WHY I SUPPORT PROPOSAL 16
I became a lawyer so that I could have the chance to help destroy Roe v. Wade and other blatantly evil and unconstitutional Supreme Court decisions. For years, I thought the problem was that nobody was making the right arguments to the Supreme Court. But the older I’m getting, the more I’m realizing that the problem often is not that many of the justices don’t know the truth, but rather that they know and don’t care. But Proposal 16 proposes a tactic that would force the Supreme Court to care very quickly.
In 1973, the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, which toppled Dred Scott as king of the hill in the battle for the worst Supreme Court decision of all time. Conservatives fought back by trying to appoint more conservative justices to the Court. Yet in 1992, despite having eight justices on the Court that were appointed by Republicans, the Court still upheld Roe in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Since then, conservatives have continued trying to appoint pro-life justices, as they should. However, Roe still reigns, and about 60 million people have been murdered as a result.
The problem with destroying Roe only through appointing conservative justices is that it does not employ any external checks on Court. Instead, it relies on the good will of the justices to conclude that they do not have the power to force abortion on the entire nation. This notion goes against the biblical understanding that man is naturally sinful and often does not do the right thing of his own accord. As James Madison explained in The Federalist No. 51, this is exactly why we have checks and balances in the first place.
But there is another way to put the Supreme Court in check. In The Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton argued that the judiciary would always be the “least dangerous” branch of government, reasoning that the judiciary had “neither Force nor Will, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.” Thus, the Supreme Court must ultimately rely on the President and the governors of the several states to enforce its decisions. If either the President or a governor refused, then the Court could do nothing. Justice Scalia warned the Court in 2015 in his dissent in Obergefell v. Hodges that such a refusal would embarrassingly remind the Court of its own “impotence.”
Article VI of the Constitution requires both the President and the governors of each state to uphold the Constitution itself, not unconstitutional Supreme Court decisions. Thus, if a Supreme Court decision is completely contrary to the Constitution, then it is not only the right but also the duty of a governor to refuse to enforce that decision. Proposal 16 calls on Alabama’s Governor, Kay Ivey, to do her constitutional duty to refuse to enforce Roe and its murderous progeny. I commend Proposal 16 for its bold and constitutionally sound stand. If this works, then we could see the right to life guaranteed for all unborn children in our state once and for all.
Matthew Clark is a constitutional attorney at the Foundation for Moral Law, which exists to restore the knowledge of God in law and promote an originalist interpretation of the Constitution. Clark owes everything to his Lord Jesus Christ, who loved him and gave Himself up for him.