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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Holy Hippo Spit! Keep Obama Away From The White House With This Thinking

I do not make the above statement lightly, and in lieu of this post from Captain Ed this morning you might be thinking the same thing. From the New York Sun:

Is Barack Obama a space cadet? The man who would become senator of Illinois and a top Democratic presidential contender was credited for editorial or research assistance in a page-one footnote of what may be the zaniest-titled article ever published by the Harvard Law Review: "The Curvature of Constitutional Space: What Lawyers Can Learn From Modern Physics," authored by noted legal scholar Laurence Tribe.

The 39-page densely argued treatise — think "The Paper Chase" meets "Star Trek" — argues that constitutional jurisprudence should be updated in a similar way that Einstein's theory of relativity replaced Newtonian mechanics, a view that would release judges from the original intent of the Founders of America. Published in 1989, with help of the much younger and politically greener Mr. Obama (a few others are also thanked in that footnote), the article is sprawling with references to cultural anthropologist Clifford Geertz and physicists Stephen Hawking and Werner Heisenberg.

In 1990 Mr. Obama became the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. The long-ago article could indicate his views on the Constitution, which, if he is elected, could come into play in such matters as his choice of nominees to the Supreme Court.

One current member of the high court, Stephen Breyer, once called the article a close second to Mr. Tribe's even more intriguingly titled article involving the "Fourth Discontinuity." A professor of physics at Harvard, Gerald Holton, told The New York Sun that Mr. Tribe's use of physics in the article was challenging and brilliant. "Elegance," Mr. Holton said, is "something you perceive and remember."But others are decidedly less enthusiastic.

"Oy vey," said a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, Robert George. "Constitutional law is not that complicated. There's just no need to complexify this," he said, adding that if one makes such discussion so abstruse that only highly trained academic specialists — "let's call them legal physicists" — can understand, then ordinary citizens would feel that evaluating legal decisions is beyond their ability.

The Constitution is the founding document of the nation. Indeed without it or the Declaration of Independence (along with a war for our freedom) we would still be subjects of the crown, and open to the whims of the Royals. So, it is with a level of discomfort that I say I do not want Barack Obama anywhere near the Oval Office, or in a position where he is choosing Supreme Court of federal judicial nominees. Both Thomas and I are of the opinion that justices like Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sandra Day O'Connor should have been removed from the bench the moment they started injecting foreign law into high court decisions. Such a move is anything but "good Behaviour" as enumerated in Article III when describing a judges tenure on the bench.

Professor George is right onthe money. Con law is not the hardest thing to understand. It becomes hard when you have the judicial philosophy that you can twist the meaning of the text into any pretzel you choose. But, like a lie that you have told (and will eventually slip up on) the more you twist, the harder it is to remember where your thought process was going. For example, look at the jurisprudence of Roe. In that case, and subsequent cases since, the Supreme Court has switched it's thinking on the issue of abortion, convoluting the decisions to the point where even members of the high -- Justice Ginsburg, to name one -- has stated it is time to revisit and reexamine Roe. Why? Because their rulings make little or no sense now, and for the more paret, justices are refusing to put any restrictions on abortions because they are protecting the ill-conceived right.

Professor George is also correct in the assertion that, for some odd reason, people like Senator Obama, and those in favor of the convoluted "living document" argument want ther ordinary citizen to believe that underswtanding the Constitution is above them, and more, shall we say "nuanced" individuals would be better suited to handle wrangling with such things. On the contrary, while I lack the years of study my husband possesses (Thomas 20 years to my six) he wil be the first to stand up and state that I am on par with his knowledge. Again, the Constitution is not a hard document to understand. In fact, it was mandatory, after it's ratification, that ALL school children had to read it and understand it, and it was done continually until the children were out of school. Just think, back then the kids could read it, read it well, and understand it even better.

Nowadays, thanks to federalized public education, and the continued dumbing down of kids in school, those that graduate can barely spit out the five rights enumerated and guaranteed under the First Amendment. (For those keeping score, they are freedom of religion, freedom of press, freedom of speech, freedom to asemble, and the freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances.) I ought to know about students in school. I am not that far removed from high school myself, and I still shake my head at those that were allowed to graduate.

But I digress. If Senator Obama's view of the Constitution is one that is "Star Trek meets the Paper Chase," then he is truly a sad individual. He would appoint justices to the federal bench that would literally make up Constitutional Law as they went, never paying heed to the restrictions put in place by the Framers. As a matter of fact, we have a situation in Congress where several House members have decided it is all right to push a piece of legislation through that would give Washington, DC a permanent vote in the House. And because it is being touted by its proponents as a "civil rights isue," I am sure using his twisted ideas of Constitutional jurisprudence, Senator Obama would have no problem with giving DC that right, despite the fact is will directly violate the Constitution itself.

Thank you, no. Like Thomas I prefer the Constitution be followed as best it can. Textualists and originalists understand that the law of the land -- The Constitution -- is best when it is followed and not invented. To quote Justice Antonin Scalia, we also prefer the Constitution as we prefer our steaks: "DEAD." A living Constitution serves no one but the jurists that claim to be its master rather than its servant.


UPDATE: Captain Ed notes on his site, and I note via a couple of e-mails, that Senator Obama did not pen this piece, but rather contributed to it. While I acknowledge that fact, it does not change the central argument which is IF this is how he views the Constitution, then WE do not want him making decisions regarding judicial nominees. The la\w is supposed to restrict the enforcers, not give them free reign to do as they please, and that includes viewing the Constitution in a light different from the original intent of the document itself.


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