* * * * *
In 1824, in retirement 37 years after serving as the Constitutional Convention’s prime mover, James Madison, 73, noted that the 1787 “language of our Constitution is already undergoing interpretations unknown to its founders.”
He knew that the purport of the text would evolve “with the changeable meaning of the words composing it.”
* CUTE! WITH THAT LINE MR. WILL CREATES THE INFERENCE - WHICH READERS ARE SUPPOSED TO ABSORB - THAT THIS WAS ALL "FINE AND DANDY" WITH MADISON - AND BY EXTENSION THE OTHER FOUNDERS... AND MORE INSIDIOUS, THE INFERENCE CLEARLY IS THAT TO OPPOSE THE "NATURAL EXERCISE" OF HUMAN NATURE IN THE PURSUIT OF POWER IS TO SIMPLY BE ACCEPTED AS "NORMAL."
* WELL, FOLKS... IT IS NORMAL... BUT... BAD NORMAL - NOT GOOD NORMAL!
* MADISON IS NOT CHEER LEADING HIS LIFE'S WORK BEING UNDER ASSAULT; NO, HE'S SIMPLY RECOGNIZING THAT THERE ARE THOSE WHO WILL KNOWINGLY AND WILLING ABUSE THEIR OFFICES AND VIOLATE THEIR OATHS IN ORDER TO "GET WHAT THEY WANT" AT ANY COST.
Now, 147 years since ratification of the 14th Amendment, its guarantees of “equal protection of the laws” and “due process of law” mean that states, which hitherto controlled marriage law, must recognize same-sex marriages.
* NO. A FIVE TO FOUR DECISION CREATES THIS NEW REALITY.
Anthony Kennedy’s opinion for the court said: “The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.”
* Er... FOLKS...
* THE FOUNDERS GAVE US THE AMENDMENT PROCESS WITH WHICH TO... er... A*M*E*N*D THE CONSTITUTION. (GET IT? "AMEND." "AMENDMENT.")
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD AT WILL'S GALL AND DUPLICITY*)
Many conservatives detect in those five words a dismaying intimation of a “living Constitution” too malleable to limit government because it conforms to whatever shape serves transitory political and cultural impulses. Conservative wariness is wise. So too, however, is recognition that Chief Justice Warren was not wrong when, in a 1958 case concerning the Eighth Amendment’s proscriptions of “cruel and unusual punishments,” he said: “The amendment must draw its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.”
* NOPE! AGAIN... THERE'S AN AMENDMENT PROCESS! (FOLKS... CONSIDER... IF "EVOLVING STANDARDS" WERE ALL IT TOOK... WHY THE 13TH AMENDMENT? I MEAN... HADN'T "EVOLVING STANDARDS" IN THE SENSE OF THE CONCLUSION OF THE CIVIL WAR, THE EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION DURING THE CIVIL WAR, AND THE SURRENDER OF THE SOUTH, CLEARLY PUNCTUATED THAT SLAVERY WAS A THING OF THE PAST - NO LONGER A "STANDARD?")
* SERIOUSLY... FOLKS... THIS AIN'T ROCKET SCIENCE - IT'S SIMPLY LOGIC; LOGIC AND A DOSE OF INTELLECTUAL HONESTY!
* AND, YES... THAT LAST WAS A "DIG" AT GEORGE WILL.
Such evolution is real and relevant.
* BACK TO THE AMENDMENT PROCESS...
(*ROLLING MY EYES*)
No one today thinks that branding and ear cropping, which were punishments practiced when the Eighth Amendment was ratified, are today compatible with this amendment.
* ACTUALLY... I DO. BUT THIS IS A STRAW MAN ARGUMENT - AND WILL KNOWS IT. AGAIN... IF MERE STATE/FEDERAL LAW ITSELF HADN'T BEEN RE-WRITTEN TO END THESE PRACTICES IN ACCORD WITH "SOCIETAL EVOLUTION" THEN THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES COULD AVAIL THEMSELVES OF...
...THE AMENDMENT PROCESS!
This is a perilous moment for Republican candidates...
* OH, GEEZ... HERE IT COMES... THE ASSAULT UPON TEA PARTY REPUBLICANS... (aka: LIBERTARIAN-LEANING CONSTITUTIONISTS)
...who might compete to propose constitutional amendments that dramatize their dismay about the same-sex marriage decision.
* AND IF THEY DO - THEY DO! (JUST AS THE PRO-GAY MARRIAGE SIDE SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN THEIR WAY EITHER VIA THE BALLOT BOX... THEIR REPRESENTATIVES... REFERENDUM... OR VIA A SUCCESSFUL PUSH FOR...
...YES, A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT!
