Quote of the Day: Originalism and the Constitution

 

“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.

There are 32 comments.

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  1. Vectorman Thatcher

    Susan Quinn: 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.

    By only mentioning Nazi Germany, Scalia is being subtle here. He could have included the Soviet Union and Imperial Japan (1933-1945) as being advanced nations, as both were highly important in World War II. Obviously, if we include other Socialist (China, USSR, Cambodia, etc.) nations, the record is clear on genocide.


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    • #1
    • November 12, 2018, at 6:44 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. Mark Camp Member

    I more than “like” this.

    • #2
    • November 12, 2018, at 6:51 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    I more than “like” this.

    Thanks, @markcamp. I especially like Scalia’s additional explanation of originalism that conflicts with the Progressives. They insist that it’s necessary to figure out the “intent” of the Constitution; no it’s not. It is necessary, instead, to understand its meaning. Therein lies a big part of the conflict.

    • #3
    • November 12, 2018, at 7:08 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  4. Mark Camp Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    “… I especially like Scalia’s additional explanation of originalism that conflicts with the Progressives. They insist that it’s necessary to figure out the “intent” of the Constitution; no it’s not. It is necessary, instead, to understand its meaning. Therein lies a big part of the conflict.”

    I’m not familiar with those words of his, but I think I understand what he was saying, and if so, I agree that it’s a very good insight. 

    Progressivism is inherently a religion of lies. Progressivist strategy for proselytizing is therefore a playbook for making false but appealing arguments, cleverly customized for each defensive stronghold of liberal society. A favorite method for use on vain and weak-minded but otherwise well-intentioned intellectuals is sophistry, in the sense of deliberate distortion of language to confound and mesmerize.

    Their use of “intent” sounds like an example of this: “intent” is sometimes used as a synonym of “meaning”, by liberals. But it has a second meaning, which has to do with results rather than, or independent of, eternal principles.

    Perhaps that was the idea he was writing about? I don’t have time to read it right now, sorry for asking a question I could look up.

     

     

    • #4
    • November 12, 2018, at 9:00 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    Their use of “intent” sounds like an example of this: “intent” is sometimes used as a synonym of “meaning”, by liberals. But it has a second meaning, which has to do with results rather than, or independent of, eternal principles.

    In part, it means that the Founders “intended” to serve the country that was present at the time, i.e., what the Progressives say is needed. Scalia says that it’s not what we think they meant, but what they actually did mean, at the time, period. It’s ludicrous that the Progressives think the meaning can be changed by their elite because they know what this country needs. Balderdash.

    I have to go out for a couple of hours, but I’ll find a quote from the book. Glad to do it!

    • #5
    • November 12, 2018, at 9:05 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    Their use of “intent” sounds like an example of this: “intent” is sometimes used as a synonym of “meaning”, by liberals. But it has a second meaning, which has to do with results rather than, or independent of, eternal principles.

    In part, it means that the Founders “intended” to serve the country that was present at the time, i.e., what the Progressives say is needed. Scalia says that it’s not what we think they meant, but what they actually did mean, at the time, period. It’s ludicrous that the Progressives think the meaning can be changed by their elite because they know what this country needs. Balderdash.

    I have to go out for a couple of hours, but I’ll find a quote from the book. Glad to do it!

    I think it is more than that; it is what the specific words used in the constitution meant at the time. It means you cannot rely on Madison’s notes or The Federalist to interpret because it has the same defects as using the Congressional Record to determine Congressional “intent” regarding legislation. Applying Originalism is still difficult because of the inherent ambiguity of language, but without at least attempting to do so you end up with Constitutional interpretation unmoored from the Constitution itself.

    • #6
    • November 12, 2018, at 9:15 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Gumby Mark, (R-Meth Lab of Dem… (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):
    Their use of “intent” sounds like an example of this: “intent” is sometimes used as a synonym of “meaning”, by liberals. But it has a second meaning, which has to do with results rather than, or independent of, eternal principles.

    In part, it means that the Founders “intended” to serve the country that was present at the time, i.e., what the Progressives say is needed. Scalia says that it’s not what we think they meant, but what they actually did mean, at the time, period. It’s ludicrous that the Progressives think the meaning can be changed by their elite because they know what this country needs. Balderdash.

