Letters to the Editor:
Thoughts on the Judiciary
Recently, after yet another cannibalistic Republican primary debate, Newt Gingrich was widely criticized and castigated by fellow Republicans, Democrats, and the Obama controlled media for stating that the judiciary is out of control and needs to be reined in. While I am no fan of Newt I find I am in total agreement with him and rather than castigating him every Democrat, Republican, as well as the American people should be supporting his position.
Our nation was formed as a Federal Republic composed of three branches, equal in authority and independent of each other, such that they might check and balance one another. The usurpation on the part of the judiciary of the authority, under the extra-constitutional concept of judicial review, to "interpret" the meaning of any aspect of the Constitution; the very idea of the judiciary being the "ultimate arbiter" of the Constitution places them in a superior position to the other two branches of government and the people and destroys that critical concept of "checks and balances". Thomas Jefferson warned us "The opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves, in their own sphere of action, but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch." Today we are living under that dictatorship of the judiciary that Jefferson warned us of.
I have read and re-read Article III of the Constitution, which vests the powers of the judiciary, and I can find no explicit authority granted by the Constitution to that department of government to "interpret" the elements of the Constitution or to be its "final arbiter" as to intent of any aspect nor do I find the term "judicial review" in any portion of the Constitution; to the contrary I can see evidence in the words of Jefferson in a letter to Judge Spencer Roane in reference to the Supreme Court having the exclusive right to interpret the Constitution which reflected the contemporary view; "In denying the right they usurp of exclusively explaining the constitution, I go further than you do, if I understand rightly your quotation from the Federalist, of an opinion that 'the judiciary is the last resort in relation to the other departments of the government, but not in relation to the rights of the parties to the compact under which the judiciary is derived.' If this opinion be sound, then indeed is our constitution a complete felo de se (ed. the act of suicide). For intending to establish three departments, coordinate and independent, that they might check and balance one another, it has given, according to this opinion, to one of them alone, the right to prescribe rules for the government of the others, and to that one too, which is unelected by, and independent of the nation...The constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist, and shape into any form they please."
When it comes to enforcing the common law, in my opinion, it is the proper function of the judiciary but, when it comes to questions of the Constitution or of challenges to the constitutionality of the common law I believe the inferior courts' proper function to be advisory to the legislature. Their function in each case should be to review the complaint of unconstitutionality or ambiguity and pass it, accompanied by their insights and opinions to a next level, the Supreme Court of the state in which the action is begun, whose authority, in turn, should extend only to review the complaint and lower court comments and either pass it to the next level with their comments or dismiss it. If they view it to be valid they then, and only then, should pass it to the next level, the U.S. Supreme Court whose sole function should be to similarly review the case and either dismiss it or pass it, adding their comments and opinions, to the Congress of the United States where, finally, it should either enter into the amendment process or is dismissed. If the question is accepted then a proposed amendment should then be fabricated, voted on and, if passed by Congress, as prescribed in the Constitution, it should then be sent to the states for ratification. Such a process as described would, I think, further the original intent of the Constitution to insure checks and balances with no one office of government dictating to another how to govern (such as we presently have with the judiciary usurping ultimate authority under "judicial review") and would insure that any question of constitutionality is deferred to the amendment process and avoid the ill affects of the present pseudo-dictatorship wherein one judge has the power to overturn the will of millions of voters or to rewrite the constitution from the bench.
I have to agree with what I believe was Newt's intent; simply because we've tolerated this usurpation and dictatorship of the Judiciary to go on for so long unchecked is not a sufficient reason to allow it to continue...undoing it will be difficult and requires the political will to do so but if we are to restore the Constitution to its original intent it is an endeavor we must undertake.
