Senator Ben Sasse: Powerful Words

“We have a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of the supreme court in American life now.”

Tuesday, Ben Sasse provided a real, thoughtful, and powerful opening statement during Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Sasse’s remarks came after disruptions from agitators failed to halt the confirmation process. Decades of ill- and miseducated public necessitated these remarks. We are all responsible for our lack in communicating the Founding Fathers’ vision in this manner, and with this strength.

Expanded articles can be found here, here, and here. Mr. Sasse’s full statement can be found here.

His four key points:

  1. "In our system, the legislative branch is supposed to be the center of our politics.”
  2. “It’s not. Why not? Because for the last century, and increasing by the decade by now, more and more legislative authority is delegated to the executive branch every year, both parties do it.” Essentially, most want to keep their jobs rather than conduct the work they were elected to do, pushing the real work to other branches. See this at your own place of employment?
  3. Consequence: “This transfer of power means the people yearn for a place where politics can actually be done. And when we do not do a lot of big, actual political debating here, we transfer it to the Supreme Court. And that is why the Supreme Court is increasingly a substitute political battleground in America.” This is inappropriate, and must be corrected. As Mr. Sasse states, correctly, “It is not healthy.”
  4. “We badly need to restore the proper duties, and the balance of power, from our Constitutional system.”

Irrational instant gratification has replaced serious thought and contemplation. Sound bites substitute for sound discussion. One man, or woman, or a group of five or 50, does not dictate change to the American foundation. Sadly, many are willing to continue a lazy, follow-the-mob mentality to the destruction of personal values and moral fiber.

I miss the days of Schoolhouse Rock, don’t you? Ah, Bill.....

Thank you for reading.

Comments
No. 1-6
Still Jules
Still Jules

Read or listen to (it's on Audible) Ben Sasse's book The Vanishing American Adult. He is a clear and concise thinker, and his background in education is evident in his ability to distill and focus ideas and then make them clear to others.

He is still finding his way as a legislator, and I think he has stumbled a few times, but in general I like his concept of American government and his understanding of how it is supposed to work, and why.

Veritasenvitas
Veritasenvitas

Congress has abdicated much of it's power to the executive and to the courts. This is where we are like it or not. It's up to congress to take back it's legislative duties but they are too worried about getting reelected and becoming lobbyists. We have a political class that is worthless and we have ourselved to blame for it!

Big J Boy
Big J Boy

How many bills has Ben Sasse introduced to correct the problems he outlines? I largely like what he says but I like to see some action put with words otherwise it comes across as grandstanding and I have 0 tolerance left for that.

JamesJWilson
JamesJWilson

He's right, but the big issues at stake for the SC are:

  1. Abortion. This is absolutely a SC-level decision because it entails the definition of a person.

  2. Presidential powers. This again is a dispute between branches, and thus something the SC must be engaged in. The House cannot legislate whether the president can be indicted, subpoenaed, whether he can self-pardon, etc.

As for a bunch of other issues, I agree that it's Congress punting on its responsibilities and trying to duck politically hot issues.

What better way to get rid of the ever-popular Obamacare than for the courts to do it? (Of course if the SC killed the ACA the Republicans would be forced to support single-payer but I digress).

So while I agree with Sasse technically here, I think on the whole and in the present context, he's wrong to bring this up right now. If abortion is made illegal, then that deeply affects millions of Americans. Same for the imperial presidency (i.e. especially right now).

centerright
centerright

Lately, I find myself agreeing with every word I read from Ben Sasse. I am sure there would be differences of opinion, but right now, he seems to be the only Senator speaking from principle and the Constitution, not from personal self-interest.

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