Chief Justice John Roberts Gives Impressive Speech at BYU

I'm not sure if it was planned that way, but it was helpful to me to be able to listen to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts speak at BYU only a couple weeks after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke. It gives me a much better basis to understand why I disagree with Harry Reid. Both speeches were impressive--no doubt. I came away from Senator Reid's speech knowing that he is a good man, but filled with emotion at how I disagreed with him. But as I sit down to write my review of Chief Justice Roberts' speech, I know that, in addition to he also being a good man, I came away from his speech feeling much more intellectually and spiritually satisfied.

It's a difficult thing for many to accept, but the law is the law, and it doesn't change just because we want it to be changed. The Constitution is law. Chief Justice Roberts accepts this; Senator Reid does not, at least completely.

Justice Roberts reminded listeners of his speech matter of factly that our Federal Government is one that is limited to certain enumerated powers. Only the legislative branch can make the law. It is the judicial branch's responsibility to know what the law is, as it (the Constitution) was intended by the Founders of our country, and as it (on-going law) was intended by the legislators who passed it. Because the Constitution is the "Supreme Law", the judiciary must be qualified to declare any laws which go against the tenor of the Constitution null and void. The Supreme Court can interpret the Constitution, because it is law, but Justices must restrain themselves from the temptation to go beyond that constitutional limit.

Justice Roberts stated that Justices are allowed only to exercise judgment, and not to make political decisions. They need to keep themselves unfettered from outside influence so that they can make correct decisions, according to the Constitution, which decisions sometimes will be wildly unpopular. This is why judges were given lifetime tenure.

Here are some of the other ideas (I paraphrase) that Justice Roberts discussed:
  • There are some things that the Constitution allows the federal government to do exclusively, some things it allows state governments to do exclusively, and other things that it prohibits either from doing.
  • The first building in Washington D.C. was the White House for the President. The second building was the Capitol, to house Congress. The third building was the Patent Office. It was not until 1935 that the Supreme Court had a building constructed for it. This illustrates that the Supreme Court is important, but was seen to have a clearly limited function.
  • It is clear that the regulation of commerce in the Constitution allows for the regulation of air travel, even though the Founders knew nothing of air travel. This does NOT mean, however, that the Constitution can be changed or interpreted on a whim. The Amendment process for the Constitution is very clear, and has been used, successfully and unsuccessfully, many times. This is the only way that the Constitution can be changed.
  • The Founders came from all walks of life, but all were keen as to the importance of civic virtue. One of the greatest of civic virtues is to uphold the law as it was intended by those who made it. If we want to know what the Constitution means, in addition to the Constitution itself, two great places to start are The Federalist Papers and James Madison's notes on the Constitutional Convention.
Harry Reid thinks with his heart. That can be a good thing, sometimes, but far from always. When this is done by government, the result is usually a failure to "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and to our posterity." Pure democracy is that government filled with people who think with nothing but their hearts. The United States, on the other hand, is a Republic. Pure democracies have proven that people thinking with their hearts usually cause death and destruction. That is why we must usually temper our heartfelt thinking with logical thinking.

We must remind ourselves that we are a nation that is ruled by law and not by mankind. It is critical that we are represented in government by individuals who understand that thinking with our hearts must be tempered with logical, lawful thinking. Heartfelt thinking may inform our logical thinking that something is wrong with the law. But it is lawful thinking which understands that when the law is incorrect, it must be changed by lawful means. If it is the Constitution, the only lawful means of changing it is the Amendment process.

Chief Justice John Roberts understands this concept well. I am proud to know that he is the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.


  1. Thanks for your review of this talk, Frank.

  2. The "thinking with your heart" is right out of the Star Wars philosophy of life that was taught to us in the 70's. "Luke, feel the force, forget the thought process, let your feelings guide your light saber and your actions."

