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Of the people, by the people and for the people

Rory Murphy | Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dear Ryan Williams,

In your letter on Oct. 14 (“Hats off to Judge Phillips”), you simultaneously praised judicial activism while, remarkably, providing a much stronger argument against it. Judicial activism is exactly the monstrous evil people make it out to be! Our Constitution represents a contract between the people and their government. The cornerstone of this contract is that laws can only be made with the consent of the governed through their elected officials. Every time a judge substitutes their own opinion rather than adhering to the laws as written, it violates the contract and calls into question what rights we truly have if a judge can so easily ignore the will of the people.

I note that you cited one unassailable landmark case, Brown v. The Board of Education, perhaps to gloss over the incredible weakness of the others you mentioned. In Brown v. Board there was no disagreement that Brown was entitled to an equal education, the question was merely the criteria for equality, which fits well within the scope of the courts. The same cannot be said for the other cases. In Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court infamously made up a right that was never mentioned in the Constitution, while simultaneously claiming federal jurisdiction over something that was clearly the domain of the states. Likewise, in Citizens United it seemed like the justices started with an outcome they wanted and then found a way to interpret the First Amendment to support it.

Regarding the issue at hand, I have not made my mind up yet. On one hand, I am generally opposed to the possibility of any sort of romantic relationship on the very front lines of a war. At the same time, I recognize that there are other regulations that could be enacted to prevent this, and many members of the military are not even on the front lines. Either way, I know that I want this decision to come through the proper channels and not by some judge running an end around on the legal system.

Rory Murphy


Class of 2004

Oct. 22