February 18, 2010

Rule of Law Key to Mt. Vernon Statement

Committee for Justice Executive Director Curt Levey joined dozens of the nation’s conservative and libertarian leaders on George Washington’s estate yesterday to sign the historic Mount Vernon Statement in a ceremony led by former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese. The statement reaffirms the leaders’ commitment, set forth 50 years ago in the 1960 Sharon Statement, to the Founding Fathers’ “enduring framework of limited government based on the rule of law”. That framework, which “ensures that government performs its proper job effectively,” is responsible for making the United States “a prosperous, just nation unlike any other in the world,” explains yesterday’s statement.

In comments today, Mr. Levey emphasized that “the Mount Vernon Statement encapsulates CFJ’s core mission of promoting the rule of law, including the Constitution’s limits on the power of the federal government. Moreover, the statement’s reaffirmation of ‘the central place of individual liberty in American politics and life’ stands in sharp and welcome contrast to the collectivism and extra-constitutional notion of group rights that is so fashionable among the intellectual elite.” (emphasis added)

“In recognizing that the ‘federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant,’ the Mount Vernon Statement captures the problem of judicial activism borne of a belief in a malleable Constitution,” said Levey. “The evolution of the Constitution through the democratic process of constitutional amendment has been all but forgotten by an elite that would rather impose its values and will on the majority through creative constitutional interpretation in the courts,” Levey explained. “Constitutional interpretation that is based on the intellectual fashions of the day, rather than being grounded in the text and intent of the document and its amendments, is exactly the sort of ‘dangerous deception’ masquerading as ‘change’ that the Mount Vernon Statement warns of.”

“The Mount Vernon Statement emphasizes that ‘[t]he change we urgently need .. is not movement away from but toward our founding principles,’ and that includes a return to the rule of law rather than today’s rule of judges,” Levey added.

Americans who share our belief in limited government based on the rule of law are encouraged to sign the Mount Vernon Statement online at the link below.