The Founding Fathers built a civil justice system designed to protect the God-given, unalienable right of all Americans to present their claims before a local jury. That right was enunciated centuries ago by Moses, when he decreed that a man whose property is damaged by a neighbor’s actions is entitled to punitive damages. That right to civil justice was protected by Article 39 of the Magna Carta, sealed in 1215, when English peasants forced King john to recognize God-given rights to self-government. That right was protected by our Founders in the 7th Amendment to the Constitution, introduced by James Madison during the first Congress, along with the other amendments in the Bill of Rights.
The Founders didn’t limit the exercise of that God-given right to certain causes or to one group of citizens over another group of citizens. As the shackles of racism and sexism were removed, all Americans were eventually afforded that right to seek justice before a jury for their claims. So trespass cases, medical malpractice claims, property rights claims, and lawsuits to protect religious liberty under the First Amendment are equal under the Constitution and Bill of Rights, just as each so if is equal in the eyes of God.
Today on the nationally syndicated What’s Up broadcast on Sirius Channel 131 and 12 radio stations, I discussed the fight for religious liberty brewing over the Obama Administration’s “compromise” on the mandate for insurers to provide contraceptives, some of which act as abortifacients. Those of us who own a business and are faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church, and non-Catholic business owners whose religious convictions oppose abortion, will find it impossible to reconcile that mandate with our religious convictions. Eventually, we might have to seek justice, and prevent the imposition of that mandate, by filing suit in federal court. In so doing, we would follow in the footsteps of our forefathers who sought protection from excessive power wielded by the sovereign, through an appeal in the halls of civil justice. Regardless of anyone’s views on the underlying issues, all Americans should respect the conscientious objections to certain types of medical services, and all Americans should respect the constitutionally protected right to defend such objections in a court of law.
You can download my audio interview from the What’s Up program: