Lefty blogger: The Constitution is confusing because, hey, it’s pretty old

posted at 3:55 pm on December 30, 2010 by Allahpundit

Via Eyeblast. The good news? This clip has become such a hit among righties on Twitter that Iowahawk was inspired to cook something up in honor of it. The bad news? I think Klein’s getting a bit of a bad rap. His formulation is idiotic — not all old texts are confusing, of course — but that’s probably just rhetorical clumsiness while live on the air. All he means, I take it, is that it’s often not clear how constitutional provisions should apply to modern circumstances not envisioned by the Founders. This is why there are 5-4 decisions all the time on the Supreme Court, and even splits within the Court’s conservative wing, on matters of huge constitutional import. (It pains me to remind you that Scalia concurred with the judgment of the majority in the Raich case.) Here’s Klein elaborating at his WaPo blog:

Let’s take an example: Most legislation doesn’t currently include a statement of constitutional authority. But there’s one recent measure that did: Section 1501 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That is to say, the individual mandate.

“The individual responsibility requirement provided for in this section (in this subsection referred to as the requirement) is commercial and economic in nature, and substantially affects interstate commerce,” reads the opening paragraph. Shortly thereafter, the legislation makes itself more explicit: “In United States v. South-Eastern Underwriters Association (322 U.S. 533 (1944)), the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that insurance is interstate commerce subject to Federal regulation.”…

My friends on the right don’t like to hear this, but the Constitution is not a clear document. Written more than 200 years ago, when America had 13 states and very different problems, it rarely speaks directly to the questions we ask it. The Second Amendment, for instance, says nothing about keeping a gun in the home if you’ve not signed up with a “well-regulated militia,” but interpreting the Second Amendment broadly has been important to those who want to bear arms. And so they’ve done it.

I made a variation of this point myself a few weeks ago when writing about the GOP’s insistence that all new bills contain a citation of constitutional authority. Klein thinks that’s a gimmick and nothing more; I think it’s a useful way to encourage the public to think about structural limits on government power, which is naturally why liberals don’t like it. But as a meaningful bar to congressional action, it’s worthless precisely because there’s usually some constitutional argument that can be made on behalf of any bill. Any good conservative lawyer could, if he/she had to, argue on behalf of the individual mandate; it’d be done through gritted teeth, with a facial expression suggesting constipation, but the argument itself is clear enough. Any good liberal lawyer could argue the opposite, with the same reaction. And needless to say, there are a lot of good conservative and liberal lawyers in Congress. My main problem with Klein’s argument is simply that he misidentifies the source of constitutional ambiguity: It’s not so much that the document is old, it’s that it’s remarkably terse. If we wrote a new Constitution today and limited ourselves to five pages, there’d still be a lot of headscratchers for the courts tomorrow, notwithstanding its newness.


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Comment pages: 1 2

And it’s written in a difficult-to-read script. I mean, that’s reason enough right there to give up.

(rolling eyes…)

alflauren on December 30, 2010 at 3:58 PM

To quote certain HA inhabitants when I try to quote documents younger than the Constitution… “Hey, how about quoting something since lightbulbs were invented…”

Just sayin’

mankai on December 30, 2010 at 3:59 PM

The Constitution is clear. It’s the interpretation that’s foggy.

Extrafishy on December 30, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Now if it had been written in English, we’d have something there.

Wait…

catmman on December 30, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Constitution is perfectly clear when the left discovers new governmental powers in there. When it doesn’t, it’s confusing.

lorien1973 on December 30, 2010 at 4:02 PM

But the lefties have no problem seeing into the shadowy penumbra and finding a “right to privacy.”

Wethal on December 30, 2010 at 4:02 PM

The Constitution is very clear. It’s subsequent court decisions that have made things confusing.

hawksruleva on December 30, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Das Kapital was written over 100 years ago, too.

So the Lefty Marxists are all throwing their copies away, right?

catmman on December 30, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Those words other than “the,” “and,” etc., can be a bit overboard. Not to mention those darn polysyllabic ones…

karl9000 on December 30, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Of course it’s hard to read. The ink has faded after all these years, and that funny old penmanship…

Should have used an IBM Selectric..oh wait, I said that on an old Rathergate thread.

Wethal on December 30, 2010 at 4:04 PM

All he means, I take it, is that it’s often not clear how constitutional provisions should apply to modern circumstances not envisioned by the Founders.

The Constitution was not based upon whatever circumstances/technology existed at the time–it was based upon human nature (natural law). Human beings have not changed, nor will we–”there is nothing new under the sun.”

DrMagnolias on December 30, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Of course what makes Klein even more of a moron, and not the good AoSHQ kind, is the federal definition of militia.

“a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.”

MFn G I M P on December 30, 2010 at 4:05 PM

And if they abused real elastic the way they abuse the Elastic Clause they’d be holding up their underwear with both hands.

trubble on December 30, 2010 at 4:06 PM

Too be fair, there is plenty of literature which is pretty old which we really should get rid of.

