Tuesday, July 12, 2005

SCOTUS and Moral Anarchy

The Hudson Institute's Robert Bork appeared on Laura Ingraham's show last week (listen here) and penned an article re what the nomination of a replacement for Sandra Day O'Connor, constitutional law, and moral chaos have to do with one another. PowerBlog and Southern Appeal have pulled their favorite excerpts. Here's mine:

The court's philosophy reflects, or rather embodies and advances, the liberationist spirit of our times. In moral matters, each man is a separate sovereignty. In its insistence on radical personal autonomy, the court assaults what remains of our stock of common moral beliefs. That is all the more insidious because the public and the media take these spurious constitutional rulings as not merely legal conclusions but moral teachings supposedly incarnate in our most sacred civic document.

That teaching is the desirability, as the sociologist Robert Nisbet put it, of the "break-up of social molecules into atoms, of a generalized nihilism toward society and culture as the result of individualistic hedonism and the fragmenting effect of both state and economy." He noted that both Edmund Burke and Tocqueville placed much of the blame for such developments on the intellectual class--in our time dominant in, for example, the universities, the media, church bureaucracies and foundation staffs--a class to which judges belong and to whose opinions they respond. Thus ever-expanding rights continually deplete America's bank of common morality.

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