“We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”. – J Robert Oppenheimer.
Im totally for gun rights and Ill freely admit that by the constitution that shouldn't be a restriction but as along as its easy like mine was i dont really get and all frazzled by it.
Second, it's very clear that the Constitution was not fixed in stone from the start. The first generations of politicians, especially Washington, knew that their choices would have a major impact on how the nation's political structure and balance of powers would play out. The Framers knew it shouldn't be as specific as statutory law. Jefferson even tossed off a comment about replacing it once a generation.
Third, whining doesn't answer the critical questions.
• WHOSE intent do we follow? The author, the legislators, the ratifiers, the citizens? The citizens whose lives will actually be influenced by the interpretations?
• What happens when the intent was actually divided? E.g. many early post-colonial politicians didn't want a standing army at all, while some did. Whose intent is binding?
• We have absolutely no idea how any of those politicians would react to modern times. E.g. imagining that we know how Jefferson would react to desegregation, let alone the Internet, beggars belief.
• What happens when our ethical concepts change? The Constitution outlaws "cruel and unusual punishment." Are we supposed to hew to the 18th century concepts about punishment? Washington whipped deserters from the Revolutionary Army, with minimal due process; does that mean flogging is back on the table as a valid punishment?
More to the point is that there is no one, single, absolutely accurate interpretation of the Constitution. It doesn't happen. It can't happen. The nature of language, law and politics makes it impossible. Every law and every court decision will rely on an act of interpretation. Even claiming you're following exactly what the Framers intended requires an act of interpreting their intentions.
Nor is that particularly new. In English Common Law, judges routinely needed to rely on precedent, and determine how to apply older laws to new situations. What has changed isn't the process, it is our awareness of the interpretive elements of that process.
There is little reason to doubt the validity of judicial review. The concept was utilized prior to the ratification of the US Constitution. It was solidified in the US in 1803 with Marbury v Madison -- years in which Jefferson, Madison, Adams, John Jay, even Thomas Paine were still alive and active. Even those who disliked it (such as Jefferson) took few, if any, steps to stop it. There was really no doubt after 1803 that the SCOTUS had taken on this role.We, as a nation, failed to do our due diligence in keeping step between the Constitution and changing times. Instead we allowed the SCOTUS to take the power to shortcut the process and make the changes themselves through re-interpretation.
We've also had over 200 years to amend the Constitution and change this system. We didn't. You wanna change it? You know what to do.
And pertinent to the question posed in this thread: People tend to bitch about the judiciary a lot more after a loss than after a victory. I don't recall a lot of pro-gun advocates decrying judicial activism, or judicial review, in the wake of Heller....
How the hell would I - or anyone - know what EVERY, single GOP loyalist believes in?
'What kind of sick and twisted toy factory is this?'
'We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile, and nothing can grow there. Too much, the best of us is washed away.'
"Better to be dead and cool, than alive and uncool."
These threads are absolutely amazing in their all around assumptions that all Americans even care about the constitution or ever did to begin with. It's an old document from a bygone time. Assumptions are dangerous things.
Consider it's a document that was created by slave owners who didn't want women to ever be able to vote nor people who didn't own land.
I actually very much like the US constitution but it does scare me just how assumptive your average constitution supporter is in regards to the average American.
Having opinions all over the map is a good sign of a person capable of autonomous thinking. Felix -2011
Most Republicans (as are Most Democrats) are not political partisans. They tend to be more moderate, tending to agree with their party of choice but not having a real strong attachment to it, and may even cross over if the right issue or candidate comes along (look at Reagan Democrats for a classic example).
The problem with the far sides both Left and Right is that they all to often tend to dominate the discussion. More moderate people are often willing to make concessions and find a neutral ground, while the partisans want an "all or nothing" approach, and anybody who does not agree should be burned at the stake.
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. - John Stuart Mill