the garage to serve that purpose.” Evenrnif we grant Judge Bork’s military expertise,rnit does not follow that because thernoriginal purpose of an explicit right is obsolete,rnthe right itself no longer exists.rnThe Court ruled in the Miller decision ofrn1939 that certain weapons, like sawedoffrnshotguns, were not covered by thernSecond Amendment because they werernnot useful in warfare (it was wrong onrnthat too, since sawed-off shotguns havernbeen used in warfare, especially trenchrnwarfare), but it has never held that “therernis no individual right to own a firearm.”rnHad it done so, there would be no legalrnfirearms in the country today.rnJudge Bork’s remedy for the courts isrnsimply to abolish judicial independencernby allowing Congress to overrule by majorityrnvote any court decision it dislikes.rnNot only would his proposal not correctrnconstitutional mechanisms, it would effectivelyrnexterminate any pretense thatrnthe rule of law, independent of the lawmakers,rnis even what is supposed to governrnthe country. At least, however, JudgernBork is willing to entertain radical measures,rnunlike some of his neoconservativerncritics. Bill Kristol has remarked thatrnwhat’s wrong with Judge Bork is that “hernmakes it seem that only an extreme measurernwould do any good.” No, what’srnwrong with Judge Bork is that his particularrnextreme measure would do no good,rnnot that no extreme measure would dornany good.rnGiven the ignorance, opportunism,rnand cowardice of congressional Republicansrnand the uselessness of such mentorsrnas Judge Bork, then, it was hardly surprisingrnthat Mr. DeLay’s plans for stringingrnup the judges soon came to naught.rnWhatever Mr. Gingrich thought aboutrnthose plans when his lieutenant submittedrnthem, it was left to the MajorityrnLeader of the Senate to disillusion Mr.rnDeLay that the Republicans were reallyrnserious about restoring the Constitution.rnOnly a few days after Mr. DeLay had laidrnout his grand strategy, Trent Lott let thernair out of the impeachment tire. “I don’trnthink there is going to be a plan to look atrn[impeachment] as a way to express ourrnopinion on their rulings,” said the Mississippirnsenator. Only a judge’s committingrna crime would interest him and the Senaternin impeachment, and the DeLayrnplan died a quick and quiet death.rnMr. Lott was probably right. In thernfirst place, precisely because most Republicansrnare not serious about constitutionalism,rnit was always unlikely the partyrnwould proceed with the tribunals Mr.rnDeLay contemplated. Secondly, impeachment,rnas anyone who knows a bitrnabout its historical origins and use inrnBritish history can tell you, is a dangerousrngame. Whoever starts it seldom finishesrnit, and the annals of England arcrndrenched in the blood of ministers whornwere impeached by the House of Commonsrnsimply for their political actions.rnThere is no reason why the Democratsrncould not use the impeachment swordrnagainst those judges and other officeholdersrnthey dislike as much as the Republicansrncan, and my bet is that thernDemocrats would play the game a bitrnmore skillfully than their rivals. Finally,rnthere is the issue of whether it is reallyrnright to impeach judges just because ofrntheir rulings. Mr. Lott is correct that thernConstitution does not seem to providernfor that, saying only that impeachmentrnshall be for “high crimes and misdemeanors,”rnbut it can be argued that thisrnlanguage does allow for the impeachmentrnof officials for noncriminal conductrn(if, indeed, that is an accurate descriptionrnof concerted efforts to subx’crtrnthe Constitution). In any case, withoutrnMr. Lott’s support and that of the senatorialrnmyrmidons he commands, therernwould be no purpose in the House impeachingrnanyone, so the DeLay schemernseems to have died aborning.rnOf course, if the Republicans reallyrnwere serious about restoring the Constitutionrnor controlling a judiciary that hasrnescaped all bonds of law and rationality,rnthey would not have to resort to measuresrnas drastic or as disturbing to BillrnKristol as impeachment or even amendment.rnArticle II, section two of the Constitutionrngives Congress authority to regulaternthe appellate jurisdiction of thernSupreme Court, and the Court itself hasrnacknowledged this authority in the 1868rnruling Ex parte MeCardle. All the majorityrnof the Congress has to do is enact arnlaw (or several) stating that the Courtrnshall have no jurisdiction in whateverrnkinds of cases the majority doesn’t wantrnit to have jurisdiction over: abortion, sexualrnmorality, national security, burningrnthe flag, obscenity, or even any case arisingrnfrom a state or local law. With onernstroke, the Congress could wipe out thernIncorporation Doctrine and effectivelyrnrestore the Constitution to life.rnThat the Republicans do not seriouslyrn(or even unseriously) propose that,rnrather than tinker with silly amendmentsrnthat will ne’er pass anyvs’ay or mutter idlernthreats to impeach judges that can’t bernfulfilled, ought to tell us something notrnonly about the Republicans but the naturernof law itself. “Law follows power,”rnwrote Kevin Phillips some years ago, andrnwhile he is hardly the only person tornmake that observation, he puts it as succinctlyrnas it can be put. I luman law is arnfiction agreed upon, and the laws thatrngovern human communities are alwaysrnmerely reflections of the elites in powerrnand their interests and values. The alterationrnof the Constitution from a documentrnruling a decentralized republic ofrnself-governing citizens into one authorizingrnthe construction of a centralized, bureaucraticrnleviathan is an integral part ofrnwhat James Burnham called the managerialrnrevolution, the historical processrnby which law is replaced by administrativerndecree, federalism is replaced by executivernautocracy, and a limited governmentrnreplaced by an unlimited state.rnThe distortion of the Constitution, inrnother words, is not merely the product ofrna handful of ignoramuses who havernwarmed their hindquarters on thernbenches of the courts but of a complexrnand protracted displacement of one rulingrnclass by another. Because the revolutionrnin this country happened to takernplace “within the form,” as Caret Garrettrncalled it, it was necessary to adapt thernConstitution and existing political institutionsrnto the needs of the revolutionrnand the new elites that it brought tornpower, rather than simply junk it andrnstart over.rnThe new managerial elites needed therncentralization, uniformity, and powerrnthat the courts readily gave them andrnwhich the old Constitution did not allowrnthem to have, and the Republican Party,rnat least as much as its rival, was eager andrnwilling to help them out. It should not,rntherefore, be too surprising that Republicanrnblather about restoring the old Constitution,rnthe old federalism, and the oldrnRepublic is not to be taken seriously orrnthat whenever some harmless drudgernlike Mr. DeLay has one drink too manyrnand starts babbling about getting serious,rnhis superiors in the party at once explainrnto a patient press and public thatrnthey have no intention of doing what hernsuggests. In the effort to restore life tornthe Constitution, as in so many similarrnefforts, Americans who are serious willrnhave to look beyond the Republican Partyrnand the leviathan that the party hasrnhelped create.rnAUGUST 1997/35rnrnrn