The Corner

Supremacist Courts

Jay, re last week’s Canadian Supreme Court decision, there’s no doubt (after some partial victories by us northern free-speechers in recent years) that it’s a serious setback for freedom of expression. The defendant, Bill Whatcott, is not partial to those of a homosexual bent. If one feels otherwise on these matters, it’s reasonable to be offended by his observations. But it’s entirely unreasonable to criminalize them. Bruce Bawer, who falls into the protected class on whose behalf the Canadian jurists claimed to act, says take your finely balanced, reasoned, nuanced judgment, and shove it:

Don’t do me any favors. I feel far less threatened by the likes of Whatcott than I do by courts that consider it their prerogative to limit the liberties of a free people in such an arrogant fashion. The justices seem not to recognize – or to care – that if you want to live in a truly free society, you’ve got to be willing to share that society with people who consider you an abomination and who feel compelled to shout their views from the rooftops.

He’s right. Bill Whatcott is far less of a threat to liberty than those six judges. What’s weird about all this is that, around the world, supposedly free peoples are happy to accord the bench (even a bench whose arguments are as incoherent as the Ottawa guys’) a monopoly power on all the great questions of the age. Even as every other societal institution in the West — church, monarchy — has lost authority, blokes in black robes have accrued more and more. South of the border, Paul Mirengoff has a post today on what he calls “the Supreme Court’s empire” — i.e., the notion that five judges have the power to redefine marriage. Which, in effect, means an institution that predates the United Sates by several millennia will be defined for a third of a billion people by whichever way Anthony Kennedy feels like swingin’ that morning. The universal deference to judicial supremacism is bizarre and unbecoming to a free people.

As a subject of Her Canadian Majesty, I reject not so much the supreme court’s ruling as their claim to jurisdiction. And I advise my compatriots to do the same. If you chance to run into one of these bozo jurists at a dinner party and they want to explain how subtle and nuanced their reasoning is, tell them, “Well, you’re entitled to your opinion. And so am I.”

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

Most Popular

Sports

It’s Time for Colin Kaepernick to Move On

Colin Kaepernick. Remember him? Below-average quarterback. Above-average poseur. Not “activist,” not really. Activists actually say stuff. Kaepernick almost never says anything. He’s like the Queen or most popes — you have to read the deep-background musings of supposed members of his inner circle to get ... Read More
U.S.

What The 1619 Project Leaves Out

“The goal of The 1619 Project, a major initiative from The New York Times that this issue of the magazine inaugurates, is to reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year,” The New York Times Magazine editors declare. “Doing so requires us to place ... Read More
PC Culture

Courage Is the Cure for Political Correctness

This might come as some surprise to observers of our campus culture wars, but there was a time, not long ago, when the situation in American higher education was much worse. There a wave of vicious campus activism aimed at silencing heterodox speakers, and it was typically empowered by a comprehensive regime of ... Read More
Elections

Trump and the Black Vote

"Donald Trump is a racist, white supremacist, white nationalist. So are his supporters." Some version of that refrain is heard almost hourly somewhere in mainstream media. Democratic politicians seem to proclaim it more often than that. Listening only to the Left, you'd conclude that more than half a ... Read More
U.S.

The Age of Miscalculation

On August 7, 1998, more than 200 people were killed in terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. Americans learned three names most of them never had heard before: Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden, and al-Qaeda. On August 20, 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered a ... Read More