    I have to go out for a couple of hours, but I’ll find a quote from the book. Glad to do it!

    I think it is more than that; it is what the specific words used in the constitution meant at the time. It means you cannot rely on Madison’s notes or The Federalist to interpret because it has the same defects as using the Congressional Record to determine Congressional “intent” regarding legislation. Applying Originalism is still difficult because of the inherent ambiguity of language, but without at least attempting to do so you end up with Constitutional interpretation unmoored from the Constitution itself.

    Thank you, @gumbymark! Well said.

    • #7
    • November 12, 2018, at 9:37 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. The Reticulator Member

    Vectorman (View Comment):
    Vectorman  

    Susan Quinn: 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.

    By only mentioning Nazi Germany, Scalia is being subtle here. He could have included the Soviet Union and Imperial Japan (1933-1945) as being advanced nations, as both were highly important in World War II. Obviously, if we include other Socialist (China, USSR, Cambodia, etc.) nations, the record is clear on genocide.

    If you are trying to convince the right it’s good to use the Soviet example because they are already convinced that the Soviet regime was evil on every level. If you are trying to convince the left you use the Nazi example, because the lefts have already internalized the fact that the Nazis were evil. They are less clear about the Soviets.

    • #8
    • November 12, 2018, at 11:02 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  9. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Vectorman (View Comment):
    Vectorman

    Susan Quinn: 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.

    By only mentioning Nazi Germany, Scalia is being subtle here. He could have included the Soviet Union and Imperial Japan (1933-1945) as being advanced nations, as both were highly important in World War II. Obviously, if we include other Socialist (China, USSR, Cambodia, etc.) nations, the record is clear on genocide.

    If you are trying to convince the right it’s good to use the Soviet example because they are already convinced that the Soviet regime was evil on every level. If you are trying to convince the left you use the Nazi example, because the lefts have already internalized the fact that the Nazis were evil. They are less clear about the Soviets.

    There’s another reason Scalia made the reference to Germany, and not Russia or the Soviet Union – the point was this occurred in “one of the most advanced and civilized nations of the world”. Neither Russia nor the Soviet Union ever fell into that category.

    • #9
    • November 12, 2018, at 11:04 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. Mark Camp Member

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    it is what the specific words used in the constitution meant at the time.

    What does the pronoun refer to (“it”)?

    • #10
    • November 12, 2018, at 12:39 PM PDT
    • Like
  11. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    it is what the specific words used in the constitution meant at the time.

    What does the pronoun refer to (“it”)?

    I was referring to the @susanquinn comment, “Scalia says it’s not what we think they meant, but what they actually did mean, at the time, period.” The question is how to determine “what they actually did mean” which is what my comment was directed at.

    • #11
    • November 12, 2018, at 12:44 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    It means you cannot rely on Madison’s notes or The Federalist to interpret because it has the same defects as using the Congressional Record to determine Congressional “intent” regarding legislation.

    Scalia also commented on the use of documents from outside the Court (such as legislative and committee notes); justices described this approach as a way to get more clarity on an issue, and he criticized that practice soundly! Although I believe it’s done anyway. If you rely on what the words of the Constitution mean, all this other information just muddies the waters.

    • #12
    • November 12, 2018, at 1:11 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  13. Hoyacon Member

    Here is textualist Scalia’s notable “telephone directory” remark, concurring in Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Dept. of Health, and rejecting an evolving, judicially sanctioned “right to die” (i.e., suicide) prohibited by state law:

    While I agree with the Court’s analysis today, and therefore join in its opinion, I would have preferred that we announce, clearly and promptly, that the federal courts have no business in this field; that American law has always accorded the State the power to prevent, by force if necessary, suicide — including suicide by refusing to take appropriate measures necessary to preserve one’s life; that the point at which life becomes “worthless,” and the point at which the means necessary to preserve it become “extraordinary” or “inappropriate,” are neither set forth in the Constitution nor known to the nine Justices of this Court any better than they are known to nine people picked at random from the Kansas City telephone directory; and hence, that even when it is demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that a patient no longer wishes certain measures to be taken to preserve her life, it is up to the citizens of Missouri to decide, through their elected representatives, whether that wish will be honored. It is quite impossible that those citizens will decide upon a line less lawful than the one we would choose; and it is unlikely (because we know no more about “life-and-death” than they do) that they will decide upon a line less reasonable.

