View Poll Results: Does the original intent still matter when discussing the Constitution?

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  • Yes. We should strictly follow both the letter and spirit of the original intent.

    28 35.90%
  • Yes. We should follow the original principles and then apply them as new issues arise.

    21 26.92%
  • Yes. The original intent of the Constition is important, but other factors must be considered.

    15 19.23%
  • No. The Constitution is a guiding set of principles that we can interrpret to fit our current needs.

    10 12.82%
  • Other

    4 5.13%
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Thread: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

  1. #281
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    That's because you failed to make a point. You held up women's suffrage and the abolition of slavery as objectively good ideas (which they are) that might not come to fruition if left up to popular sentiment or legislative action despite the fact that both of them were addressed via the Amendment process.
    Slavery was hardly abolished through the typical amendment process. It was done so at the barrel of a gun. I suspect you wouldn't like it if activists held state legislatures hostage until they ratified an amendment that, say, spelled out the power of Congress to be involved in health care and environmental policy?
    Last edited by Kandahar; 10-28-09 at 01:25 PM.
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  2. #282
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    That's relevant.... how?
    Read what Hatuey wrote:

    This is flawed on two levels. The first that a good idea is necessarily popular with people in Congress. And second that a good idea is popular with the general population. Ending slavery was a good idea. However highly unpopular with a large number of states. So was giving women the right to vote. A highly unpopular idea. A good idea does not depend on popularity.
    Are women's suffrage and the abolition of slavery inherently good ideas, or did they only become good ideas once the Constitution was amended? If they are inherently good ideas, why weren't they included from the outset? Hell, slavery couldn't even be abolished without extreme coercion of the states.

    Worshipping the Founding Fathers' "original intent" and the constitutional amendment process is absurd, when both have plenty of flaws.
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Read what Hatuey wrote:
    I did. How long it took to make these changes is meaningless; that the chages were made thru the amendment process - as opposed to an interpretation of the living constitution based on the argument that they are 'good ideas' - is the relevant point.

  4. #284
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    I did. How long it took to make these changes is meaningless; that the chages were made thru the amendment process - as opposed to an interpretation of the living constitution based on the argument that they are 'good ideas' - is the relevant point.
    A) The Constitution guarantees all states a republican form of government. That passage has been in there from the beginning, and could easily be interpreted to include minorities and women. But no, that would be "judicial activism," right? Better to deny people their rights for decades.

    B) The North was OCCUPYING the South and FORCED the states to pass the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. If they were dealing with any issue other than slavery, most people would view these changes as illegitimate. They were hardly passed through the traditional amendment process that the Founding Fathers had in mind.
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  5. #285
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    It is still the lamp post of of our society that we base our laws on and sometimes even our moral compass.

    Do I think it should be re-written to get with the here in and now and the upcoming 2010? Probably.
    ~Following My Own Flow~

  6. #286
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    A) The Constitution guarantees all states a republican form of government. That passage has been in there from the beginning, and could easily be interpreted to include minorities and women. But no, that would be "judicial activism," right? Better to deny people their rights for decades.

    B) The North was OCCUPYING the South and FORCED the states to pass the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. If they were dealing with any issue other than slavery, most people would view these changes as illegitimate. They were hardly passed through the traditional amendment process that the Founding Fathers had in mind.
    Again -- how is this relevant to what I said?

  7. #287
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Slavery was hardly abolished through the typical amendment process. It was done so at the barrel of a gun.
    Yes, the people had to do it. War, Amendment process, it's the people who - for better or worse - decide.

    Do you honestly think a judicial activist could have abolished slavery or imposed women's suffrage from the bench? Who appoints the judiciary? Who appoints the person who appoints the judiciary?

    I suspect you wouldn't like it if activists held state legislatures hostage until they ratified an amendment that, say, spelled out the power of Congress to be involved in health care and environmental policy?
    I don't understand your point.

  8. #288
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goobieman View Post
    Again -- how is this relevant to what I said?
    I abso-****ing-lutely KNEW you were going to respond with that asinine statement that you always do whenever you're backed into a corner. God damn you're annoying. I'm ****ing done with you, as usual. I'll debate Ethereal instead, since he actually has a brain.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 10-28-09 at 01:57 PM.
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  9. #289
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    Yes, the people had to do it. War, Amendment process, it's the people who - for better or worse - decide.
    So then forcing legislatures to ratify an amendment at the barrel of a gun is a legitimate way to amend the Constitution? Where does the document say THAT?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal
    Do you honestly think a judicial activist could have abolished slavery or imposed women's suffrage from the bench?
    I don't know, but they certainly could have tried. The Constitution explicitly guarantees the states a republican form of government. It isn't much of a stretch to interpret that as including women's suffrage and minority rights...unless, of course, you are wedded to an "original intent" interpretation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal
    Who appoints the judiciary? Who appoints the person who appoints the judiciary?
    The President and the people. Are you suggesting that it's just as hard to re-interpret the Constitution from the bench as it is to pass a constitutional amendment? The legal history of our country would beg to differ.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal
    I don't understand your point.
    If the amendment process is coercive, it's hardly legitimate, right? So I don't see why you tout the 13th amendment as an example of the success of our amendment process being used to implement a good idea. It took a civil war and an occupation of the South, and was hardly passed because that's what the southern states WANTED.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 10-28-09 at 02:01 PM.
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  10. #290
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    Re: The Constitution: Does Original Intent Still Matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I abso-****ing-lutely KNEW you were going to respond with that asinine statement that you always do whenever you're backed into a corner. God you're annoying. I'm ****ing done with you, as usual. I'll debate Ethereal instead, since he actually has a brain.
    Cry on, wussie-boy -- no longer having to listen to you trying to blame your rather vast intellectual and emotional shortcomings on my refusal to play your pre-pubescent games will make my life so much the better.

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