Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Court and the Constitution

Postmodernism Infects Justices?

If you want a concise picture of what's the matter with our legal (and legislative) system here in the United States, this article in USA Today draws it for you.

Actually, I should say "what's wrong with the people in the system" rather than the system. The system envisioned by America's Founding Fathers is just fine. It's the people in all branches of government who have become a mite addled, or forgetful.

Let's hone in specifically on this line from the article . . .

As the two justices make clear when they appear together at law schools, Scalia's approach to the law is hard and fast. He interprets the Constitution based on its 18th-century context and focuses tightly on the words of a law. Breyer looks at the Constitution and federal laws in the context of contemporary society.

I think the liberal, postmodern bias in the article (and in justices like Stephen Breyer) gives itself away a bit with the words "18th-century context." Read between the lines, and that means "outdated, old, behind the times, not worth considering." The century has nothing to do with it. An idea isn't true or false because of how old it is. Some ideas and principles are timeless. Justices like Antonin Scalia look at the words of the Constitution and interpret it in light of original intent. It's the same way modern laws are (or should be) interpreted by the courts. What was the intent of the author or the legislature?

If the laws in question are outdated or need updating, that's what the legislature is for. If something in the Constitution really needs changing, that's why the amendment process is written into it. The Founders in their wisdom purposefully made the amendment process difficult for the fundamental law of the land.

That's why liberals really hate the Constitution, and love postmodern thought. "Living, breathing" words mean whatever they want them to mean. The Constitution stands in their way of remaking America along their ridiculous, statist, Utopian ideals. It stands in the way of them ramming their plans down everyone else's throats. The Constitution in their minds must either be re-interpreted along their mindset, or it must be eliminated, either de facto or in reality.

President Barack Obama said as much in a Public Radio interview, i.e. the Constitution really stands in the way of what he and his acolytes want to accomplish.

That fact ought to sober a few people up.


Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis!

Rick Potter said...

""Living, breathing" words mean whatever they want them to mean."

Exactly, Joel. And if we per chance happen to inquire just why they deem these words to be so alive, the retort contains very little objectivity.

Good thoughts.