Lou Sansevero, Ferron
Be aware of Wilderness proposal
I am aware that there has been a lot of information, letters written, and opinions stated about the Wilderness proposal concerning our public land here in Emery County. The current proposed America's Red Rock Wilderness Bill covers more than 5 million acres at this time. The proposed increase of the Wilderness Study Acres will cover 9.2 million acres. As residents of Emery County, what do you enjoy doing with your free time? Do you enjoy loading up the kids and the 4-wheelers and heading out to the desert of the San Rafael? Do you enjoy the drive in the mountains on a Sunday scoping out the wildlife? Why did you decide to make Emery County your home? If you are like most residents of Emery County you are happy to use the recreation areas that our county has to offer. You probably live in Emery County because you like the rural life as compared to a busy city life. I am reminded at this time of year also that the Wilderness proposal would compromise our rights to enjoy part of the holiday season that we have become accustomed to. While driving around in the desert looking for our usual pinion pine that we would adorn for the Christmas tree I thought about this bill. Would we still be able to cut a fresh Christmas tree? The way I understand the current bill we would probably still be able to cut a tree, after purchasing the correct permit from the Bureau of Land Management, but we would not be able to drive our truck to the site to get the tree. We would have been walking for miles looking for the tree and back several miles with tree in hand dragging behind us. The thought of it all makes me wonder. How did the Federal Government come to the conclusion that making this land a Wilderness Study Area would be best anyway? Who does it benefit? It surely doesn't benefit the residents of Emery County. If this bill is passed it would greatly impact our economy. Not only do our communities rely on the fossil fuel that is on these lands (not to mention the fossil fuel that is still yet to be discovered) but, we need the tax dollars that these fossil fuels bring. The economic factor of this bill would also hurt Utah as a state. The bill is sponsored by an East Coast Congressmen by the name of Maurice Hinchey (who represents New York's 22nd District). Has Mr. Maurice Hinchey ever been to our area to enjoy what the land has to offer recreationally? Why is someone who lives on the East Coast making decisions concerning our local land? The Emery County Commissioners have selectively put together the Emery County Public Lands Council. This council is compromised of residents of Emery County who represent the different uses of the land i.e., water usage, cattlemen, recreation, mining and public resources, and road usage. This council has spent the last two and a half years drafting a proposal to send to Washington. This proposal that the Emery County Public Lands Council has created that would be a compromise to benefit all parties involved (state, county, federal, land users). How much land should be set aside as wilderness and how can the other land be used by the other interested parties? The Public Lands Council is not adverse to designated wilderness area but, they are working hard to ensure our "way of life" here is kept. If you enjoy motorized recreation (RVs, ATVs, dirt bikes, 4X4's, mountain bikes), or if you make your living in the coal mining industry or the cattle industry, or you have friends or family members that do, it's time to step up and do your part, let your voice be heard. Join the Shared Access Alliance or donate your time and information to educate others in the county that will be affected by the America's Red Rock Wilderness Act sponsored by SUWA. There is great power in numbers. If you don't speak up, who will. You have a voice and every voice makes a difference in fighting this fight. We are up against a very powerful organization. Please use what you have to make a difference for our way of life and the way of life for our posterity.
Shellee Allred, Castle Dale
A New Year's resolution that worked
Finally, a New Year's resolution that worked. In past years, the people of Utah were challenged to make a New Year's Resolution to help save lives and sign up on the Yes Utah Donor Registry. Well, people listened, they made their resolutions and phenomenal things happened.
In 2011, The Utah Donor Registry reached a new level of more than 1,290,000 people, or about 74 percent of licensed drivers in Utah are signed up. Compared to the rest of the nation, Utah has one of the highest rates of participation on a donor registry. This says a lot about the giving, caring nature of the citizens of Utah. Because of these high participation rates, good things happen. For example, more lives were saved than ever before. More than 280 people received life saving transplants in 2010, the largest number of lives saved in a one year period for Utah. This year, 2011, even more lives were saved because people said "yes" to organ donation. Again, people caring about people and doing something about it.
The Good Samaritan Living Kidney Donor Program continues to grow and save lives. From its beginning in 2002, there has been 59 Good Samaritan donors. These are people that don't even know their recipients. They stepped forward to donate a kidney, because they felt the need to help someone.
Thanks to the people of Utah, who care so much about their fellow citizens, we are ending the suffering of many waiting for transplants. There are still more than 570 Utahns waiting for a life saving transplant. If you haven't joined the Utah Donor Registry, I challenge you to sign up by saying "yes" on your driver license, go on-line to www.yesutah.org , or call 1-866-937-8824. Even easier, if you have a "smart phone," go to www.yesutah.org and sign up via your phone. Get the facts and help save lives.
