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Our SCOTUS and our DOMESTIC ENEMIES!
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Oct 27, 2005, 11:25 PM
 
The discussion concerning the nomination to the SCOTUS exposes and brings to light we have extremists in our society--- left wing militants and right wing militants, which ought to be viewed as domestic enemies of our constitutional system!

What these militants have in common is their desire to use the SCOTUS to impose their personal whims and fancies as being within the meaning of our Constitution, even though their personal views are, without question, in direct conflict with the intent of the Constitution and the beliefs under which it was agreed to by the people when ratifying it, and can be documented from historical records such as:

Madison’s Notes on the proceedings and debates of the convention of 1787; The Federalists and Anti Federalist Papers, recording public debate of the proposed constitution in a series of newspaper articles; and Elliot’s Debates, the actual ratification proceedings of several states, during which time the meaning and intent of the various articles sections and clauses of our Constitution is elaborated upon to gain state ratification, and in many instances it is elaborated upon by the very delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention!

Together, the above sources do in fact record a preponderance of evidence___ a general consensus___ establishing the intent of the framers and ratifiers and the beliefs under which the Constitution was agreed to by “We the People.”

Justice Story in his Commentaries informs us that:

"If the Constitution was ratified under the belief, sedulously propagated on all sides, that such protection was afforded, would it not now be a fraud upon the whole people to give a different construction to its powers?"

And Jefferson tells us:

"On every question of construction [of the Constitution], let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."--Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823, The Complete Jefferson, p. 322.

But the domestic enemies of our constitutional system want to give new meaning to our Constitution and do so without that meaning being accepted by the people via the Constitution’s amending process. What these scoundrels pretend is that the SCOTUS is not bound to abide by the intent and beliefs under which our Constitution was adopted. They eagerly instruct us that the Court is not required to adhere to the intent of the Constitution and support its opinions with supportive references to the historical records mentioned above, because to do so, would bind us to the “dead hand of its framers“.

This thinking disingenuously ignores the amendment process, designed by the framers to allow the people, not renegade judges, make change to accommodate changing times. But there is a reason for their thinking, it cleverly removes the anchor and rudder of our constitutional system [abiding by its documented intent] and sets folks in government free to make the Constitution mean whatever they want it to mean.

The bottom line is, and should be remembered by all freedom loving people, the most fundamental rule of our constitutional system is to carry out the intent and beliefs under which our Constitution was adopted.

“A constitutional provision is to be construed, as statutes are, to the end that the intent of those drafting and voting for it be realized."(Mack v Heuck (App) 14 Ohio L Abs 237)

"No part of the constitution should be so construed as to defeat its purpose or the intent of the people in adopting it."Pfingst v State (3d Dept) 57 App Div 2d 163 .

"the rule being that a written constitution is to be interpreted in the same spirit in which it was produced" Wells v Missouri P.R. Co.,110Mo 286,19SW 530.

"Where language used in a constitution is capable of two constructions, it must be so construed as to carry into effect the purpose of the constitutional convention.” Ratliff v Beal, 74 Miss.247,20 So 865 .

"In construing federal constitutional provisions, the United States Supreme Court has regularly looked for the purpose the framers sought to accomplish.” Everson v Board of Education, 330 US 1, 91 L Ed 711,67 S Ct 504, 168 ALR 1392.

"The primary principle underlying an interpretation of constitutions is that the intent is the vital part and the essence of the law." Rasmussen v Baker, 7 Wyo 117, 50 P 819.

And, see Rhode Island v. Massachusetts, 37 U.S. (12Pet.) 657,721(1838), in which the Supreme Court has pointed out that construction of the constitution "...must necessarily depend on the words of the Constitution; the meaning and intention of the conventions which framed and proposed it for adoption and ratification to the Conventions...in the several states...to which this Court has always resorted in construing the Constitution."

