Rules for Rulers

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

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Constitutional Originalist - reprise

In a book review of On Beauty by Zadie Smith on the website Author Trek, my post on Constitutional Originalism was referenced by the reviewer (you'll have to scroll way down in the post to find it). Here is the quote:

On Beauty and Being Wrong 5 p. 327 – a “constitutional originalist” is one who wants the US Constitution to be enacted as the drafters originally intended. Although, given that the drafters left room for further amendments to be made, this seems to be a somewhat ridiculous stance.
The author is correct that the drafters left room for further ammendments, however, a constitutional originalist objects to the current process that is used to circumvent the meaning of this important document. To add or change the Constitution is a long and difficult process. The document has an entire section titled Article Five that outlines in great detail, the process of adding to or ammending the constitution.

This seems like a reasonable thing to expect. The supreme law of the land should not be allowed to drift in the wind of public opinion or political expediency. 3/4 of the states must ratify any change. Truly an act of citizens, not subjects.

Instead of changing the meaning of the constitution by a thousand papercuts using Stare Decisis, those that want to abolish the Second Ammendment, curtail freedom of speech (McCain-Feingold), or take private property by force for the benefit of other private entities (Eminent Domain - Kelo), should use the process outlined in the Constitution and not snake around it in the courts. To summarize, the clear language of the Constitution of the United States of America should be used to change said document. I hope that this clarifies my stance on Constitutional Originalism.


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