Our Threatened Freedom

How Does The Supreme Court Make Those Decisions? (03:46)

R.J. Rushdoony


R.J. Rushdoony: 00:01 How does the Supreme Court make those decision? This is R.J Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom. I have often wondered how the US supreme court can make such strange and far reaching decisions. The court can take a word or a phrase out of the constitution and manufacture a whole bureaucracy full of laws. I have a theory about the matter. John Marshall was the judge who early in the court’s history established the courts power and its far reaching interpretations. There is an interesting story about Marshall, in those days the entire court stayed at a boarding house while their wives remained in their home states.

R.J. Rushdoony: 00:50 Since the justices lived together, they discussed the cases all the time but most seriously their weekly consultation day in chambers. Since some people claim the justices were drinking too much, Marshall introduced the rule, “No drinking whatsoever on any consultation day except on those occasions when it was raining.” After all on wet, dump weather, the justices had the right to keep law. Now, after a week of sobriety, a consultation day came along and Marshall was getting thirsty. He asked Justice Joseph Story to go to the window and check on the weather situation, was there any rain in sight.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:41 Story looked one way and then another for some sign of rain, and then came back to the table and said very earnestly and I quote, “Mr. Chief Justice, I have very carefully examined this case. I have to give it as my opinion that there is not the slightest sign of rain.” Chief Justice Marshall then delivered his legal verdict, and I quote, “Justice Story, I think that is the shallowest and most illogical opinion I have ever heard you deliver. You forget that our jurisdiction is as broad as this republic and by the laws of nature, it must be raining some place in our jurisdiction. Waiter, bring on the ram.”

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:35 Well, historians won’t agree with me, but I think that kind of thinking is in the background of all too much of the supreme court’s thinking and of much of our law courts. A man who wants a drink will always come up with a good reason for it and the judge who wants to justify his prejudices will give us Marshall’s logic every time and for this kind of thinking we call them justices. Marshall’s cousin was Thomas Jefferson and Jefferson said once that if you made any kind of clear-cut statement to Marshall, that John Marshall would take your statement, line up legal opinions around it and prove what you wanted not to believe and he from the beginning wanted to conclude.

R.J. Rushdoony: 03:26 In other words, he made your words a means of undermining you. Perhaps this is the reason that many view Marshall as a great judge, maybe, but not a great champion of freedom. This has been R.J Rushdonny with a report on our threatened freedom.

Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965.  His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.”  He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.

Learn more about R.J. Rushdoony by visiting: https://chalcedon.edu/founder