Fact is, even Congress understands this fundamental principle of constitutional law, even though they no longer follow it.:

"In construing the Constitution we are compelled to give it such interpretation as will secure the result intended to be accomplished by those who framed it and the people who adopted it...A construction which would give the phrase...a meaning differing from the sense in which it was understood and employed by the people when they adopted the Constitution, would be as unconstitutional as a departure from the plain and express language of the Constitution." Senate Report No. 21, 42nd Cong. 2d Session 2 (1872), reprinted in Alfred Avins, The Reconstruction Amendments’ Debates 571 (1967),

Now, here is an example of the Court pointing to what the Founders intended by referencing the Federalist Papers 18 times in order to find the legislative intent of our Constitution. See:UNITED STATES v. LOPEZ, ___ U.S. ___ (1995)] Also see: GREGORY v. ASHCROFT, 501 U.S. 452 (1991) and: Nixon v. United States (91-740), 506 U.S. 224 (1993).

Regards,
John W K, Founder
American Constitutional Research Service

"In matters of Power, let no more be heard of confidence in men, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution"Thomas Jefferson
     
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Oct 28, 2005, 03:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by johnwk
The discussion concerning the nomination to the SCOTUS exposes and brings to light we have extremists in our society--- left wing militants and right wing militants, which ought to be viewed as domestic enemies of our constitutional system!

What these militants have in common is their desire to use the SCOTUS to impose their personal whims and fancies as being within the meaning of our Constitution, even though their personal views are, without question, in direct conflict with the intent of the Constitution and the beliefs under which it was agreed to by the people when ratifying it, and can be documented from historical records...
Oh. You mean SCOTUS as the Supreme Court Of The US.

Got it.

Right wing nuts and left wing nuts are both WING NUTS. Even HITLER had to get rid of his wing nut, Ernst Röhm, before he could make real progress.
     
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Oct 28, 2005, 09:14 AM
 
So, then, are you arguing for an interpretation of the Constitution only on its own terms? Bravo, I say. How can one hope to understand historical documents without understanding them on their own terms?
You are in Soviet Russia. It is dark. Grue is likely to be eaten by YOU!
     
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Oct 28, 2005, 09:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by johnwk
The discussion concerning the nomination to the SCOTUS exposes and brings to light we have extremists in our society--- left wing militants and right wing militants, which ought to be viewed as domestic enemies of our constitutional system!

"In matters of Power, let no more be heard of confidence in men, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution"Thomas Jefferson
Great post. I do believe Jefferson is rolling over in his grave at the current state of our nation.
Take It Outside!

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Clinically Insane
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Oct 28, 2005, 10:13 AM
 
Right-wing nuts only exist because of the need to counter left-wing nuts. Get rid of the leftie nutters and your right-wing nutters will dissipate.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
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Oct 28, 2005, 11:35 AM
 
"On every question of construction [of the Constitution], let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."--Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823, The Complete Jefferson, p. 322.
But in doing that wouldn't the country become a very conservative one, looking much like the US in the 1800's or early 1900's?

Something like, 'Future to the Back?'

It was reasonable to do that when jefferson wrote that letter but folly to suggest it today. Yet I suppose the way the founders envisioned it was with the hope the document would serve a USA in the future and that is why it is so flexible as to meet the needs which weren't envisioned by these (wise but, realistically speaking) 18th century men.

So, which is the course to take?

Trying to use their intended as the spirit of interpretation or the way we have, by using it as Felix the Cat's magical bag of tricks that he could shape and conform to do darn near whatever he needed it to do?



The Constitution is the 'magical bag of tricks.' We would be Felix.
     
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Oct 28, 2005, 11:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy
Right-wing nuts only exist because of the need to counter left-wing nuts. Get rid of the leftie nutters and your right-wing nutters will dissipate.
I can always count on your for a laugh!
Why is there always money for war, but none for education?
     
