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The Separation of Powers
Volume 71, Program 4
11/9/2006
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We’re told that America is a land of self-government. But as we learned last time on Home School Heartbeat, the principle of self-government is endangered by a burgeoning bureaucracy. Today, Home School Legal Defense Association Chairman and General Counsel Michael Farris talks about a second danger to self-government.

Michael Farris:
The authors of the Constitution wanted to keep the judiciary independent from the people. The Founders reasoned that that way the judiciary can fulfill its responsibility to uphold the Constitution without being swayed by popular opinion.

The Supreme Court has the final say on whether or not a law or practice is constitutional. The Court’s grab of political power is particularly dangerous because it’s nearly impossible to change a Supreme Court decision unless the Court overturns itself. The people have no power to govern the Court.

Once the Supreme Court decides that the free exercise of religion is no longer a fundamental right, the people are virtually powerless to do anything about it. We can amend the Constitution and encourage the President and Senate to appoint better justices, but these measures are difficult to attain and take a great deal of time.

We need to place the Supreme Court under term limits with the opportunity for reappointment to a maximum of one second six-year term. We've got to place these kinds of institutional checks and balances on the Court to preserve the principles of self-government.

I’m Michael Farris.


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Principles of Government

by
Home School Legal Defense Association

How can we protect our freedom as Americans? Michael Farris addresses this question in his new book, Constitutional Law for Enlightened Citizens. Request this free information sheet to read an excerpt from his thought-provoking analysis.

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