Rules for Rulers

A commentary on the Constitution, the 2nd Ammendment and life in general.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Constitutional Originalism

I called this blog Rules for Rulers in deference to the US Constitution. The Constitution is a document that I believe contains the rules for our rulers and government. It's an unfortunate comparison though. I don't believe that our government was ever meant to rule. As citizens, I think that it is our duty to serve.

Unfortunately, our Supreme Court has granted itself and the federal government almost limitless reach into our lives. Stuart Buck at The Buck Stops Here has an excellent post on Originalism. That is, interpreting the Constitution based on its original meaning. He makes some excellent points. Read it if you have time.

1. One of the common objections to originalism is that it's too hard. All of these overworked judges and Justices don't have the time or expertise to do real historical research into the original meaning of a constitutional provision.1 It is usually liberals who make this charge. While I don't have any specific person in mind, it is curious that the latest liberal cause du jour has been to urge judges to consider the opinions of foreign courts. How are judges supposed to be capable of accomplishing that task? If a judge, despite American legal training, finds it too difficult to understand the history and context of the American Constitution, how likely is it that the judge will be capable of understanding all that is relevant about decisions written in another language and in a completely different context?

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