Tuesday, July 19, 2005

SCOTUS Announcement: 9 p.m., EDT

The AP reports that President Bush has chosen his nominee for the Supreme Court: "The announcement was set for 9 p.m. EDT from the East Room of the White House. The nominee's family was expected to be with Bush and the candidate."

Will it be Judge Edith Clement of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans? (Pictured left.) We'll soon see.

(By the way, even though it looks like a longshot, I'll just stick with my prediction that the President nominates Janice Rogers Brown.)

In his sermon last Sunday at Bethlehem Baptist Church, John Piper completed a short series on submission to the governing authorities. In it he discussed the issue of the Supreme Court and originalist judges. As you read his short explanation, why not pray that God would mercifully grant a dignified confirmation process, and that whoever is confirmed to the Supreme Court would faithfully discern the intended meaning of our Constitution, for the promotion of liberty and justice? Here is Piper:

[I]n America, submission to “governing authority” is first submission to a constitution. This has significant implications for the way the constitution is interpreted and applied—which is a weighty issue in American life at the present time. One implication is that a constitution (or a contract or a lease or a statute or a Bible) cannot have authority over us if we can make it mean whatever we want it to mean. In other words, if you don’t believe that there are objective, original intentions of the authors of the Constitution that define and control its meaning, then you will give to it your own meaning, and that is the opposite of submission to it. So one great implication of saying that God calls us to submit to the Constitution (including its due process for amendment) is that it implies that the Constitution has a fixed, objective meaning.

In the days to come, as appointments to the Supreme Court are put forward, we will be hearing much about how judges interpret the constitution. I am saying that implied in Romans 13 and in the Bible as a whole is the truth that documents can have authority no further than they have objective unchanging meaning. And the Constitution should have authority and therefore it should be interpreted according to the objective meaning given by the authors, along with all the proper applications of those meanings which the authors may not have foreseen.