We should all be happy that the US Supreme Court finally made it clear yesterday that the Constitution must be upheld and that the Bush regime cannot simply place some people outside of the reach of the courts and basic human rights. But even though we should be relieved, we should not be complacent. The Supreme Court decision was by no means unanimous and Justice Scalia wrote a shocking dissenting opinion which further tried to fire the flames of fear, a strategy which Bush and his cronies have relied on to dismantle the Constitution. What we should find frightening is the fact that the Supreme Court only defended the Constitution by the skin of its teeth.
This should remind us in Canada that we have a government that models itself on the Bush Regime and would emulate it in any way that it is able to. Stephen Harper never tires of condemning so-called ‘legislation from the bench’ and would love to curtail the powers of the courts to defend us from the arbitrary power of his tyrannical government. The US Supreme Court has barely been able to prevent the United States from falling into what is essentially a kind of neo-fascism in which people can no longer rely on the fact that they are free of arbitrary search, seizure, incarceration, and even torture. And even though Harper, like Bush, is happy to use to the courts to his advantage wherever possible, he instantly condemns courts whenever they make decisions that contradict his Machiavellian plans. The Harper government has shown time and again that it has nothing but contempt for democratic processes and for the sovereignty of the courts and Parliament. It should be clear to anyone that is paying attention that if he could possibly suspend the power of Parliament and the courts he certainly would. Harper would relish in absolute power, and the people who would suffer under his yoke would be the poor, the physically and mentally challenged, visible minorities, gay and lesbian people; essentially anyone who does not fit into his crypto-fascist, big-business capitalist agenda.
I am glad that the US Supreme Court has been able to uphold, for the time being, the rule of law and the Constitution. But we must not be complacent because Neo-Conservatives everywhere are chipping away at our rights and, given time, they could take control of the courts and ensure that we have no defence against the arbitrary exercise of government power.