    Federalism.

    • #13
    • November 12, 2018, at 2:05 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  14. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    It means you cannot rely on Madison’s notes or The Federalist to interpret because it has the same defects as using the Congressional Record to determine Congressional “intent” regarding legislation.

    Scalia also commented on the use of documents from outside the Court (such as legislative and committee notes); justices described this approach as a way to get more clarity on an issue, and he criticized that practice soundly! Although I believe it’s done anyway. If you rely on what the words of the Constitution mean, all this other information just muddies the waters.

    In some instances the Constitution clearly allows Congress to act but the situation the court faces when a legal challenge is filed is interpreting what the legislative language means. In that context Scalia (quite rightly) objects to using the Congressional Record in arriving at a conclusion.

    • #14
    • November 12, 2018, at 2:15 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    It means you cannot rely on Madison’s notes or The Federalist to interpret because it has the same defects as using the Congressional Record to determine Congressional “intent” regarding legislation.

    Scalia also commented on the use of documents from outside the Court (such as legislative and committee notes); justices described this approach as a way to get more clarity on an issue, and he criticized that practice soundly! Although I believe it’s done anyway. If you rely on what the words of the Constitution mean, all this other information just muddies the waters.

    In some instances the Constitution clearly allows Congress to act but the situation the court faces when a legal challenge is filed is interpreting what the legislative language means. In that context Scalia (quite rightly) objects to using the Congressional Record in arriving at a conclusion.

    An example of the problems when one goes outside the actual language of legislation can be seen in King v Burwell (2015), the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in which Justice Roberts wrote the majority opinion upholding the Obama Administration’s interpretation of the Affordable Care Act providing subsidies for those using Federal exchanges in states where state exchanges have not been established.

    Roberts wrote that “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.” The problem was that the language of the statute didn’t allow for the outcome Roberts endorsed through his opinion. As Justice Scalia pointed out:

    “The Court interprets 36B to award tax credits on both federal and state Exchanges. It accepts that “the most natural sense” of the phrase “Exchange established by the State” is an Exchange established by a State. . . Yet the opinion continues, with no semblance of shame, that “it is also possible that phrase refers to all Exchanges, both State and Federal” . . . The Court claims that “the context and structure of the Act compel [it] to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase”.

    Roberts interpreted the language loosely in accordance with the Administration’s view it was a drafting error and conflicted with the law’s purpose. Yet we also had public statements by Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of the ACA, that the language was deliberate in order to incentivize the state to establish exchanges.

    Who’s right? Who cares, is the right answer. Go back and look at what the language says. Roberts was wrong.

    You can read more on this fiasco in a post I wrote at the time.

    • #15
    • November 12, 2018, at 3:41 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  16. Saint Augustine Member

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    It means you cannot rely on Madison’s notes or The Federalist to interpret because it has the same defects as using the Congressional Record to determine Congressional “intent” regarding legislation.

    Scalia also commented on the use of documents from outside the Court (such as legislative and committee notes); justices described this approach as a way to get more clarity on an issue, and he criticized that practice soundly! Although I believe it’s done anyway. If you rely on what the words of the Constitution mean, all this other information just muddies the waters.

    In some instances the Constitution clearly allows Congress to act but the situation the court faces when a legal challenge is filed is interpreting what the legislative language means. In that context Scalia (quite rightly) objects to using the Congressional Record in arriving at a conclusion.

    As example of the problems when one goes outside the actual language of legislation can be seen in King v Burwell (2015), the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in which Justice Roberts wrote the majority opinion upholding the Obama Administration’s interpretation of the Affordable Care Act providing subsidies for those using Federal exchanges in states where state exchanges have not been established.

    Roberts wrote that “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.” The problem was that the language of the statute didn’t allow for the outcome Roberts endorsed through his opinion. As Justice Scalia pointed out:

    “The Court interprets 36B to award tax credits on both federal and state Exchanges. It accepts that “the most natural sense” of the phrase “Exchange established by the State” is an Exchange established by a State. . . Yet the opinion continues, with no semblance of shame, that “it is also possible that phrase refers to all Exchanges, both State and Federal” . . . The Court claims that “the context and structure of the Act compel [it] to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase”.

