Kentucky Clerk of Courts Kim Davis has gone to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses, because to do so for same sex couples would violate her religious conscience. There are many on the Right that have said she is wrong to expect to keep her job while choosing to not perform this one aspect of her position. The argument from many on the Right is, "Well it is the law and she must obey it or resign her elected position." They also employ the worn and to oft used platitude, "We are a nation of laws, not men."
Primarily I am in agreement with the ideal expressed in the latter statement above. However, if we claim to be a nation of laws, the most sacred of which is the constitution of the United States, then the "law" that Ms. Davis has violated is opinion and not law. The constitution is very clear that the sole legislative ability in the United States of America is vested in the bicameral body known as the House of Representatives and the Senate. And since those august bodies have passed no legislation which was signed into law by the president respective of same sex marriage, what law then is Ms. Davis violating?
The idea of judicial review breathed to life by Marbury vs. Madison was in the opinion of the defendant in that case (and primary father of our constitution) not in keeping with his understanding of this nation's guiding principle. How much more dismayed would Mr. Madison be today if he could see the representative republic he helped to originate imprisoning one of its citizens for practicing her religious freedom of conscience guaranteed by the very document he helped frame? There is nothing to suggest, even by judicial review, that a Supreme Court decision in one case could bypass the constitutional legislative mandate given to congress in favor of law by fiat.
Think about the tyranny of a government that only needs the opinion of 5 justices to impose their will on a nation. It is a concept that is completely antithetical to the principles of our republic which were so torturously brought into being by the Founders. The whole concept of Supreme Court decisions having the weight of law corrupts the foundations of self-government in which the Founders believed so mightily. And if the deliberative process of congress is bypassed in such a manner, how much easier the road has been paved for tyranny.
If a government is given the awesome authority to impose, not law but opinion, on its citizens, whether elected or appointed official or ordinary citizen, then the nation is no longer a republic but has crossed the line into oligarchy. And if that same government, lead by five lawyers in robes, is given domain over millennia-old institutions of civilized society and the prerogative of God, then we as a nation have certainly left Liberty's stage and are waiting in the wings of oppression and tyranny.