At a CNN town hall event on Wednesday, Dr. Ben Carson said that Congress was not living up to the responsibilities of the legislative branch, having become little more than a rubber stamp for the other two branches of government. In a discussion about whether or not he would nominate a new Supreme Court Justice if he were in President Obama’s shoes, the retired neurosurgeon said that the current problems went far beyond the death of Antonin Scalia.
“I probably would take the opportunity to nominate someone,” Carson said. “But here is the real problem. The Supreme Court is a very important part of our governing system. It was originally intended to consist of jurists who were people who loved America, and were people who fully understood our Constitution, and were there to make sure that America preserved its constitutional traditions. It was not supposed to be a partisan group.”
Carson said that had changed. “It has become very partisan, so as a result, everything that is done surrounding it — the picks, the confirmation hearings, deciding on whether to actually make the vote — all of it has become partisan in reaction to what is happening. Does it mean that we’re forever gone? No, I think it means that these are things that we’re going to have to start looking at.”
To Carson, getting back to that point will require the other branches of government to live up to their constitutional duties.
“We have a Congress that for some reason has become the peanut gallery, and is just watching what the Executive branch and the judiciary do and not really stepping up to correct some of the incorrect decisions that has been made by the Supreme Court,” he said.
Carson is no longer a reasonable bet to win the nomination, but he continues to offer some of the most common sense perspectives on the state of Washington, DC. In a year where voters are clamoring for an outsider’s point of view, his has been a welcome voice. Not to mention, it’s palpable how much he has studied, learned, and grown as a candidate. If voters were to judge these candidates by their work ethic, Carson would deserve a second look.
Unfortunately, he’s been ridden off the rails by a mocking mainstream media which has consistently taken him out of context and made him out to look like a fool. As though anyone writing articles about Carson could even begin to comprehend the kind of mind it would take to do what he has done.
Carson’s ambitions aside, his take on Washington’s dysfunction is both measured and wise. Our judiciary is no more immune to partisanship than any other branch of government, which is fine, but we should hold the Supreme Court to a higher standard. There may be no such thing as an unbiased judge, but we could get a lot closer than we’ve been getting. And if we had politicians in Congress who would put country before party, it would be a good first step.