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Oct 28, 2005, 02:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by marden
But in doing that wouldn't the country become a very conservative one, looking much like the US in the 1800's or early 1900's?
Not necessarily, and there are two major reasons for that.

1) The amendment process. Any section of the Constitution can be amended, assuming enough popular support exists. When this occurs, the new amendments replace the old; there is no "older revisions trump newer ones" rule. You can even repeal amendments with other amendments, and not just in theory; it actually happened once.

So if anyone wishes to change what the Constitution means, it is only an amendment away from becoming reality. This was, in fact, the entire point of including an amendment process: if something needed to be changed, and there was popular support for that change, then it could be changed. It's not necessarily an easy task to drum up enough popular and political support for an amendment, but I'm not so sure it should be, as long as it remains possible. Changing the structure of a nation's government is not a thing to be done lightly; shouldn't it require massive popular support before it is fully adopted?

2) Although the Framers weren't "liberal" (by modern standards) by any stretch of the imagination, they were not nearly as "conservative" (by modern standards) as many liberals fear. They rejected mainstream Christianity as corrupt, built compromises directly into the Constitution itself, and generally tried for a minimalist approach when it came to law. No rights were explicitly denied in the original text, and only once has a right been explicitly denied through amendments (that being Prohibition, which was repealed soon afterwards by another amendment).
You are in Soviet Russia. It is dark. Grue is likely to be eaten by YOU!
     
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Oct 28, 2005, 02:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Millennium
Not necessarily, and there are two major reasons for that.

1) The amendment process. Any section of the Constitution can be amended, assuming enough popular support exists. When this occurs, the new amendments replace the old; there is no "older revisions trump newer ones" rule. You can even repeal amendments with other amendments, and not just in theory; it actually happened once.

So if anyone wishes to change what the Constitution means, it is only an amendment away from becoming reality. This was, in fact, the entire point of including an amendment process: if something needed to be changed, and there was popular support for that change, then it could be changed. It's not necessarily an easy task to drum up enough popular and political support for an amendment, but I'm not so sure it should be, as long as it remains possible. Changing the structure of a nation's government is not a thing to be done lightly; shouldn't it require massive popular support before it is fully adopted?

2) Although the Framers weren't "liberal" (by modern standards) by any stretch of the imagination, they were not nearly as "conservative" (by modern standards) as many liberals fear. They rejected mainstream Christianity as corrupt, built compromises directly into the Constitution itself, and generally tried for a minimalist approach when it came to law. No rights were explicitly denied in the original text, and only once has a right been explicitly denied through amendments (that being Prohibition, which was repealed soon afterwards by another amendment).
Thanks.
     
johnwk  (op)
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Oct 28, 2005, 11:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Millennium
Not necessarily, and there are two major reasons for that.

1) The amendment process. Any section of the Constitution can be amended, assuming enough popular support exists. When this occurs, the new amendments replace the old; there is no "older revisions trump newer ones" rule. You can even repeal amendments with other amendments, and not just in theory; it actually happened once.

So if anyone wishes to change what the Constitution means, it is only an amendment away from becoming reality. This was, in fact, the entire point of including an amendment process: if something needed to be changed, and there was popular support for that change, then it could be changed. It's not necessarily an easy task to drum up enough popular and political support for an amendment, but I'm not so sure it should be, as long as it remains possible. Changing the structure of a nation's government is not a thing to be done lightly; shouldn't it require massive popular support before it is fully adopted?
Excellent observation and on point!

Our wise framers provided the amendment process so that the people, and not judges, may alter the constitution to accommodate changing times. Had the framers and those who agreed to our written Constitution intend for Judges and other folks in government to be free to us their position of power to do for the people what the people have not willingly chosen to do for themselves, they would have put such an idea into clear language, and into the Constitution. But the truth is, they left the choice with the people via the amendment process as declared in Article V , thereby insuring any change would be by the reason and choice of the people, and not the mere whims and fancies of those on the Court.

JWK
     
   
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