Supreme Courts Are Usurping Democracy

justiceCanada is about to embark upon an audacious social course. We must accept the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to strike down laws prohibiting assisted suicide of the sick, disabled and depressed.

It is a departure from our legal foundations in British Common Law that have — for more than 700 years — forbidden or punished assisted suicide. Apparently our illustrious ‘boomer “Justices” are wiser than the collected human wisdom of centuries.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) just concluded their annual meeting. Why did they not refuse outright to cooperate with high court to murder suicidal people?  A doctor’s job is to save lives not take lives — or at least do no harm![1] The Supreme Court put the dirty work of their odious assisted suicide decision in the laps of physicians.

The federal government does have a tool at their disposal to override the Supreme Court’s horrible ruling. They could invoke the “notwithstanding” clause (Section 33) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. With a federal election looming will any party elected use it? No.

Thirty-five million Canadians must abide by the edict of nine activist judges, just like we have been forced to abide by the Supreme Court’s 1988 decision to strike down Canada’s abortion law. (Today in Canada there are no legal protections for unborn children. Abortion is legal at any point during all nine months of pregnancy.)

Increasingly, Americans are at risk of being ruled by an activist Supreme Court, too. We saw this with Roe v Wade and their same-sex marriage ruling even though voters in 31 of 50 states voted to define marriage as being between a man and a women.[2] Democracy is being usurped by Supreme Courts.

In his first inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln said this:

. . . the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal.

The insight of this great man is coming to pass, at least in Canada. The people have ceased to be their own rulers in these vital moral questions of life and death. In such matters we are ruled by Supreme Court tyrants whose benevolence is limited indeed.

[1] Post-Hippocratic physicians may not agree. Perhaps they would pass off such views woefully old fashioned for the Brave New 21st Century world of utilitarian medicine, bioethics and managed killing, er, death.
[2] See Katrina Trinko, “States that voted against Gay Marriage Now Have It Forced Upon Them”, The Daily Signal at http://dailysignal.com/2014/10/06/states-voted-gay-marriage-now-forced-upon/

Mark Davis Pickup is chronically ill and disabled with degenerative multiple sclerosis. He is an advocate for life issues and disability inclusion across North America. He and his wife, LaRee, have been married for 38 years. They live in Alberta Canada with their two adult children and five grandchildren. Mark is available to address issues of euthanasia, assisted suicide, and issues revolving around suffering that often fuel calls for euthanasia. He writes regularly at http://markpickup.org and http://humanlifematters.org. For bookings, contact him by e-mail at MPickup@shaw.ca or telephone (780) 929-9230. Mark Pickup's bi-weekly column can be read in the Western Catholic Reporter (Canada) at http://www.wcr.ab.ca/.