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“Our cases acknowledge the [option of imposing a lesser sentence than the death penalty], but they say that the content of the Eighth Amendment changes from age to age, to reflect (and I quote) ‘the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.’ You will note the wide-eyed, youthful meliorism in this sentiment: every day, in every way, we get better and better. Societies always mature; they never rot. This despite the twentieth century’s evidence of concentration camps and gas ovens in one of the most advanced and civilized nations of the world. Of course the whole premise of a constitution in general, and of a bill of rights in particular, is the very opposite of this.” — Antonin Scalia, Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith and Life Well-Lived
Justice Scalia was a widely lauded originalist in his understanding of the Constitution, and his explanation of originalism in this book is enlightening. But his comment about the Left trying to justify their interpretations of the Constitution is profound. They demonstrate, over and over again, their naivete, arrogance, and ignorance about human nature that dominates their thinking in a way that endangers our Constitutional democracy.
I’ve been watching a free online course from Hillsdale College that focuses on the historical workings of Congress and the invasion of Progressivism. With the creation of the administrative state and the reliance on the Supreme Court to legislate, the checks and balances of government have been dangerously compromised.
Let’s hope the current Supreme Court is more interested in ruling on cases than legislating, and in relying on the wisdom and writing of the Founders.