Amy Coney Barrett SCOTUS Testimony – Libertarian Lawyer Responds

by | Oct 13, 2020

In the days of the Founding Fathers, no one believed that the Supreme Court, much less the Court on any given day; always spoke the last word on the Constitution. Every public official, indeed, almost every person, had his own view of constitutionality and was willing to battle for it. No one proposed to leave such vital matters up to nine oligarchic hacks in Washington.

Murray N. Rothbard
Irrepressible Rothbard, p. 304

… we have to rediscover not only the forgotten individualist Ninth Amendment, but also the radically decentralist Tenth Amendment, and the legal tradition and principles from which it stemmed. Dismantling the Leviathan State, a task embraced by all libertarians, must also invoke dismantling the nationalizing, centralizing, absolute oligarchy that constitutes the Supreme Court of the United States.

Murray N. Rothbard
Irrepressible Rothbard, p. 377

… the whole point of the Constitution was to bind the central government with chains of steel, to keep it tightly and strictly limited, so as to safeguard the rights and powers of the states, local communities, and individual Americans.  In the early years of the American Republic, no political leader or statesman waited for the Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution; and the Court did not have the monopoly of interpreting the Constitution or of enforcing it. Unfortunately, in practice, the federal judiciary is not “independent” at all. … … once we allow the Supreme Court to be the monopoly interpreter of governmental — and therefore of its own — power, eventual despotism by the federal government and its kept judiciary becomes inevitable. And that is precisely what has happened. From being the instrument of binding down and severely limiting the power of the federal Leviathan, the Supreme Court and the rest of the judiciary have twisted and totally transformed the Constitution into a “living” instrument and thereby a crucial tool of its own despotic and virtually absolute power over the lives of every American citizen.

Murray N. Rothbard
Making Economic Sense, p. 484

… absolute power must never be entrusted to a small oligarchy of men, especially Supreme Court judges, who are an unchecked oligarchy appointed for life. Before Federalist John Marshall began to amass all power in the Supreme Court, no one ever believed, even with the existence of such a court, that it has the last word on constitutionality.

Murray N. Rothbard
Irrepressible Rothbard, p. 376

… libertarians should welcome all the campaigns to question or impeach the Supreme Court …

Murray N. Rothbard
Libertarian Forum v. 1, p. 119

The idea that the death penalty never deters murder is almost self-evident hogwash. Th e abolition of the death penalty, was philosophic left-sentimentality, as well as juridical nonsense. Philosophically, a person who murders another forfeits his own right to life, on the principle that he who deprives others of rights deserves to lose his in proportion. Juridically, to say that the Constitutional prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishment” prohibits the death penalty flies in the face of the common use of that penalty at the time the Constitution was written, and aft er it was established.  No Founding Father issued a protest of alleged unconstitutionality. The Supreme Court argument that the death penalty is now “unusual” is purely a product of the success of left -wing jurists in recent years in stalling and blocking the use of capital punishment.  Allow the death penalty to flow freely in cases of murder and the punishment would soon no longer be “unusual.”

Murray N. Rothbard
Libertarian Forum v. 1, p. 458


**Show Notes** –





About Keith Knight

Keith Knight is Managing Editor at the Libertarian Institute, host of the Don't Tread on Anyone podcast and editor of The Voluntaryist Handbook: A Collection of Essays, Excerpts, and Quotes.

Our Books

latest book lineup.

Related Articles