The Health Care Decision and the Future Role of the Courts in Upholding Constitutional Principles

Neither Left nor Right but Catholic

     The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the health care law is probably a disappointment to many readers of this column. One of the things many people are scratching their head about—and some expressing something like a feeling of betrayal—is why Chief Justice Roberts joined the majority. Obviously, I cannot “get into Roberts’ mind” to answer that question. One writer speculated that Roberts made the decision he did to protect the integrity of the Court as a non-political institution. Perhaps, but with half or more of the American public against the law it does not seem as if the Court would have suffered much damage to its reputation if it had decided the other way.

Free Speech: The Last Right to be Lost

Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic

     Observing the erosion of individual rights in contemporary culture, someone once said that after all other rights were lost, freedom of speech would be the last to go. Developments in the Western world, including the U.S., in recent years are making this increasingly evident. So-called human rights commissions in Canada have hounded pastors for preaching the immorality of homosexual practice. In a celebrated case, Pastor Ake Green in Sweden was convicted and sentenced to prison for an anti-homosexuality sermon (the Swedish Supreme Court later overturned his conviction). The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation seeks laws in various countries to outlaw criticism of Islam, and several European countries have enacted laws to prosecute people for “vilifying” Islam.

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