You are probably familiar with the very popular television show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.  This is not about that show.

CSI before the  Supreme Court stands for Compelling State Interest.  Here is why it matters to us and why it matters who is nominated to the Supreme Court.

We have many rights recognized in the Constitution.  The Constitution was written at a time when the people believed that our rights come from God and the Constitution was a tool to help protect our God given rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.  Part of pursuing happiness involves having control and ownership of property which is why the Fifth Amendment says you cannot be deprived of your life, liberty, or property without due process of law.  There was also a fair argument that it would be silly to list all of the rights we have as freemen.  The Constitution is based on a natural law perspective where the laws and rights come from God.

Now more than 200 years later arguments before the Supreme Court are rarely about God given rights.  Now we talk about human rights, civil rights, and constitutional rights.

The modern Supreme Court has classified some of our rights as fundamental.  Some of these fundamental rights include the right to privacy, procreation, marriage, interstate travel, voting, and other enumerated rights in the Constitution.  Once something has been determined to be a fundamental right then any restriction on that right must serve a Compelling State Interest(CSI) and the law must be narrowly tailored to meet that interest.

So what is a CSI?  Pretty much whatever the Supreme Court says it is and why it matters who is on the Court.  We have a CSI in maintaining public order so that people are not allowed to have a street demonstration outside your house at 3 in the morning.  We do not have a CSI in maintaining decorum in court so you are allowed to wear profanity laden shirts in court.  There is a CSI in restricting campaign finance money to avoid the appearance of corruption but no CSI in limiting pornography.

The Supreme Court will also require some kind of CSI where laws impact groups based on gender, ethnicity, or religion.  The Supreme Court found a CSI in the World War II internment camps and that race based admissions practices at Universities will be OK for around another 20 years.  The cases go on and on.

Ownership of property is not a fundamental right and no CSI is required for using eminent domain to obtain property.  If you own some property that a land developer wants to own, the government can condemn it and sell it to them if the government thinks the new development will provide more tax revenue.  It is using the force and power of government to raise more money for the government because one party is not paying enough in taxes.

The Supreme Court has taken to finding new rights that were previously undiscovered in the Constitution.  The worst part is that the Supreme Court dresses these decisions up in legal language to make it sound more legitimate than “we just changed our mind”.  When the 14th Amendment was ratified just after the Civil War, every single state had laws prohibiting sodomy and abortion.

Seven years ago (Lawrence v. Texas) the Supreme Court found a right to homosexual sodomy in the Constitution.  About 40 years ago (Roe v. Wade) the court found a right to an abortion in the Constitution.  These decisions are based on personal opinion, not on sound legal grounds.

This is why it has been so important for people who want hedonism and more libertine values to remove God and natural law from the public discussion of the Constitution.  It would make no sense to argue that people have a God given right to gay sex or gay marriage.  It would make no sense to argue that we have a God given right to have access to pornography, nude dancing and abortion.  Now we have the Supreme Court ranking our rights in order of importance based on personal preference and the values of the times.  If we base our access to rights on the opinions of 9 people in black robes and on a “living Constitution” with “evolving standards of decency” then what will we do when some of our rights go out of fashion?

We need a solid foundation for our rights.

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