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   Swingin’ Kennedy

NEWS INFORMATION

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News Date

3/31/2012 9:00 am

Author

Mark Steyn

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Category

Perspective

Database Record

Entered 3/31/2012, Updated 3/31/2012

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Since the retirement of Sandra Day O’Connor, Swingin’ Anthony Kennedy has been the swingingest swinger on the Supreme Court, the big Numero Cinco on all those 5–4 white-knuckle nail-biting final scores. So naturally Court observers have been paying close attention to his interventions in the Obamacare oral arguments. So far he doesn’t sound terribly persuaded by the administration’s line: ... That’s not how earlier Americans saw it: “If the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court,” wrote Abraham Lincoln, “the people will have ceased to be their own rulers.” Which they have. Or it would not have come to this. ... A 2,700-page law is not a “law” by any civilized understanding of the term. Law rests on the principle of equality before it. When a bill is 2,700 pages, there’s no equality: Instead, there’s a hierarchy of privilege micro-regulated by an unelected, unaccountable, unconstrained, unknown, and unnumbered bureaucracy. It’s not just that the legislators who legislate it don’t know what’s in it, nor that the citizens on the receiving end can never hope to understand it, but that even the nation’s most eminent judges acknowledge that it is beyond individual human comprehension. A 2,700-page law is, by definition, an affront to self-government.


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