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View Diary: Impeachment and the Original Intent of our Founders (108 comments)

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  •  The Supreme Court is the necessary instrument (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jimdotz

    for the evolution of the Constitution and this country.

    •  I used to agree until they decided Bush v. Gore (1+ / 0-)
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      StrayCat

      as corruptly as they did in 2000.

      The Founders must have spun in their graves when the Supreme Court handed down that decision.

      Wes Clark -- The President we were promised as kids.

      by Jimdotz on Sun Jun 17, 2007 at 05:58:58 AM PDT

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    •  Constitution like any legal document (1+ / 0-)
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      Jimdotz

      does not "evolve."  It is a legal text with meaning.  If that meaning changes whenever 5 justices think that it is time for a change, the Constitution becomes meaningless and useless.  If jsutices can simply change the Conatitution, the Amendment process becomes irrelevant.  What's teh point of writing things down if the meaning of what you wrote down is subject to constant change?

      •  The word of the Constitution embody and declare (1+ / 0-)
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        Jimdotz

        ideas about the proper place and function of government.  As society evolves, the ideas in the Constitution remain, but their application to new circumstances allows for social change.  I submit that the Constiution, though a legal document, is also far more than that, and as an organic law must be read more broadly and more philosophically than statutory or case law.

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Sun Jun 17, 2007 at 09:29:29 AM PDT

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        •  Of course the Constitution (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jimdotz

          must be applied to new situations.  That is a given.  But again, if the Constitution is subject to virtual amendment by the Court, then the real Amendment process is irrelevant, as in fact everything in the Constitution save for the structure of government sections.  If the Court can simply philosophize as to what is "good" then there is no need for written text.  Why even pretend that they are interpreting words on a page.  Let's be honest and come out and say that the Supreme Court is really there to impose its vision of "good" on the populace.

          The problem is, thatI do not see why Supreme Court is any better at philosophizing then the other 2 branches or people as a whole.  Why invest them with that power?  Nor do I recall signing up for the government by philosopher kings.  I thought we left that form of government behind in roughly the 18th century.

          •  You speak strongly, but there is a difference (1+ / 0-)
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            Jimdotz

            between what is "good" and what is constitutional.  It is Constitutional to leave birth control decision between married couples.  Many, including the religious right, would consider that "bad"  So what, it is still Constitutional.  To the extent that a Court decides what is "good" instead of what is Constitutional, the Cour oversteps, as it did in Bush v. Gore, and in many other cases.  Where the philosopher king comment comes from, i don't know.  My view is as anti-Platonic as possible when it comes to government.

            Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

            by StrayCat on Sun Jun 17, 2007 at 09:53:30 AM PDT

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            •  It is Constitution to leave that decision to (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jimdotz

              couples.  It is also constitutional not to.  That's the point.

              •  I disagree, it is Unconnstitutional for the state (1+ / 0-)
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                Jimdotz

                Federal or state, to intrude into the privacy of any person.  It's non of the government's business.  There are Constitutional limits on the criminal law, and in the absence of real social harm, creation of a crime is unconstitutional.  Do you contend that the 9th and 10th Amendments do not protect against any government in the United States making it a crime to READ DAILY KOS.  AFTER ALL, the Constitution only guarantees the freedom of the press, i.e. to publish.  There is no explicit guarantee that reading published material cannot be prohibited and punished.

                Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

                by StrayCat on Sun Jun 17, 2007 at 10:15:35 AM PDT

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                •  I do not see privacy rights to be (1+ / 0-)
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                  Jimdotz

                  protected by the constitution.  I most certainly do not see the idea that absent social harm (in whose estimation, btw) it is illegal to criminalize something.

                  Freedom to read Daily Kos is not protected by the 9th or the 10th Amendments.  It is protected by the First.  Freedom to publish, necesarily includes freedom to disseminate.  Press does not mean just impressing letters on paper.  It means (and always meant) publishing for public distribution.  Your argument on that point is rather silly.  And it is rather clear that the founders and ratifiers meant to protect exchange of ideas in enacting the 1st Amendment.

                  •  Yes, they did "mean" to protect the exchange of (1+ / 0-)
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                    Jimdotz

                    ideas.  However, where do you find those words in the Constitution?  It is from the history, the press of the time, and from Court decisions renderd over time.  Likewise, the 9th and 10th Amendments are not meaningless prose, to be ignored, or to be declared surplusage.  The same basis for understanding the Fisrt Amendment exists for understanding the 9th and 10th.
                     On your other point, the existence of social harm is always a problem in legislating criminal law, and at the margins is a crazy undertaking.  However. from the statement "Armed Robbery is a social harm, and is criminalized, to fraud is a social harm and is criminalized then on to contraception is a social harm, and is therefoe criminalized is clearly moving into a different category.  There is a line there, which becomes cleare over time as legislatures stray less and less into our live and the freedoms explicit and implicit in the Constution become recognized and honored.  Remember, the constitution would never have been adopted absent the guarantee of all ten amendments of the Bill of Rights.

                    Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

                    by StrayCat on Sun Jun 17, 2007 at 10:34:06 AM PDT

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