This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
So under Thom Hartmann's theory when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton that was passed by a Republican Congress that SCOTUS had no constitutional authority to do that. By the way DOMA was a law making it illegal for same-sex marriages to be recognized by the Federal Government. Which to me at least is unconstitutional on its face and deserved to be thrown out. But under Mr. Hartmann's theory SCOTUS had no business touching that bill.
Thom Hartmann making what would be called a strict-constructionist argument about the constitutional authority of the U.S. Supreme Court. Which means to put it simply that if the actual words do not exist in the Constitution for individuals or governments or organizations to do X or Y, then those rights and powers do not exist. To use as an example since the word privacy does not exist anywhere in the Constitution Americans do not have a constitutional right to privacy in the United States even under the Fourth Amendment. That would be a strict-constructionist argument.
I hate to break it to anyone who is not aware of this especially people on the further left in America (to be nice), but America is not a social democracy and we never have been. We are a federal republic in the form of a liberal democracy which is different. And just because there's a popular majority that says Congress should pass X or Y and Congress does pass X or Y, doesn't mean Congress does actually pass that law in the first place. But even if Congress does pass the law that doesn't mean that law stays in place. And that is where the Supreme Court comes in to decide not if laws are well written or are good laws. But to decide on the constitutionality of them and nothing more.