UK Chaos Shows Dangers Of Politicized Courts
The United Kingdom, America’s closest ally and one of the oldest and most stable democracies in the world, has been thrown into chaos because left-wing politicians and activist judges refuse to accept the verdict of the voters. In scenes chillingly similar to the obsession with impeaching President Trump, the courts have left Prime Minister Boris Johnson unable to govern — while lawmakers refuse to allow an election that would break the deadlock.
The UK voted to leave the European Union on June 23, 2016. The country should have left the political and economic union on March 29 this year, but that date has already been pushed back twice — and now, as the latest deadline of October 31 approaches, leftists who refuse to accept the referendum result have turned to the courts in a desperate bid to frustrate democracy.
- Traditionally, the highest court in the UK was the Law Lords — the judicial committee of the House of Lords. This system had worked well for centuries, there was no public demand to change it and it hadn’t done anything obviously wrong. However, in 2003 Prime Minister Tony Blair — a lawyer, married to a lawyer — decided that the UK needed a Supreme Court instead. This court was founded in 2009.
- Unlike the Law Lords, the Supreme Court was made subordinate to the EU’s court, the European Court of Justice. And, unlike the US Supreme Court, it was made self-appointing; new justices are chosen by the existing ones, with no scrutiny or oversight. This worked fine as long as the court stayed out of politics — but this week it all changed dramatically.
- On August 28, Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of Boris Johnson prorogued — suspended — parliament for five weeks. There was nothing unusual about this; parliament is usually prorogued at the end of every year-long session, and it’s normal to do it in early fall when the parties have their conferences.
- This session of parliament has been running for much longer than a year — it started in June 2017 and is the longest in over 400 years. Johnson, who became prime minister in July, wants to end it so he can launch his own legislative program.
- On Tuesday, the Supreme Court, hearing a case from a rich left-wing businesswoman who’s spent a fortune trying to keep Britain in the EU, ruled that Johnson had no right to prorogue parliament. In fact, he does — parliament is above any court, and there has never been a time when judges could tell it what to do.
- In theory, this couldn’t happen in the US, because we have a rigorous selection process for Supreme Court justices. However we’ve all seen the efforts by the left to bring down Justice Kavanaugh; when our democratic system confirmed his nomination, the Left switched to undermining him with smear campaigns. The mess in London shows what happens when judges aren’t properly selected. Do the Dems want to create the same chaos here?
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