Have you ever actually read a book from the Bronte sisters?

catmman on December 30, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Those words other than “the,” “and,” etc., can be a bit overboard.

.
“Is” is the worst, though.

TouchingTophet on December 30, 2010 at 4:08 PM

The Constitution is deliberately clear. It’s the Libs that have a difficult time figuring out how they can turn it into an instrument for our destruction and their power over us. It’s been going on for almost a hundered years. It’s time to stop this movement.

BetseyRoss on December 30, 2010 at 4:08 PM

futhermore most states have much more expansive definitions of state militias that cover just about everyone over the age of 18 with no old age restrictions. But of course the Constitution is old and hard to understand and all that good stuff.

MFn G I M P on December 30, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Maybe it’s the lighting. The Constitution may be comprehensible when viewed under candle light. I am sure Edison is to blame for this.

Electrongod on December 30, 2010 at 4:12 PM

And this Klein person is the Left’s big wunderkind journalist? No wonder they’re losing so badly. Hey genius, the constitution also says nothing about “signing up” for the militia to keep a gun. If you hadn’t been out sick the day they taught history at your school you would know that every free man was considered to be part of the militia in those days. Furthermore, had you read the Federalist and anti-Federalist papers you would know that gun-ownership was considered a fundamental right for both hunting and self-protection.

WarEagle01 on December 30, 2010 at 4:12 PM

How does he do with Shakespeare? I do get a kick out of Ms. O’Donnell’s superior attitude.

Cindy Munford on December 30, 2010 at 4:13 PM

I doubt many oppressive liberals have even read the Constitution. Too many rely on case law and some nimrod’s “interpretation”.

darwin on December 30, 2010 at 4:14 PM

This is why there are 5-4 decisions all the time…

That is not why there are 5-4 decisions all the time. Four justices currently don’t care what the intent of any language in the Constitution was. And a 5th sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t. There never was a major split of opinion on the court on what the text states. Invention of rights and imposition of desired outcomes is nothing like what you’re describing.

NotCoach on December 30, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Something tells me Daily Kos has little if anything to fear as competition with this dim bulb Klein goes.

pilamaye on December 30, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Liberals attitude toward the constitution is the same as most bills they pass.

tl;dnr

Grunt on December 30, 2010 at 4:15 PM

So is the Oppressive-Left’s Bible: The Communist Manifesto written by one of the biggest idiots in history Karl (I haven’t got a working brain cell in my head) Marx.

Sorry to tell you that Oppressives, but that’s the truth – how else can you explain Socialism’s spectacular trail of historical failure?

Insert witty screen name here on December 30, 2010 at 4:16 PM

The Constitution is very clear. It’s subsequent court decisions that have made things confusing.

hawksruleva on December 30, 2010 at 4:02 PM

I don’t need to read any further. Thread winner.

WitchDoctor on December 30, 2010 at 4:16 PM

I have very serious doubts that either of those two talking heads have even read the Constitution of the United States…

Seven Percent Solution on December 30, 2010 at 4:16 PM

Written more than 200 years ago, when America had 13 states and very different problems,

No, not different problems. The problems we face are the same, always problems of human nature.

Skandia Recluse on December 30, 2010 at 4:17 PM

Ezra Klein is like so many other Progressives … they view the Constitution as a quaint old mannerism that needs to be dispensed with as soon as possible.

J_Crater on December 30, 2010 at 4:17 PM

And if they abused real elastic the way they abuse the Elastic Clause they’d be holding up their underwear with both hands.

trubble on December 30, 2010 at 4:06 PM

Who says “progs” wear underwear?

*in best William “Braveheart” Wallace imitation*

“FREEEEDOM!”

dmh0667 on December 30, 2010 at 4:18 PM

I think Klein’s getting a bit of a bad rap. His formulation is idiotic — not all old texts are confusing, of course — but that’s probably just rhetorical clumsiness while live on the air. All he means, I take it, is that it’s often not clear how constitutional provisions should apply to modern circumstances not envisioned by the Founders. This is why there are 5-4 decisions all the time on the Supreme Court

There goes candyass Allahpundit being all reasonable and fair-minded again. RINO!

IU_Conservative on December 30, 2010 at 4:19 PM

The Second Amendment, for instance, says nothing about keeping a gun in the home if you’ve not signed up with a “well-regulated militia,” but interpreting the Second Amendment broadly has been important to those who want to bear arms. And so they’ve done it.

Someone made a great point in the headlines on this story:

The “well-regulated militia” phrase was obviously not written to DECREASE citizens’ right to arm themselves, but to vastly INCREASE the scope of that right. That is the whole damned POINT of the Second Amendment. It has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with hunting or self-defense.

The only way to “re-interpret” that phrase is to turn the Constitution completely upside-down; and to transform the “Bill of Rights” into a “Bill of Duties” owed by citizens to the federal government.