Keep up the good work Utah. The rest of the nation looks to our giving state as a beacon of hope for what they want to accomplish.
Alex McDonald, Salt Lake City
Given the reality of today and the total mess our leaders have made, we need a drastic change in the policies. There has never been a social, economic or political problem that was not caused by leadership. We are in this mess directly because of poor leadership and leaders of poor character. Lying is a way of life. We now have leaders that move because of expediency rather than because of principle. The Founders deliberately made our form of government cumbersome so that expediency would be difficult to achieve. About the only thing that needs to be done expediently is defense in time of attack, as in the Pearl Harbor attack. Perhaps a Ron Paul is just the drastic change we need to turn the corner on expediency. I would like to see him as Vice President so he could run the Senate.
I don't quite know what to think of the assortment of candidates presently offered. Only a few have track records that demonstrate character. Most of the front runners have character flaws. Bachman and Paul seem to have the best track record at this point. I could handle Palen or even a Trump jumping in at this point. They are a breath of fresh air.
Have you not noticed that when an attack begins on a good conservative, it happens all at once all over the country? That cannot possibly be a coincidence, someone has to be setting forth a policy and promoting the buzz words. It is not possible for different people so say the exact same phrases at essentially the time unless someone is coordinating the attack. How do the newspapers, pundits, politicians, experts and so called academics get the same words to say at nearly the same time unless someone is pulling their strings, and we sit around saying, "Duh, wha'd-he say? Gosh by Golly."
If we keep doing what we've always done, we will continue to get what we always got. That is a guarantee. There is no other possibility short of God's direct intervention.
As for Romney, he is part of the establishment, a RINO, not a principled leader. Listen to his language and you should notice that he is a sanitized speaker, his vocabulary has been cleansed of all controversy. He is just a "go-along" with the major acceptable thoughts. He has nothing significant to say other than established ideas. From what he says, he is not his own man.
Ron Paul, on the other hand, has an established pattern of bucking the main stream ideas. Perhaps it is past the time for us to deviate from the acceptable ideas of handling our problems. They obviously don't work and haven't worked for 60 years. The liberals have a great farm club and are great "doers" while the rest of us watch and wonder, how did they do that? We have failed to study the principles that work. The real conservatives have just sat around wondering, "What just happened?"
Saul Alinsky, was just a good observer of successful patterns and chose to use then against us. But because he got there first, does not mean we cannot also use the same principles of success; they are universal, nor left wing.
But no, we think if the left does it, it must be wrong, right? Silly thinking. Principles are perpetual and universal, methods change. Cleanliness is perpetual, but we could still be going down to the river with our scrub boards to wash our clothes if we did not change our methods. That's us, scrub board methods in a sophisticated world.
The point is we must deviate from the accepted philosophy of leading and get back to the principles of good leadership. That starts with us learning to lead. Leaders lead from the front, so step out there. Lead by example. Take a chance, you may discover a new niche. But, you will have to become well informed. Someone once said, "You are not necessarily entitled to your opinion. You are, however, entitled to an informed opinion." I think there is some merit in that. So become informed and step out there.
If you remember, Jethro gave Moses some great advice. He said appoint leaders of 10s, leaders of 50s, leaders of 100s and leaders of 1,000s. We are all called to lead at some point in our lives. Where do we fit in that pattern? On what are we to stand and in which gap are we to stand?
"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong."
"Let all things be done decently and in order." 1 Cor 16:13 and 14:40 KJV
How does a real man stand fast? Real men (of faith) do not quit. Decently and in order means with good character and by plans. Where is the gap you are to fill? What is the stand you are to take? The battle is ours to stand-or quit. How many battles are we going to let the opponents of freedom win before we decide to stand in the gap and do something about it? How many city council meetings or county commission meetings are we going to miss before we decide that every free citizen must protect freedom. This is the only country ever created by the people and for the people rather than by some megalomaniac for his own aggrandizement and there are still many of them. Maybe we can become political deviates as were our Foundering Fathers.
Jerry Stotler, Ferron