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Topic: "Lets give up on the constitution"< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 9:06 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

http://www.nytimes.com/2012....ll&_r=0

Lets not be bound by what James Madison et al wanted 225 years ago.


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Killing one person is murder, killing a 100,000 is foreign policy
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 10:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"Read my book!"

I'll wait for the movie.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 10:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah, that too.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 10:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

On my commute I'm a habitual NPR listener: but at the very first mention of a "book" I hit the sports talk radio button.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2013, 10:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah I hear you. But do you also mean to say its not really his position, but will make a good book and a lot of money?

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 12:17 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

He's pimping his book already.

"Louis Michael Seidman, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University, is the author of the forthcoming book “On Constitutional Disobedience.”"

And it's a remarkably insane idea whether he really believes it or just wants to make enough noise to sell the book. In either case: pass.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 3:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm a little disappointed High Sierra, I thought the article had a lot of merit, worthy of discussion.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 8:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You mean a guy who has an article printed in the NY Times also happens to be a book author? What are the chances?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 8:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Jan. 28 2013, 12:17 am)
QUOTE
He's pimping his book already.

"Louis Michael Seidman, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University, is the author of the forthcoming book “On Constitutional Disobedience.”"

And it's a remarkably insane idea whether he really believes it or just wants to make enough noise to sell the book. In either case: pass.

Agreed.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 10:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

+1

From the OP article:

Our obsession with the Constitution has saddled us with a dysfunctional political system, kept us from debating the merits of divisive issues and inflamed our public discourse. Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago.


The article doesn't point out that the US Constitution was drafted by a bunch of senile and drunken old men while sitting in a tavern. So the many inconsistencies should not be surprising.

Thankfully, most modern courts pretend that the document has relevance, but skillfully ignore the meaningless gibberish even as thy uphold such things as arbitrary police stop and seizures despite the supposed protections of the meaningless document. Stop and Frisk

Modern courts simply hold that "reasonable" trumps any bothersome US Constitution language. So the "right to bear arms shall not be infringed" for example, becomes the "right to bear REASONABLE arms subject to COMMON SENSE restrictions". In such a manner the entire US Constitution has been made meaningless - but still held in some irrational reverence as if the gibberish really mattered.

The topic of slavery was skillfully ignored - the "all men created equal" somehow overlooked until the 1860's. The result was that millions lost their lives unnecessarily.

The examples go on and on. The document is just drunken gibberish. Period.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 12:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ecocentric @ Jan. 28 2013, 12:29 am)
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I'm a little disappointed High Sierra, I thought the article had a lot of merit, worthy of discussion.

And yet you haven't discussed it at all: just commented on my post?

Now why is that?
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 1:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have a few comments following these 4 paragraphs from the Opinion Piece:
QUOTE
Our obsession with the Constitution has saddled us with a dysfunctional political system, kept us from debating the merits of divisive issues and inflamed our public discourse. Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago.

As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is. Imagine that after careful study a government official — say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress — reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?

Constitutional disobedience may seem radical, but it is as old as the Republic. In fact, the Constitution itself was born of constitutional disobedience. When George Washington and the other framers went to Philadelphia in 1787, they were instructed to suggest amendments to the Articles of Confederation, which would have had to be ratified by the legislatures of all 13 states. Instead, in violation of their mandate, they abandoned the Articles, wrote a new Constitution and provided that it would take effect after ratification by only nine states, and by conventions in those states rather than the state legislatures.

No sooner was the Constitution in place than our leaders began ignoring it. John Adams supported the Alien and Sedition Acts, which violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech. Thomas Jefferson thought every constitution should expire after a single generation. He believed the most consequential act of his presidency — the purchase of the Louisiana Territory — exceeded his constitutional powers.


The author raises some valid points, but I think his fundamental premise is wrong.

To ignore the Constitution would be to ignore the foundation of our legal system and the concept of the Rule of Law (as opposed to rule by men).

The Constitution provides for necessary changes the Founders did not specifically anticipate; it's called Amendment.

Thomas Jeffereson apparently understood that he and the other Founders -- however great their accomplishments and true their vision -- were human beings not prophets or Gods (despite the tendency to elevate them to that status, especially by those who insist on strict adherence to the Constitution as originally written).

Yes, we must adhere to our Constitution, but we also need to be adept at self-government, which means improving upon the Foundation laid by the Founders so that 225 years later it better serves the functions for which it was intended.

No, we should not introduce Amendments without considerable thought and debate. That's why large majorities are required for passage.

Unfortunately, the American citizenry as a whole and our representatives in Washington in particular are not very adept in this early part of the 21st century.

It is up to each and every one of us to cooperate for the common good, even if that concept is not ideologically acceptable to some  :;):


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 1:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

and another link at the bottom of the same page:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013....er.html
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 2:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sorry, I was too tired last night to compose much of a comment. Bass and Woody picked up on the parts that rang true to me. It is human nature to elevate our heros to some mythological status, but I think that shifts the responsibility away from us here and now. Congress may not be the best example of how good government is the responsibility of every generation, but they are a product of our shared national failures, the combined bumbling of we the people.

I think that many misinterpret Jeffersons words when they think that rebellion is a necessary part of democracy. I think that the series of revolutions that he foresaw, was a revolution of ideas, guided by our past, but fresh with ideas that have been freed from the bias and ignorance of the past.


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