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View Diary: Extremist Conservative Legal Reasoning on Abortion Rights (269 comments)

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  •  I grow weary... (none)
    listening to people try to surmise what a small group of long-dead white men intended our rights are to be.  
    •  Particularly (none)
      When the people who will actually be deciding the issue are in large part white men who are nearly dead.

      I got troll rated by Bill in Portland Maine

      by Rupert on Mon Aug 08, 2005 at 10:41:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Original Intent (none)
        There were certainly gay people when the Constitution was written, and abortions, and lots of other yucky stuff that our fine fascist friends want to outlaw now.

        Wouldn't "original intent" presume that those should have been outlawed originally by our founding fathers (if they cared)?

        And wouldn't the fact that they were not outlawed at the time indicate that our founding fathers meant it when they said it: individual freedom is the highest goal of our democracy, and that the government should butt out?

        •  They _were_ outlawed (none)
          Sodomy laws, for example, were widely in place.  So was the use of the stocks.  And some states even had their own official state churches.

          Anti-sodomy laws were even expressly upheld by the Supreme Court as recently as the 1980s.

          •  And overturned (none)
            just to clarify, all the above has been thrown out, on the notion that the standards of the Constitution evolve and progress, original intent be damned.
            •  Those were mostly (none)
              state laws, no?

              I was specifically thinking Federal law, though I have no legal or historical expertise in this matter. Just a darned good hunch.

            •  If that is true, there must be some (none)
              theory to help you identify when the Constitution has evolved.

              It must be something more than the collective opinion of 5 or more justices.  So what is it?  Is it when science has shown something to be true?  Is it when a susbtantial minority wants to engage in a certain practice?  

              In other words, if I am a legislator and i want to pass a bunch of laws while at the same time I don't want to violate the Contitution (thereby violating my oath to uphold it) how would I know what the Constitution means at any given point in time?  Where am I to look?

              •  The Constitution... (none)
                has not evolved - it is exactly the same. Never could any law be passed that did not amount to a compeling state interest. What amounts to a compeling state interest has changed.

                At one point in time segregation was seen as a compelling state interest; we have collectively determined as a people that it never really was a compeling state interest and thus it is prohibited by the Constitution.

                Our personal liberties are enshrined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the state cannot take those freedoms away. Abortion is protected by the right to privacy, because by law no individual is hurt by the abortion.

                If you want abortion outlawed then have congress enact legislation that declares that a child begins at conception and then your right to privacy would not extend to abortion. The right to privacy itself is a very important right and it covers alot more than abortion.

                •  "cruel and unusual" changed (none)
                  Although you are correct insofar as the words "due process" haven't changed while the "standards" for interpreting the phrase has, your view doesn't account for places where the standards are actually contained in the Constitution, such as "cruel and unusual."  The meaning of that phrase HAS changed, based on the makeup of the court.

                  So... while the generally more accurate expression is that the Constitutional "standards" have evolved, there are instances where the Constitution itself has changed in meaning.

                  I prefer to amend the Constitution only by the means specifically provided for its amendment (hint: it takes more than 5 votes).

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