    Roberts interpreted the language loosely in accordance with the Administration’s view it was a drafting error and conflicted with the law’s purpose. Yet we also had public statements by Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of the ACA, that the language was deliberate in order to incentivize the state to establish exchanges.

    Who’s right? Who cares, is the right answer. Go back and look at what the language says. Roberts was wrong.

    You can read more on this fiasco in a post I wrote at the time.

    Jiggery-pokery, that was. Pure applesauce!

    • #16
    • November 12, 2018, at 3:55 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    Who’s right? Who cares, is the right answer. Go back and look at what the language says. Roberts was wrong.

    This was such a error on his part in so many ways. Thanks for pointing it out, @gumbymark. He was too busy worrying about the Supreme Court being perceived as political. His action proved it was acting in precisely that way.

    • #17
    • November 12, 2018, at 4:08 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. Mark Camp Member

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    it is what the specific words used in the constitution meant at the time.

    What does the pronoun refer to (“it”)?

    I was referring to the @susanquinn comment, “Scalia says it’s not what we think they meant, but what they actually did mean, at the time, period.” The question is how to determine “what they actually did mean” which is what my comment was directed at.

    Thanks, that answers my question.

    • #18
    • November 12, 2018, at 4:10 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. Mark Camp Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Scalia says that it’s not what we think they meant, but what they actually did mean, at the time, period.

    Thanks, Susan. I don’t understand this sentence at all. I don’t think that either side argues that its errors could take precedence over the truth.

    I guess I will need to see the text.

    • #19
    • November 12, 2018, at 4:16 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Scalia says that it’s not what we think they meant, but what they actually did mean, at the time, period.

    Thanks, Susan. I don’t understand this sentence at all. I don’t think that either side argues that its errors could take precedence over the truth.

    I guess I will need to see the text.

    @gumbymark answers the question above in #6. The words of the Constitution, at the time they were written, had a certain meaning. We’re not supposed to assume that we can “adapt” that meaning for the times, based on current circumstances. Also if the Constitution says the Federal Government can do certain things, those are the things it can do. The States get to rule on everything else. So for example when the Supreme Court said that abortion was legal (it had nothing to do with any of the Bill of Rights), it didn’t have the authority to make that ruling. The same applies to same-sex marriage. Only the states, if they choose to, can make those rulings. (If I’ve got it wrong, someone will correct me.) Of course, the precise meaning of words at the time has to then be applied to current technologies. Then it gets tricky.

    • #20
    • November 12, 2018, at 4:39 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Hoyacon Member

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):

    Roberts interpreted the language loosely in accordance with the Administration’s view it was a drafting error and conflicted with the law’s purpose. Yet we also had public statements by Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of the ACA, that the language was deliberate in order to incentivize the state to establish exchanges.

    Who’s right? Who cares, is the right answer. Go back and look at what the language says. Roberts was wrong.

    You can read more on this fiasco in a post I wrote at the time.

    Here’s a QOTD of mine from two years ago that I trot out every so often:

    “Political reasons have not the requisite certainty to afford rules of juridical interpretation. They are different in different men. They are different in the same men at different times. And when a strict interpretation of the Constitution, according to the fixed rules which govern the interpretation of laws, is abandoned, and the theoretical opinions of individuals are allowed to control its meaning, we have no longer a Constitution; we are under the government of individual men, who for the time being have power to declare what the Constitution is, according to their own views of what it ought to mean.”
    –Justice Benjamin Robbins Curtis, dissenting in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)

    Yes, dissenting. Dred Scott, perhaps the most reviled of all SCOTUS decisions, was in a manner a progressive (and political) approach to legal interpretation.

     

    • #21
    • November 12, 2018, at 5:01 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    \

    You can read more on this fiasco in a post I wrote at the time.

