Skip to comments.Video: Liberals Use Constitutional Interpretation to Marginalize Original Intent
Posted on 04/15/2010 11:47:08 AM PDT by Welshman007
Liberals have used various means to minimize and marginalize the original intent of the Framers of the U.S. Constitution. A common method is to suggest that the meaning of the Constitution is 'open to interpretation.'
Thus, the Left has convinced a gullible public that ordinary citizens need lawyers educated at Leftwing law schools to tell us what the Constitution means. And, if the Supreme Court is packed with Leftwing revisionists who give little regard to original intent, then the decisions rendered by the court will be a far cry from the philosophy of liberty espoused by the Framers.
Thomas Jefferson said,
"On every question of construction, let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."
(Excerpt) Read more at examiner.com ...
The Right colludes with the Left on the expanded interpretation of “commerce” in Wickard v. Filburn because that also allows the War on Drugs without a constitutional Prohibition amendment.
You won’t get other freedoms back until that alliance is ended.
Well, of course it’s “open to interpretation.” That’s a judge’s job: to “interpret” the law, just as the president’s job is to “execute” and Congress’ job to “legislate.” It being “open to interpretation” is trivial, and by no stretch means original intent is irrelevant. Original intent is precisely what they ought to be “interpreting,” since if the text does not mean what it meant when the law passed, there is no such thing as law.
“The Right colludes with the Left on the expanded interpretation of ‘commerce’ in Wickard v. Filburn because that also allows the War on Drugs without a constitutional Prohibition amendment”
Not everyone on “the Right” agrees with the “War on Drugs.” I, for one, think it’s a pretty clear sign of evil whenever they call something that’s not a war a war. As they say, “war is the health of the state.” Which is fine when there’s an outside threat to defeat with arms; that’s what government’s for. It’s not fine when the health of the state is preserved by fighting our fellow citizens (when said fellows aren’t in rebellion, that is).
The founding fathers were genius. The Constitution is a working mans, a simple to understand document that to the complete contrary was meant to be understandable. The ideas and the wording was well chosen, the complexity of some ideas profound, but the language and brevity was intentionally suscinct, simple, and understandable. It's a document that uses words like “shall not be infringed” not by accident. I think our Constitution is one of the most significant documents EVER to have been put to pen. That document has changed the world like none prior nor present.
Those that talk of a living document etc. do nothing other than undermine the spirit of it's intent. They through smoke and mirrors try to then interpret what they want. Our Constitution is what it is, and anyone with a high school education is able to sit down, read, and understand what it means. That's the way it should be. Once people can't understand the law, people will make the law into whatever they want it to mean to best benefit them. The law, our government itself will loose the basic foundation upon which it was built. There is no complex interpretation required nor vast wiggle room as some suggest. It's very black and white in what it intends to convey.
We really cannot trust those in government to restrict, reduce or otherwise diminish themselves, regardless of party. It won’t happen. It has to come from an angry population.
WRONG! ‘Interpretation’ refers to the process of deciding whether or not new laws passed by the legislative branch are allowed to stand...that has NOTHING to do with the notion that the Court is supposed to ‘attempt to determine what the Framers meant in the original document.’ They TOLD us what it meant! Thus, the commonly accepted meaning of ‘interpretation’ has been expanded to a level never intended, and THAT is why we have strayed so far away from the original intent of the Framers.
And by the way, the Court gives much more weight to legal precedent than original intent.
“WRONG! Interpretation refers to the process of deciding whether or not new laws passed by the legislative branch are allowed to stand”
No. That’s usually called “judicial review.” Interpretation is something courts do to all laws all the time, not just new ones and not just ones that seem to contradict the Constitution.
“the commonly accepted meaning of interpretation has been expanded to a level never intended, and THAT is why we have strayed so far away from the original intent of the Framers.”
Yes, but it’s not the fault of the word “interpretation.” It’s the fault of lazy judges, political activists, and an intellectual tradition inspired by such famous names as Oliver Wendell Holmes, which produced a judicial ideology that somehow became popular. Wait, not “somehow.” We all know why. Loose interpretation has a natural lobby, as it usually means bigger government and bigger government means mo’ money.
“They TOLD us what it meant!”
Even when the law is obvious (and it’s not always so obvious as you seem to imply; not every Constitutional controvery is engineered by intentionally deceitful liberals), it still needs to be interpreted. That needs not be more complicated a process than for the judges to read the relevant text, realize immediately what it means, and carry on.
The most routine cases, which make use of the same old understandings of the same old famous Constitutional clauses that the lowliest shoolboy recognizes, feature paragraphs written by the judges to explain their judgments. That is interpretation. That’s all it needs to mean. It does not mean reading into the text whatever you desire.
“And by the way, the Court gives much more weight to legal precedent than original intent.”
Well, in some cases it is to be understood that the people who set the precedent themselves looked at original intent. Often justices honestly believe a mistake has been made and original intent has been discarded, yet uphold precedent nonetheless. Unfortunate as this is, judges have practical concerns. This is where law and politics clash. Suddenly overturning Roe v. Wade, for instance, would cause all sorts of outrage, perhaps violence, and would tarnish people’s opinion of the court, among other things.
It’s not merely that judges sometimes think like politicians. It’s really, really hard to upturn tradition. Especially long tradition. People don’t sit still and take it. The “switch in time that saved nine,” for instance, perhaps forever set in stone the legality of the New Deal. The time to stand up against extra-Constitutionality was then. To go back and fix things now, whiping out a good portion of the federal government int he process, would be not only unusual but also perhaps dangerous. Think of all the ex-federal employees in the streets. You can’t rewind the clock 70 years without massive resistance.
All this, of course, ought not to disuade justices from reinvoking the Constitution when they can. Liberals weren’t afraid, and haven’t been sufficiently chastised, for throwing out all precedence in the Warren and Burger eras, especially as regards Roe v. Wade. We could get away with it, too (they had and have the benefit of the chattering class and the legal establishment, but these are not the dark days of the 70s anymore; New Dealers are dead and the New Left is rapidly aging). I’d prefer less of a reliance on stare decisis, personally, as well as more personal courage.
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