High Court in the crossfire of runaway judicial activism

High Court in the crossfire of runaway judicial activism, by Janet Albrechtsen.

The word swamp is an acronym for “superior wisdom alienates mere peasants”.  …

In creating this exception … to treat two people differently based on their race, a majority of the High Court has revealed a likely trajectory of brazen activism, and a propensity to divide the country by race. The silver lining is that the court’s activism will help convince Australians it would be a grave mistake to insert a race-based voice into our Constitutions. …

This runaway court needs fixing fast. If it can do this in a case involving section 51 (xix) of the Constitution that gives parliament power to make laws with respect to naturalisation and aliens, what will the High Court do with other clauses?

Lawyers across the country effectively received an invitation from the country’s highest court to ask courts to concoct other special race-based exceptions. …

Now remember that three of the four majority judges were appointed by a conservative government. Labor MPs must be laughing. If there is one thing Labor knows how to do expertly, doggedly and unashamedly, it is putting its kind of people into big jobs to shape the politics of this country well beyond parliament.

By contrast, conservative governments are hopeless on this front. Whether they are too polite, too nervous or lacking conviction about their values, they consistently appoint activist judges who thumb their noses at elected politicians. Our politicians could learn something from Donald Trump. He has built a powerful political coalition by arguing against unelected philosopher kings presuming to make law because they think a lumpenproletariat and their elected repre­sentatives won’t do it.

From the Prime Minister down, the Coalition should remember Brexit, too, where millions of British people have good reason to distrust experts — all those with big jobs, public servants, tenured professors, banking bigwigs, judges too, who warned against Brexit. In fact, right across the West, distrust among ordinary people of the so-called “clever classes” — people with lots of degrees but little common sense — is at an all-time high.

When the High Court added itself to this group, presuming to change the Constitution because its policy preferences are more important than those of voters, it gave the Morrison government a political opportunity. And, make no mistake, this a political matter. The High Court has made it political by ignoring the law when dreaming up special exceptions based on race to allow two criminals, two non-citizens, to live in Australia.

The real question is whether the Morrison government has the political courage and the commitment to the rule of law to turn this court around.

hat-tip Stephen Neil