Article II, Section 1, of the United States Constitution prescribes the following oath or affirmation, required to be uttered by each and every president upon taking office:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.So wouldn't it be a good idea for a presidential candidate to actually know what's in it?
I'm pretty sure that the Dems know, but at the Conservative Political Action Conference conference last week, frontrunner Grampa McCain made some lame attempts to try to shore up his support among the wingnut base of the party. Hidden among many other gems in his speech was this shiny one:
I intend to nominate judges who have proven themselves worthy of our trust that they take as their sole responsibility the enforcement of laws made by the people's elected representatives. Judges -- judges of the character and quality of Justices Roberts and Alito, justices who can be relied upon to respect the values of the people whose rights, laws and property they are sworn to defend.Jeez, there is just so much wrong with that statement, but I'll just latch onto the inconvenient fact that the Judicial Branch does not have the duty or responsbility to enforce laws. That's the job of the Department of Justice, which is part of the Executive Branch.
No, the job of the Judicial Branch is to interpret the laws. Not enforce them. Interpret them.
Ever since the Marshall Court's famous Marbury v. Madison ruling, the Supreme Court has been the final arbiter on all constitutional issues. They interpret the laws that are passed by those "people's elected representatives" and decide whether or not they pass constitutional muster.
They are not, nor should they ever be, the kind of rubber-stamp body that McCain seems to envision.
John, I know you weren't the best student in school, but jesus, dude, this is basic Civics 101 crap here.
Oh, and as a footnote, the more observant readers will notice that the officially prescribed oath of office does not contain at the end of it the phrase "so help me god", even though I guess it's become customary over the years to just kind of tag it on. But it is not required.