US Constitution: Static or Dynamic?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Yurt, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. Yurt
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    Yurt Gold Member

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    This has been a question of mine for some time. In college I learned that whether the Constitution is static or dynamic is almost wholly up to the person interpreting the Constitution.

    Here's the fun part.

    The SCOTUS has essentially stated that the US Constitution is a "living" thing. This to me, means the Constitution is dynamic.

    SCOTUS is to be respected. No matter how we may disagree, this court is what separates us from a vast majority of the world's legal systems. Are there party lines where there should be none? It appears so. This greatly disturbs me, but another topic.

    I am interested in how we feel about SCOTUS. Are their rulings solely based on precedence? If so, then are their rulings to ever take into account new "novel" ideas? If solely on precedence, is there any room for for " a change of times?"

    How do we interpret the Constitution?

    Recently there was a post here about the EU's Constitution; page difference, over 500 pages. EU's constitution sounds like a bunch of lawyers getting together and creating something so complex, that someone in a year from now will have to interpret its meaning. Those with legal a education should tread lightly, for they are armed with words, which at time can be more damaging than the sword (so the saying goes). I relish the fact that our constitution is only 11 pages. From a person who believes in God, I relish that there are only "10" commandments. 10. Only 10. The two given in the NT simply sum up the 10.

    Ever walk in a law library? There are thousands, upon thousands, of codes/laws. Necessary? Probably, given the complexity of society today.

    This is why I ask this question, how do we interpret the constitution? EU, well, they added quite few hundred pages. The US, IMHO, has been very successful with only 11 pages. Of course, this has been due in a large part to SCOTUS. Unfortunately, as of late, the justices seem to be picked along party lines. So, another question, is this okay?
     
  2. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Seems to me that we have to look to the Constitution as 'living' meaning that there IS room for interpretation or inferences. Problem comes from how SCOTUS or any court goes about such and to the degree they go. From the Commerce clause we can 'infer' that the FAA falls under; ditto trucking, rail, and interstate highways.
     
  3. Yurt
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    Yurt Gold Member

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    Exactly.

    How do these courts go about such "degrees?" SCOTUS is appointed for life, unless certain crimes preclude otherwise.

    What is "how?" Maybe the eternal question, right along side with "why?"

    Someone has to judge, no?

    What is the "room" for interpretation?

    It simply amazes me that an 11 page document written hundreds of years ago still has strong life in it. This is amazing. I know I grew up with the awe of the US constitution, nevertheless, contemplating such a feat of knowledge and rights for mankind is simply incredible.

    Too often today there are those that try to undermine this document. Ok, it is but a piece of paper with words on it. However, those words have changed the world. As the "uber" redneck guy in the sleeveless flannel on "jeff foxworthy's blue comedy" tour says: I don't care who you are that is (funny), or in my words, I don't care who you are, that is the truth.

    So what power does the SCOTUS have? Afterall, they are the third branch.
     
  4. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    Well it's been debated since Marbury v Madison and will continue to be so, I'm sure. There have been times that the 'public' has stepped in, FDR court packing, but mostly it comes from Congress, passing laws to decide what should be done. SCOTUS can judge unconstitutional, Congress can pass an amendment or rewrite the law.

    Right now, seems they may need to deal with some of the justices thinking that international law is precedent. Wrong in my opinion. Time will tell...
     
  5. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    The Constitution is living in that the people have the power by a 2/3s majority to amend the constitution to deal with issues now facing Americans.

    However, the interpretation of the Constitution should be taken at value. IE it says what it says not what some judges wants it to say. And if the Constitution doesnt address the issue (IE Abortion) then it should be the states right to make their own laws on the matter unless the people want to allow or prohibit it completely through amendment.
     
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  6. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    Well said, by 2/3rd's that is States not population if I am correct.
     
  7. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    Agreed. I don't view the Constitution as a "living" document and I am extremely suspicious of the motives of some of the people who do. I cringe whenever that phrase is used by liberals - especially liberal activist judges. Because their use of that phrase usually indicates that they are going to inject their own prejudices into their "interpretation" of the Constitution and the result will be a convoluted and unrecognizable perversion of the text of the Constitution.

    I think that the Constitution should be treated as etched in stone. It should only be amended as outlined therein. It should not be amended by the application of the petty preferences of a handful of black-robed mini dictators.
     

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