    Here’s a QOTD of mine from two years ago that I trot out every so often:

    “Political reasons have not the requisite certainty to afford rules of juridical interpretation. They are different in different men. They are different in the same men at different times. And when a strict interpretation of the Constitution, according to the fixed rules which govern the interpretation of laws, is abandoned, and the theoretical opinions of individuals are allowed to control its meaning, we have no longer a Constitution; we are under the government of individual men, who for the time being have power to declare what the Constitution is, according to their own views of what it ought to mean.”
    –Justice Benjamin Robbins Curtis, dissenting in Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)

    Yes, dissenting. Dred Scott, perhaps the most reviled of all SCOTUS decisions, was in a manner a progressive (and political) approach to legal interpretation.

    Taney’s opinion in Dred Scott is perhaps the first example on the Supreme Court applying the theory of the Living Constitution

    • #22
    • November 12, 2018, at 8:57 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. OccupantCDN Coolidge

    I often wondered if those ‘folks’ who believe in the ‘living document’ legal doctrine could make a list of living documents. Is the tax code alive? Can the secretary of the treasury fiddle with the tax rates? or the criminal codes? Uniform Code of Military Justice? Speed limits?

    I mean, if there is a such a thing as a living document, there must be dozens or hundreds of them running around. Nothing exists in a singularity, there are many or there are none.

    • #23
    • November 12, 2018, at 10:18 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  24. Saint Augustine Member

    What’s the point of the USA if a written Constitution is not supreme law?

    What’s the point of writing the supreme law down if its meaning changes when the writing doesn’t change?

    • #24
    • November 12, 2018, at 10:53 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  25. The Reticulator Member

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    I often wondered if those ‘folks’ who believe in the ‘living document’ legal doctrine could make a list of living documents. Is the tax code alive? Can the secretary of the treasury fiddle with the tax rates? or the criminal codes? Uniform Code of Military Justice? Speed limits?

    I mean, if there is a such a thing as a living document, there must be dozens or hundreds of them running around. Nothing exists in a singularity, there are many or there are none.

    I’ve often made the point that those who’ve wanted to abrogate our treaties with Native Americans ‘cuz times have changed are much like the living, breathing Constitution people. 

    • #25
    • November 12, 2018, at 11:02 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    I often wondered if those ‘folks’ who believe in the ‘living document’ legal doctrine could make a list of living documents. Is the tax code alive? Can the secretary of the treasury fiddle with the tax rates? or the criminal codes? Uniform Code of Military Justice? Speed limits?

    I mean, if there is a such a thing as a living document, there must be dozens or hundreds of them running around. Nothing exists in a singularity, there are many or there are none.

    Great point, @occupantcdn! Of course, they’d say our Constitution is unique and has an enormous impact on this country; that’s why it needs to “live.” Right.

    • #26
    • November 13, 2018, at 5:12 AM PDT
    • Like
  27. She Thatcher
    She

    What an incisive thinker, and clear writer. I miss him. 

    • #27
    • November 13, 2018, at 6:38 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  28. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Beowulf was written down c. 1000 A. D. and is unreadable to a non-scholar.

    Shakespeare wrote on the cusp of the 1500s – 1600s and contains many words that either have partial or completely different meanings than they do today, as anyone who has ever had the plays as assigned readings is aware.

    The Constitution of the United States was written only two hundred years after Shakespeare’s plays.

    We live two hundred years after that. Only a fool would believe that you could just casually read it with no regard to word-shift or what the Founders meant.

    It is a disgrace that we even have a word like ‘Originalist’, as if there could be any other kind of Supreme Court Justice. If the very structure and charter of our nation is subject to the vagaries of language and ‘evolving standards’, then we are unmoored from our foundation.

    And it was such clear and careful writing too.

    • #28
    • November 13, 2018, at 9:29 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  29. Guruforhire Member

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    What’s the point of the USA if a written Constitution is not supreme law?

    What’s the point of writing the supreme law down if its meaning changes when the writing doesn’t change?

    Now you are seeing the nihlism inherant in the system.

    • #29
    • November 13, 2018, at 12:58 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. Saint Augustine Member

    Guruforhire (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    What’s the point of the USA if a written Constitution is not supreme law?

    What’s the point of writing the supreme law down if its meaning changes when the writing doesn’t change?

    Now you are seeing the nihlism inherant in the system.

    Help, help! We’re all being repressed!

    • #30
    • November 13, 2018, at 1:54 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
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