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Constitution Check: Is devotion to the Constitution destroying democracy?
Yahoo! News ^ | 11/12/13 | Lyle Denniston - National Constitution Center

Posted on 11/12/2013 9:34:16 AM PST by NormsRevenge

Lyle Denniston looks at a claim that interpreting an old document, like the U.S. Constitution, is a doomed attempt to apply outdated legal principles.

THE STATEMENT AT ISSUE:

“Professor Neuborne describes this dysfunctional democracy very well, but he does not give the real reason for that dysfunction – the reverence for the United States Constitution. Each of the Supreme Court’s iniquities he lists is based on the interpretation by five of nine high priests of increasingly irrelevant documents written by wealthy white men in an unimaginably different and distant world.”

...

WE CHECKED THE CONSTITUTION, AND…

One of the fundamental issues that deeply divides the nine Justices now serving on the Supreme Court is the proper way to interpret the Constitution’s meaning for today’s world. Some of the Justices believe that the key is the “original meaning” of the document – that is, as it was understood in 1787. Others believe that the document is a “living Constitution” that is adaptable to changing times and thus acquires new meaning from time to time.

No one expects that disagreement ever to be finally resolved. At the same time, all of the Justices agree that the Constitution embodies enduring principles, and that it is the duty of judges in this country to apply them. Even a sincere devotion to those principles, though, is bound to produce disagreements about their contemporary meaning.

What is often misunderstood about the process of constitutional reasoning is that the Constitution itself does not provide all of the necessary answers to any legal problem that turns on enduring principles. No document, and certainly no legal document, can always be understood by its literal meaning. Words are means of expressing ideas, and the same words can mean different things to different judges.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: constitution; democracy; destroying; devotion
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1 posted on 11/12/2013 9:34:16 AM PST by NormsRevenge
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Lyle Denniston is the National Constitution Center’s adviser on constitutional literacy. He has reported on the Supreme Court for 55 years, currently covering it for SCOTUSblog, an online clearinghouse of information about the Supreme Court’s work.


for your consideration and comment.


2 posted on 11/12/2013 9:35:26 AM PST by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
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To: NormsRevenge

Libs and others try the same logic with the Bible. Both works were created in a way that they span time.


3 posted on 11/12/2013 9:36:04 AM PST by Resolute Conservative
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To: NormsRevenge

Devotion to the Constitution preserves republican government, which is the point.


4 posted on 11/12/2013 9:36:30 AM PST by cotton1706
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To: NormsRevenge

No, devotion to democracy is destroying the Constitution.


5 posted on 11/12/2013 9:38:03 AM PST by Edgar3 (Libnorance is a mental disease, and it's getting Progressively worse!)
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To: NormsRevenge

There is nothing wrong with the Constitution. The logic used internally works just fine.

It only starts to come apart as people try to invent crap to get around it.

Like this “democracy” crap. We are NOT a “democracy”. We are a Republic.


6 posted on 11/12/2013 9:38:29 AM PST by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Why ever have a Constitution? Our Constitution is timeless. Communists want to be timeless. The Constitution ruins their evil plans.


7 posted on 11/12/2013 9:38:51 AM PST by dforest
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To: NormsRevenge

Ignoring the Constitution is what is destroying the Representative Republic.


8 posted on 11/12/2013 9:40:30 AM PST by Conspiracy Guy (On the evening of 10/16/13, the ailing republican party breathed its last breath.)
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To: NormsRevenge

The Constitution is explicitly anti-democracy.

Thank God.


9 posted on 11/12/2013 9:40:39 AM PST by Jim Noble (When strong, avoid them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.)
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To: NormsRevenge

I would hope so since America was set up as a Constitutional representative republic, not a democracy. The Founding Fathers hated and abhorred democracy.


10 posted on 11/12/2013 9:43:10 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I'm a Conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Yes, yes it is! And it’s about damn time! Let’s restore the Republic!


11 posted on 11/12/2013 9:43:46 AM PST by FrdmLvr ("WE ARE ALL OSAMA, 0BAMA!" al-Qaeda terrorists who breached the American compound in Benghazi)
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To: NormsRevenge

“Lyle Denniston is the National Constitution Center’s adviser on constitutional literacy.”

Who does not seem to realize that this is not a democracy but a democratic REPUBLIC.


12 posted on 11/12/2013 9:44:00 AM PST by MestaMachine (My caps work. You gotta earn them.)
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To: NormsRevenge

“National Constitution Center” Huh, This “outfit’s” “
Board of Trustees” looks like a Whose-Who is Elitist HACKS:
http://constitutioncenter.org/about/board-of-trustees/


13 posted on 11/12/2013 9:47:07 AM PST by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: NormsRevenge

If someone is of the opinion that that Constitution needs changing, the method is clear; amend it according to the rules set forth in the Constitution. As amended, it remains a contract between the States and the Federal Government, and as long as there are States in the United States it needs to be observed as written, as do all written contracts. If the words in the Constitution don’t mean anything, then the words in all other contracts don’t mean anything, nor do they in law. Words may not be perfect or immortal, but they are all we have to communicate and come to agreement.


14 posted on 11/12/2013 9:47:29 AM PST by Old North State
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To: NormsRevenge

Only the Liberal version of the Constitution.


15 posted on 11/12/2013 9:47:46 AM PST by Usagi_yo
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To: NormsRevenge

The Founding Fathers Rejected Democracy
http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2010/06/29/the-founding-fathers-rejected-democracy/#.UoJpAeKRQSo

Democracy is Mob Absolutism
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2556848/posts

America is a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy!
http://www.scwteaparty.com/ConstRepublic.html

Todd Akin says The Founding Fathers despised Democracy
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/21/1122483/-Todd-Akin-The-Founding-Fathers-despised-Democracy
(It’s difficult to believe that the Kos Kiddies actually posted this on their own website.)


16 posted on 11/12/2013 9:48:28 AM PST by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I'm a Conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: NormsRevenge

The Constitution was written to prevent democracy, thus ensuring freedom, essential rights, and the retardation of tyranny.


17 posted on 11/12/2013 9:49:45 AM PST by lurk
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To: NormsRevenge

We do not live in a “democracy”. Professor Neuborne needs to take a remedial America 101.


18 posted on 11/12/2013 9:51:01 AM PST by eyedigress ((zOld storm chaser from the west)/ ?s)
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To: NormsRevenge

The Constitution was designed to destroy democracy.

Next question.


19 posted on 11/12/2013 9:53:08 AM PST by EBH ( The Day of the Patriot has arrived.)
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To: Edgar3

Democracy is not exactly the virtue that it has been touted to be. Sure, the word is rooted in the Greek term for “rule by the people”, but the determination, of just exactly who “the people” should be limited to, has changed, seemingly by almost every person in the world who has chosen to use the term.

Everybody who happens to be within a particular region? Only individuals over that age of twenty-one (or eighteen, or twenty-five, or sixty)? Only to one gender, or both, or however many more can be “invented”? Should domesticated animals be included, and if so, why not the feral and undomesticated creatures that happen to dwell in close proximity? Should be there be some test of mental capability, or is that just “prejudice” on the part of the folks who determine things?

Democracy can run amok if it is permitted to.


20 posted on 11/12/2013 9:56:58 AM PST by alloysteel (Men may not always be capable of evil, but they are always capable of incompetence.)
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