A constitution is useless if judges are determined to create rights and doctrines (or ignore rights and doctrines) in defiance of the constitution’s plain meaning. Such judicial activism replaces the constitution with the arbitrary rule of unelected judges, effectively denying the people their right of self-government. As George Washington declared:

“If, in the opinion of the people, the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this in one instance may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.” (Farewell address published September 19, 1796.)

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove