Perry
    So. Perry 27 July, 2011, 14:39

    Do you think Medicare and Social Security, financial regulation or the others policies listed by Liu are unconstitutional?

    Reply this comment
  2. Eric
    Eric 27 July, 2011, 15:29

    God help us all. Thanks so much to you and John Seiler for this information on Liu.

    Reply this comment

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