Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Jonah Goldberg over at NRO has a good rant on how the Constitution should be "dead" and not "living."

  • NRO

  • The concept of a "living Constitution" is bizarre to me and seems very anti-democratic. The Idea that 9 all-powerful individuals can change the meaning of the Constitution based on what is fashionable at the time or what the NY Times likes to cover disturbs me quite a bit. When hostilities ended after the Civil War, Congress when ahead drafting Amendments to the Constitution to reflect the change in attitudes with respect to the rights of minorities. People wanting to ensure that the EXPLICIT rights granted in the Constitution extended to ALL did not engage in a concerted effort for the Court to interpret in the Constitution in a manner reflecting these values, rather the reformers in the United States used the political process to reflect the modern trend in the country. The fact is, a bill passed both houses of Congress, voted on by the people is much less controversial then a decree from Mount Olympus( The Supreme Court) to the people of the country. It is especially important for the political process to be used in dealing with controversial issues like affirmative Action or Sodomy laws. The Supreme Court ruling on issues that reasonable people can reasonably disagree on only flames the debate and polarizes the sides. When the political process resolves these issues, there seems to be more legitimacy to the ultimate decision. The power of the Supreme Court to Change the Constitution based on modern values should only be reserved for especially egregious issues and then only after the political process fails to resolve the problem.