Note: This “Moore to the Point” commentary aired on NewsTalkSTL on Friday, July 1st. Below is the audio.
There’s an old expression that says “ignorance makes you happy” and it is true. It’s difficult to get upset over something that you don’t know. But, the Supreme Court’s recent events highlight how ignorance can cause anything but bliss. The root cause of so much anger directed at the Supreme Court seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of its role and civics in general.
Take a reaction to the Court’s decision in West Virginia v. EPA . The Court ruled that Congress didn’t give the EPA power to design carbon emission caps to stop the Agency’s approach under the (Obama era ) Clean Power Plan. You’d be fooled by Twitter if you thought the Court had unilaterally destroyed the polar Ice caps.
In reality, what the Court did is remind us that it is the legislative branch – not the executive – that is in charge of rule-making, and a federal agency only has only the power it is specifically granted by Congress.
In other words, it confirmed the powers of all three branches of government as well as their co-equal status, according to our Constitution. This notion might not have been so devastating if Americans were better at civics.