Time and time again I’m drawn into an argument in which somebody claims that something is either Constitutional or Unconstitutional. In most cases a person will declare something “Unconstitutional” without being able to cite the origin in the Constitution. The next argument is usually that “The Supreme Court decided in plaintiff v. def… that…”. The problem with this is that rarely are these actually Constitutional arguments.
What most people fail to understand is that the Constitution is a contract. It is a contract signed by the original 13 States (and ratified by every state since) that created a federal government. The preamble
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
does not carry the wight of law, it establishes the purpose for which the federal government was created.
The Articles following the Preamble establish the branches of the federal government, grant authority to the federal government, provide for changes in the document and place certain limits on state powers.
The Constitution is a charter. The problem is that it has been violated a thousand times over. Because it is such a sacred symbol, it became like the proverbial lamp post and the drunk. Instead of being used for illumination, it is often used for support which has brought it to ruin. Once it is deviated from it becomes increasinly useless and falls prey to its most obvious flaw, the Judicial branch.
The Supreme Court is the only body which has been able to successfully define its own authority which has caused most of the problems with our Country today. This was actually a concern of many of the founders because the Justices are accountable to no-one. As such they have invented powers the scope of which cannot be found within the very document used to create their posts.
Over the next several weeks I’m going to introduce threads regarding the Constitution because I think that as Republicans (which sadly doesn’t include me anymore) the focus should be returning the Constituiton to its original state, that of the governing law of the land. When we find that our government defines its own power without the consent of the governed we wind up with our current situation today… huge debt, shrinking freedom and unwinnable arguments that prevent us from achieving anything.
With that, I’d like to ask a few things for this discussion:
- How do you validate the Constitutionality of a law/stance?
- What does your research entail?
- Do you believe in “incorporation doctrine”?
- What is the worst SCOTUS ruling?
- If you are going to adhere to the Constitution can you do so when it does not benefit you as an individual?
- Is “Interpreting the Constitution” an authority granted to the SCOTUS?
Hopefully it will make a difference.