What's your brand of constitutional interpretation?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Vanquish, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. Vanquish
    Offline

    Vanquish Vanquisher of shills

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,659
    Thanks Received:
    354
    Trophy Points:
    98
    Ratings:
    +358
    I had written out a fairly concise list of choices with definitions when I realized that the folks here are smarter than your average bear and it was unnecessary.

    Personally, I'm a textualist. If the legislators can't reduce to words what they mean to convey, they've written a bad law.

    Im perfectly willing to make several concessions about this.

    1. I will admit that almost every law requires some bit of interpretation. But the words should still control.

    2. I will admit that it is an unrealistic assumption that interpreters can separate themselves from the body of preexisting beliefs. But this is the role of the judiciary.

    3. I will admit that words are symbols for concepts that shift in meaning over time. But the very concept of stare decisis should help us keep meanings as absolute as they can be. There's a recourse for changing what the law is because it's outdated. Not interpretation - legislation!

    But the whole point of writing something down is to hold people to what is written. I'd love to see more hermeneutics be brought into the legal realm, if the product is focus, not chaos.

    So tell me!
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  2. nodoginnafight
    Offline

    nodoginnafight No Party Affiliation

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    11,755
    Thanks Received:
    1,069
    Trophy Points:
    175
    Location:
    Georgia
    Ratings:
    +1,497
    The constitution is a living, breathing document. Judicial review and interpretation are necessary to apply constitutional principles to contemporary, individual cases.
     
  3. JakeStarkey
    Offline

    JakeStarkey Diamond Member Supporting Member

    Top Poster Of Month

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    Messages:
    136,955
    Thanks Received:
    12,309
    Trophy Points:
    2,165
    Ratings:
    +32,373
    The document is organic, adapting as any instrument for humanity to humanity's needs. The primacy of the legislature, whenever and wherever possible, should be governing, but when the legislature ignores the Constitution or the document was in error in the first place (slavery), then the Supreme Court and Article III's "original jurisdiction" trump.
     
  4. Vanquish
    Offline

    Vanquish Vanquisher of shills

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,659
    Thanks Received:
    354
    Trophy Points:
    98
    Ratings:
    +358
    So you're a Living Constitutionalist. Interesting. Do you hold this view for pragmatic reasons, reasons of intent, or both?
     
  5. Ringel05
    Offline

    Ringel05 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    40,233
    Thanks Received:
    8,005
    Trophy Points:
    2,030
    Location:
    El Paso, TX
    Ratings:
    +17,349
    Number 3
     
  6. Vanquish
    Offline

    Vanquish Vanquisher of shills

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,659
    Thanks Received:
    354
    Trophy Points:
    98
    Ratings:
    +358
    I'm sorry if I was unclear, Ringel. Those aren't choices...those are my concessions to those who disagree with my Textualist approach.
     
  7. Ringel05
    Offline

    Ringel05 Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    40,233
    Thanks Received:
    8,005
    Trophy Points:
    2,030
    Location:
    El Paso, TX
    Ratings:
    +17,349
    Number three is the only way I see as the constitutional process lending itself to numbers one and two, i.e. I agree with you.
     
  8. nodoginnafight
    Offline

    nodoginnafight No Party Affiliation

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2008
    Messages:
    11,755
    Thanks Received:
    1,069
    Trophy Points:
    175
    Location:
    Georgia
    Ratings:
    +1,497
    This is pretty funny
     
  9. Vanquish
    Offline

    Vanquish Vanquisher of shills

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    2,659
    Thanks Received:
    354
    Trophy Points:
    98
    Ratings:
    +358
    What's funny?

    The Living Constitution idea is kind of funny to me. I mean I get that y'all think the past is different than the future, but there's a method for amending things over time that doesn't require judicial activism.
     
  10. Kevin_Kennedy
    Offline

    Kevin_Kennedy Defend Liberty

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    17,590
    Thanks Received:
    1,581
    Trophy Points:
    205
    Location:
    Ohio
    Ratings:
    +2,027
    A "living Constitution" makes the Constitution pointless because it makes the government more powerful than the Constitution. They would simply be able to do whatever they want and attribute it to changing with the times. The fact that we have an amendment process proves that the Constitution was never meant to be a "living" document.
     

Share This Page