Yesterday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law what is considered by most to be the strictest ban on abortion in the United States. God bless Alabama. And God bless Governor Ivey.
I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating given the recent spate of pro-life legislation victories. And that is that one of the idols that really needs defying in America is the idol of the Supreme Court. Remember an idol is not necessarily in itself wicked or evil. An idol is most often some part of creation that people are elevating to an improper status, trying to trick life out of some part of the creation rather than looking to the Creator for that life, liberty, and happiness.
In our case, for far too long, we have looked to the Supreme Court as though it is the final or ultimate arbiter of justice in our land. Constitutionally, this is not true. Our constitution clearly establishes three branches of government that check and balance one another. Not one of the branches is ultimate or final. The three branches have distinct jobs to do, but our system of government depends on the equal ultimacy of all three branches.
Related to this is the fact that the Supreme Court’s job is not to legislate. It is the job of the Legislative Branch to legislate. The Supreme Court may rule that a law is unconstitutional, but it may only do so based on what the constitution actually says. And if the Supreme Court rules against a law based on a hidden “penumbra” of meaning utterly unimagined by the authors of the original constitution, that ruling is not constitutional. Therefore, that ruling is — strictly speaking — illegal and therefore not binding and need not be obeyed by the States. The constitution is the law of the land, not the opinions of a majority of the Supreme Court justices.
Therefore, Roe v. Wade was constitutionally illegal and therefore non-binding on the states since there is no constitutional right to abortion to be found in the constitution (Sorry, Bernie and company!). Furthermore, the “rights” guaranteed by the constitution are clearly and explicitly listed in what is known as the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments. Whatever rights are not explicitly guaranteed are left to the States to determine. The right to life is already clearly enshrined in the constitution and was arguably reaffirmed even for the unborn in the 14th Amendment. Nevertheless, even if an amendment was passed and ratified by the states explicitly granting the right of Americans to murder their babies, it would still be an illegitimate law since it flies in the face of natural law and the law of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And so as Georgia and Ohio and Alabama and other states pass their laws directly challenging Roe v. Wade (as they ought to), they also need to be gearing up to stay the course. And what I mean is that while it would be wonderful for the Supreme Court to reverse its Roe decision (and Obergefell, and others) and they must and they should, it is wrongheaded to think that the fate of these bills remains in the hands of the majority of SCOTUS. They may render their verdicts, but the constitution remains the law of the land. And this means that even if SCOTUS rules against a heart-beat bill, the states should shrug and say “but abortion is still illegal in our state.” The states should refuse to comply with illegal rulings from the Supreme Court.
To be clear: non-compliance is not the same thing as armed revolt. I am not arguing for the states to use armed resistance. I’m arguing for a studied, creative, joyful, and annoyingly unhelpful non-compliance. Pro-life states should just keep passing laws outlawing abortion and keep enforcing those laws cheerfully. If the Feds really want to force abortion clinics to remain open and protect the so-called “right” to abortion, make the feds do it. But the states should not help them in their murderous cause. If the feds want to force states to comply with SCOTUS rulings, let them. We need not resist their use of force. But we need not comply with their orders either.
When the Supreme Court orders that men must be allowed to marry men or that little babies must be torn limb from limb in their mothers’ wombs, they are pretending to be God. But they aren’t God. They have no right to declare such things. And therefore, the people, who’s job it is to hold their leaders in check, must refuse to submit to such illegal, monstrous, and profane opinions. And we must remember that they are mere opinions, the opinions of mere men. They are not constitutional law and they fly in the face of God’s word.
“But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men…'” (Acts 5:29).
May the leaders of Alabama and Georgia and Ohio and elsewhere gird up their loins to stand firm for truth and justice.