During April’s oral arguments, Chief Justice John Roberts said that people seeking same-sex marriage are “not seeking to join the institution” but are “seeking to change what the institution is.” But this institution has been changed by American attitudes and behavior.
* NO. ONCE AGAIN... IT'S BEEN CHANGED BY FIVE OUT OF NINE JUSTICES TO THE SUPREME COURT.
* TO PARAPHRASE CARVILLE, "IT'S THE DISHONESTY, STUPID!"
* NO... NOT SAYING WILL IS STUPID - SIMPLY DISHONEST.
Marriage in America will be, over time, what Americans say it is...
* THEN WHAT DID WE NEED A SUPREME COURT DECISION/DICTATE FOR...? Hmm...???
* AGAIN... FOLKS... THE SHEER INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY... THE NAKED ATTEMPT AT MANIPULATION...
(*JUST SHAKING MY HEAD*)
...and last week’s decision came with almost three in four Americans already living in states where same-sex marriage is legal.
* LET ME GUESS: WILL ISN'T GONNA DELVE INTO HOW SAME-SEX MARRIAGE "BECAME LEGAL" IN MANY OF THOSE STATES - NAMELY VIA JUDGES OVERRIDING THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS... OVERRIDING STATE LEGISLATURES... OVERRIDING REFERENDUMS...
(*SPITTING ON THE GROUND*)
The decision came after Roberts showed conservatives the reality of judicial deference that they have often, and often thoughtlessly, advocated.
* I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WILL IS BABBLING ABOUT...
Deferring to “what Congress meant to do,” Roberts rescued the Affordable Care Act from what he called Congress’s “inartful” means of doing it.
* YES. ROBERTS VIOLATED HIS OATH AND ENGINEERED WHAT AMOUNTS TO A COUP AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION.
The marriage and ACA decisions should cause the 2016 contest for the Republican presidential nomination to force candidates to clarify their thinking about the judiciary’s appropriate role in our constitutional system.
* ON THAT WILL AND I ARE IN AGREEMENT!
Although there is no interesting debate about this (or anything else) among Democrats, among Republicans there is a lively debate about whether the judiciary’s primary duty is to facilitate majorities’ powers or to protect individuals’ rights.
* NEITHER. THEIR JOB IS TO ENFORCE THE CONSTITUTION. AS WRITTEN. AS INTENDED BY THOSE WHO WROTE/ENACTED THE CONSTITUTION... THE BILL OF RIGHTS... AND EVERY AMENDMENT SINCE.
...Which makes this a perilous moment for Republican candidates, who might compete to propose constitutional amendments that dramatize their dismay about the same-sex marriage decision.
* THEY SHOULDN'T. NOT AS SUCH. WHAT THEY SHOULD DO IS DISCUSS WAYS OF RESTORING THE CONSTITUTION.
Scott Walker’s minimalist amendment, concerning process rather than policy, would restore the traditional state control over marriage law. Others endorse an amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Ted Cruz also endorses “judicial retention elections”: Every justice, beginning with the second national election after his or her appointment, will answer to the American people and the states in a retention election every eight years. Those justices deemed unfit for retention by both a majority of the American people as a whole and by majorities of the electorates in at least half of the 50 states will be removed from office and disqualified from future service on the court.
* NOT A HUGE FAN... HOWEVER... I APPLAUD CRUZ FOR OPENING THE CONVERSATION. FOLKS... WE NEED TO DISCUSS "DEEP" ISSUES SUCH AS THIS.
Cruz’s idea is congruent with the 1912 proposal of another rambunctious Ted, former president Theodore Roosevelt. Running as a full-throated Progressive (against another progressive, Democrat Woodrow Wilson, and the conservative Republican president and future chief justice William Howard Taft), TR advocated not just the recall of judges but also “the review by the people” of “certain” judicial decisions. TR embraced the core progressive belief that the ideal of limited government, and hence the reality of the separation of powers, are anachronisms.
It is, therefore, especially disheartening that Cruz, who clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist and who is better equipped by education and experience to think clearly about courts, proposes curing what he considers this court’s political behavior...
* REALLY, GEORGE WILL? REALLY...??? WHAT HE "CONSIDERS" THE COURT'S POLITICAL BEHAVIOR...?!?!
...by turning the court into a third political branch.
* THAT'S CERTAINLY NOT CRUZ'S INTENT - AND WILL KNOWS THIS.
(*AGAIN SPITTING ON THE GROUND*)
Imagine campaigns conducted by justices. What would remain of the court’s prestige and hence its power to stand athwart rampant executives and overbearing congressional majorities? Sixteen months before the election, some candidates are becoming too unhinged to be plausible as conservative presidents.
* AND THERE YOU HAVE IT, FOLKS... WILL'S TRUE "END GAME" - TO BASH CRUZ.
(*ROLLING MY EYES*)