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View Diary: States rights (135 comments)

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  •  Living/Breathing (gasping?) (none)
    Constitution as it should be interpreted, as a living, breathing document.

    Somewhat off your main point, but... Advocating too strongly that the Constitution be interpreted as a "living, breathing document" could backfire if the makeup of the court changes slightly and shifts to the "right" (vs. to "original intent"). We are living in a time where the legacy of one flavor of activist Supreme Court Justices is so ingrained it is natural to assume that "activist" is synonymous with expansion of individual rights and an increasing role of Federal government in social programs. In the age of "terror", the "living breathing" attitude could result in just the opposite in the next 15 years - as in: "due to the new threat of terror which could not have been envisioned by the drafters of the Constitution, the people's right to [some right you like] may be limited by regulations issued by the Department of Homeland Security".

    It seems appropriate that the SCOTUS apply the concepts of the Constitution to the technological changes of the modern world (for example, it seems appropriate for the court to consider if thermal imaging through the wall of your house w/o a warrant is constitutional or if "virtual" assembly at dailykos.com is protected under the "right of the people peaceably to assemble"). However, for the most part, the Constitution should be allowed to "live and breath" through the well understood process of amendment rather than the capricious whims of whatever party happened to be in power when Supreme Court Justices keel over.

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