by Dr. D ~ January 29th, 2013
CBS news recently aired a segment that featured Georgetown law professor Louis Michael Seidman putting down the US Constitution as hopelessly outdated and suggesting that it be abandoned:
I’ve got a simple idea: Let’s give up on the Constitution. I know, it sounds radical, but it’s really not. Constitutional disobedience is as American as apple pie. For example, most of our greatest Presidents — Jefferson, Lincoln, Wilson, and both Roosevelts — had doubts about the Constitution, and many of them disobeyed it when it got in their way.
To be clear, I don’t think we should give up on everything in the Constitution. The Constitution has many important and inspiring provisions, but we should obey these because they are important and inspiring, not because a bunch of people who are now long-dead favored them two centuries ago. Unfortunately, the Constitution also contains some provisions that are not so inspiring. For example, one allows a presidential candidate who is rejected by a majority of the American people to assume office. Suppose that Barack Obama really wasn’t a natural-born citizen. So what? Constitutional obedience has a pernicious impact on our political culture.
Take the recent debate about gun control. None of my friends can believe it, but I happen to be skeptical of most forms of gun control. I understand, though, that’s not everyone’s view, and I’m eager to talk with people who disagree.
But what happens when the issue gets Constitutional-ized? Then we turn the question over to lawyers, and lawyers do with it what lawyers do. So instead of talking about whether gun control makes sense in our country, we talk about what people thought of it two centuries ago. Worse yet, talking about gun control in terms of constitutional obligation needlessly raises the temperature of political discussion. Instead of a question on policy, about which reasonable people can disagree, it becomes a test of one’s commitment to our foundational document and, so, to America itself.
This is our country. We live in it, and we have a right to the kind of country we want. We would not allow the French or the United Nations to rule us, and neither should we allow people who died over two centuries ago and knew nothing of our country as it exists today. If we are to take back our own country, we have to start making decisions for ourselves, and stop deferring to an ancient and outdated document.
Response: This is just the beginning of a new media assault upon the US Constitution. Look for more TV segments, future documentaries, and popular ‘historical’ movies which build a case against the founding document that guarantees our freedoms. Why? Because it gets in the way of implementing a comprehensive progressive agenda that includes the elimination of guns and tramping upon religious liberty and conscience.
For nearly an entire generation, law students at our most prestigious schools have been subjected to the idea that our Constitution is hopelessly outdated and that the Bill of Rights is really a bunch of ‘negative’ rules that stand in the way and block the best and brightest from making necessary changes for good.
These ideas have substantially been kicking around in academic circles for years and have actually led to the judicial activism that we have been experiencing in the last generation or so. In order to over come the Constitution, legal scholars who don’t like some of it’s provisions have put forth the idea that it is a ‘living document’ after all that can be re-interpreted for the needs of the current generation without any undue deference to the original meaning.
But now there seems to be a new drumbeat to just scrap the document altogether and start over with something that won’t get in the way of a good progressive agenda- like doing away with guns. There are many in this country who would like to disarm America but the 2nd amendment of the Constitution keeps on getting in the way. Some have proposed a new amendment but that would nearly be impossible to pass.
For our own good, many believe that we must be made to give up our guns. Also our outdated religious beliefs should no longer be allowed to get in the way of any necessary changes to our couture and society. So the Constitution which guarantees both rights must go?
Look for this administration to bring about a number of different situations that result in a ‘Constitutional crisis’ or two in the next four years. In the process there is the hope that the founding document will finally be proven to be ‘no longer up to the task’ when it comes to governing a nation in the 21th century. The good news is that the battle for the Constitution is finally going to be exposed and out in the open. *Top