  3. So I'm not sure what you're implying. Do you think that "thinking with your heart" is a good thing or a bad thing?

  4. President McKay stated that the United States Supreme Court is leading the country down the road to atheism. President and Apostle Faust said that America is embracing a Civil religion that is anti-Christ.

    Has Justice Roberts, nominated by the Fascist Bush and given a seat by the Fascist Socialist Senate, done anything to stop this civil religion of Communism being forced upon Americans?

    What act or ruling has he made to make you think he is nothing more than a Gadiation Robber in the judgment seat?

    I read his ruling on Executive establishment of religion in the HEIN case where he allowed for Bush to establish and finance religions.

    Why is this Roberts not arrested for treason for allowing such taxpayer funding to go to ANY religious or anti-religious groups?

  5. I think BYU gave us a good representation of the current intellectual state of the liberal and conservative movements with these two speakers. And the liberals came up far short.

  6. I agree. It was palpable. Liberals (or anyone) can advocate whatever they want, and it may be something that we should do, but it's critical that we do it legally/Consitutionally if we do it at all.

  7. I'm not sure I get CH's take. He seems to be suggesting that because Roberts is not perfect from the perspective of some, he is worthy of a traitor's death. Hmmm.... Roberts was likely the best that could be gotten in the political climate at the time of his confirmation. I doubt we'd get anyone as good today. While Pres. McKay was undoubtably correct, he did not suggest dismantling the Supreme Court or abandoning it to the Ruth Bader Ginsburg types.

  8. I'm not sure I get CH's comments either, but I can relate to how he appears to be feeling, as I used to feel much the same way. Basically just a lot of anger, frustration and helplessness. Mine was brought on by taking the media (talk radio, TV and newspapers) way to seriously.

    I don't think the situation is as dire as the media or politicians would want us to belief. Their power and control over us comes solely from their ability to manipulate us through our fears both with scary news and by polarizing every single issue or event.

    From all I have heard Justice Roberts sounds like a good guy who passes his judgement based on the Constitution. It doesn't mean you have to agree with everything he says, but I do think he is doing a great job.

    There are a lot of good men out there, I think its when we forget this, that we lose sight of who we are and end up feeling bitter, resentful and alone.

  9. Helplessness is never what I feel.

    I feel empowered as the Independent American Party of Nevada grows faster than either of the twin parties or any minor party. I feel empowered when I sue the government, which is do on a regular basis. I feel empowered when I drive with no State issued license and have a business with no license and live my life without a Social Security Number.

    I feel empowered when I do my weekly TV show. I feel empowered when I do not file a tax return because I am not required to do so. I felt that way now for over 29 years.

    I never feel helpless. Duty is ours. Results are God's.

    We win in the end.

    All we are doing by our own actions is choosing which side we are on. Those that are lukewarm in the fight will be nothing more than spew.

    I am not lukewarm.

  10. Christopher,

    On what basis do you choose not to seek licenses and Social Security Numbers, etc.?

    It sounds like if you could find enough like-minded people that you would start another American Revolution. That would scare the bejeebies out of me.

    I, for one, prefer the Constitution that we have, and standing up for great men that we have, like Justice Roberts, and Scalia, and Thomas, and Ron Paul, to name a few.

    It sounds like you'd rather tear it all down and start from scratch...?

  11. Christopher - If you indeed do everything you say you do, then my hat is off to you. You have far more guts than me.

    I am concerned though...

    From the way you have phrased some of your comments, it would appear that you are very religeous, almost bordering on extremism.

    This kind of thinking is what allows people to convince others to fly planes into buildings and blow themselves up in God's name.

    What are you looking for as far as leadership for this country, and would you fall into the category of people that think if it were possible that President Hinckly or the presiding Prophet at the time were to become President of the US that this would be a step in the right direction?

  12. I love the Constitution. I have been fighting for it for 44 years. I started when I was 8. I was reared on Benson, McKay and Grant.

