Thoroughgood v. United States Air Force
District Judge Strychnus issued this ruling from the bench today.
Once more Marjorie Thoroughgood comes to this court. This time, it seems, she has been reading her copy of the Constitution of the United States. This case is an example of the mischief that happens when ordinary citizens read the Constitution. Such reading is better left to trained lawyers and judges. This court feels like the Catholic Church must have felt after the invention of the printing press and ordinary people started reading the Bible on their own instead of listening to their priests tell them about it. All kinds of deviltry resulted.
Nevertheless, here she is with a real case and it is the job of this court to decide it. I do not sit here to avoid difficult decisions. The People pay me to make decisions and I do. And since I was just speaking of the Bible, I remind the public that I am not like many judges: I know the point of that story in the Bible about King Solomon and the baby: Solomon did not cut the baby in half. Cases come to me; I input the facts, mechanically apply the law and out comes a legal decision. I don’t cut babies in half. What is more, my personal beliefs play no role at all. I am an unfeeling but purely rational thinking machine. I am completely unemotional, lack all bias, feel no prejudice, always use the “Oxford” comma, and never render a decision based upon my own upbringing, background, and experiences.
I am a robot of the law.
Which is why this is such a perplexing case. Mrs. Thoroughgood wants me to issue a court order outlawing the United States Air Force. Yes, you read that correctly. She wants me to shut down the entire United States Air Force. Even the Thunderbirds!
She bases this astounding suggestion on actual words she finds in the Constitution; put there by our sainted Founding Fathers. So there is no mistake, I quote those words exactly as they appear in the Constitution:
Congress shall have the power . . .
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
Those are the actual words. You can look them up. They are found in the Constitution at Article I, Section 8. The careful reader will note at once that no mention is made of an Air Force. Only a Navy and an Army are noted. Worse, the words “Air Force” appear no where else in the document either. I know: I read the entire Constitution word for word last night and it is completely silent on the subject of an Air Force. Not one word anywhere in the entire thing, including all the Amendments, about an “Air Force”. Not even in Article 2, Section 2, where we are told:
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States . . . .
Not a word about an “air force.” Those are the words of the Constitution and I can’t change them less I be accused of being one of those liberal activist judges who are always trying to usurp power by “interpreting” the Constitution. Unless I depart from the Original Intent of the Fathers, I have to apply the words they wrote, consequences be damned.
Thus it appears that neither Congress nor the President is authorized to establish or pay for an Air Force. Congress attempted to do it in the National Security Act of 1947, creating the Air Force as a separate branch of the military and ending the U.S. Army Air Corps, which served nobly and well in World War II. The modern Air Force provides the Nation with its aerial, space, and cyber warfare capabilities. But even an Act of Congress cannot stand if it contravenes express language of the Constitution. Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803). It is for the Judicial Branch to make such decisions and I am the Judicial Branch for this case. See generally, Posner, “What am I, a Potted Plant?” Overcoming Law (1995)
I can imagine the consternation this court’s ruling will create, but I can’t help that. The injunction will issue. Costs to Ms. Thoroughgood.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
A new blog category exists now entitled “It Is So Ordered.” Into that category will be dumped all these faux judicial opinions which will issue from time to time from officious, dim-witted fake judges, many of whom – coincidentally – will come from the “originalist” or “fair meaning” school of judging so admired by Justice Scalia.
The two photos of the USAF Thunderbirds were taken by USAF TSgt.Sean M. White and are in the public domain.