    Why would I seek to be marked by a number in direct violation of President Grant's General Conference talk in 1936 A.D? Why would I voluntarily choose to partake in Socialism?

    I am not a member of the Communist Religion so I cannot partake in the spoils of Gadianton like Social Security or Welfare. I was commanded to eschew Socialism. I do. Don't you?

    Why do I need a license to contract my services? "Section. 10. No State shall ... pass any ... Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts..."

    I license would impair my right to contract.

    Where does the Constitution authorize Social Security? Please let me know that one. It is a mystery.

    I love Ron Paul. I asked him to speak at our State Convention last year and he was kind enough to do so. I post information about him often on our Web Site.

    I am a legal researcher. I do not approve of Roberts, Scalia, or Thomas although Scalia, or Thomas are better than the rest. They still support Socialism and protect the New American Civic Religion. They are just High Priests of that religion. I reject them and their religion. Don't you?

    The Hein ruling 2007 was pure Establishment of Bush's religion. It was evil!

    And the Revolution I am involved in is to restore the Constitution that the Republicans and democrats have turned into a worthless scrap of paper.

    On my group: 48,000 and growing and our TV show is helping it grow.

    By the way the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is one of the many tools I use to fight their religion of Communism.

  13. The kind of religion I belong to does strange things to people. They leave their homes and travel to strange lands for years at a time and some times for the rest of their lives. Many went to a whole of a piece of property next to a dead lake. They follow polygamists like Smith and Young. The fight the U.S. Army. They die on crosses. They kill over 150 men in gunfights like Porter Rockwell.

    But in truth I am more concerned about not belonging to a totally fanatic religion: Communism. After all I have been commanded to eschew it.

    Talk to a member of AARP about ending Social Security and they would be willing to fly their own grandchildren into debt and slavery to maintain their Gadianton spoils.

    Talk to a government employee about reducing the National debt by reducing their pay and see what happens. It is not only a fanatic religion but a violent one. Look at Iraq. We went their on lies to support the Federal Reserve Note.

    If Christian do not want to participate in their religion they will send out their armed enforcers. Their black robed priests will try to throw you in prison. They are everything that is evil in a religion.

    My religion is very peaceful generally. We only fight when attacked. Turn the other Cheek Defense and all that.

    In a recent poll Americans fear the IRS more than God.

    Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory. The federal government is our servant, not our master! –Thomas Jefferson

    That about says it all.

    And I never feel alone. I never feel helpless. A local Vegas Paper declared my family to be the scariest in Las Vegas a few years ago because we scare regular politicians.

    We have 48,000 members in the IAP. that is up by 32,000 in four years.

    The freedom movement is growing partially because of my friend who just died, Aaron Russo. His film was a wonder.

    Ron Paul is helping too.

    And my family is in with me every step of the way. It was my wife to told me when we first married that if I filed a return she would divorce me. I thought it was a GREAT idea. We are still married.

    My kids have run for office and both my sons won court battles. One made National news with his win against the Social Security Number. The other was a 7-0 win at the Nevada Supreme Court that put my youngest son back on the ballot.

    The Hein case proved Robert's was a Bush man through and through and that he cared nothing about the Constitution. He is just another Fascist in a Black robe.

  14. Christopher,

    Thank-you! You raise some excellent points - I definitely have some things to ponder.

    I have found that generally when people include religeous references in their arguments that it is generally because they have no logical rebuttal. While your references to past Church presidents and the Gadianton's did cause me to wince, I think your arguments could very well stand on their own, inspite of the references.

    I actually worked for the LDS Church up until about a year back. A large reason why I left that employment was an HR Managers use of the fact that President Hinckley was over the HR Committee to justify some of his actions. His initial mistake was trying to lie to a room of attorneys, his second and biggest was pulling out the eclesiastical trump card to cover that one up.

    As a result of that experience and a others, I question everything now, especially when people use a Church leader or other religeous reference as an argument.


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