The United States Constitution has been called (and rightfully so) “a marvel of concision.” There is nothing in it that a reasonably intelligent fifth-grader cannot easily comprehend.

…Of course, that’s referring to someone with the kind of education an Eighteenth-Century fifth-grader received. Nevertheless, even someone with a modern liberal arts college doctorate degreee should still be able to follow along if he bothered to properly apply himself!

logis on December 30, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Chip on December 30, 2010 at 4:20 PM

I love how lawyers keep telling us how much we need them to interpret the Constitution. All the lawyers in Congress and they rarely write without ambiguity and when they do a fairly good job there’s a lawyer ready to nitpick every little nuance and judges let them. Why is that?

gitarfan on December 30, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Jeeezzeeee,

Next thing you know, you wingnuts are going to defend Christine O’Donnell for daring to say separation of church and state is not in the bill of rights.

joeindc44 on December 30, 2010 at 4:23 PM

The Constitution was not based upon whatever circumstances/technology existed at the time–it was based upon human nature (natural law). Human beings have not changed, nor will we–”there is nothing new under the sun.”
DrMagnolias on December 30, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Agreed

fourdeucer on December 30, 2010 at 4:23 PM

Aww…poor Iza Klown is getting a “bad rap”?
“Bad Rap” should be the name of his WaPo blog and his Listserv.

OxyCon on December 30, 2010 at 4:25 PM

Lefty Blogger just spent Christmas with Great Grandpa & Grandma. No wonder he thinks things that are old are confusing.

portlandon on December 30, 2010 at 4:25 PM

I think Klein’s getting a bit of a bad rap

No, he’s an idiot.

Kini on December 30, 2010 at 4:26 PM

Constitution = clear as day

Tax code =/= anything remotely approaching clarity

ynot4tony2 on December 30, 2010 at 4:28 PM

The Bible and the Koran are both “pretty old” too.

But the little Stalins on the American Left have no problem with what the Koran says, while at the same time have plenty of problems with what the Bible says.

Hypocrisy 101.

Del Dolemonte on December 30, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Yeah, let’s just scrap it and do whatever sounds good each day.

Limerick on December 30, 2010 at 4:28 PM

This 26yr old douche epitomizes the Progressive Left.

History and interpretation are HARD! Hey, let’s just do what FEELS GOOD!

Flyboy on December 30, 2010 at 4:28 PM

The Second Amendment, for instance, says nothing about keeping a gun in the home if you’ve not signed up with a “well-regulated militia,” but interpreting the Second Amendment broadly has been important to those who want to bear arms. And so they’ve done it.

It says nothing about a requirement to join a militia. It simply says that because a militia is important, the right to keep and bear arms will be protected. The implication there is that those who keep and bear arms will have something to do with a militia, and if we need a militia, those who have and know how to use guns will necessarily populate it, but that’s not the same thing as having a requirement of public serve in order to own a gun, something it’s obvious a large number of non militia families had in those days even just to hunt.

Esthier on December 30, 2010 at 4:29 PM

rhetorical clumsiness while live on the air. All he means, I take it, is that it’s often not clear how constitutional provisions should apply to modern circumstances not envisioned by the Founders.

Benefit of the doubt to Ezra Klein? Why does he deserve that?

alwaysfiredup on December 30, 2010 at 4:29 PM

Look at the Amendments IX and X.

They tell you exactly what to do with modern problems not thought of at the Framing.

And it isn’t ‘delegate them to the federal government’.

Apparently the guys drafting it trusted the people more than the politicians. Fancy that!

ajacksonian on December 30, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Constitutionality statements in bills would be useful in boxing the authors into an argument.

Kinda like what the police do when questioning a suspect who is dumb enough to talk (and yeah, it’s dumb to talk even if you are innocent). Memorialize that story up front so it’ll be hard to change it later.

forest on December 30, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Have you ever actually read a book from the Bronte sisters?

catmman on December 30, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Not by choice.

Esthier on December 30, 2010 at 4:32 PM

This is called narrative-birthing. It’s what the Left does. Klein has simply assumed the burden of delivery. You can now expect Leftists far and wide throughout their extensive network to preface and color all discussion of the Constitution, subtly but invariably, with terms like “old”, “dated”, “out of touch”, etc. Young people will be conditioned to the prejudice that America is governed by an antiquated document unequal to our fast-moving and complicated times in which we face threats these old white men could never have imagined and which need clear, specific answers, laws and regulations to save us from ourselves.

rrpjr on December 30, 2010 at 4:32 PM

The Constitution is not confusing. Much like the Bible it was written for all to read and understand. It is simple, precise and exact. No wonder liberals hate it. It is the greatest document ever written by man. The problem comes in when liberals try to find a way to circumvent it to foster their own ideas and visions. It’s a shame that judges are given lifetime appointments. If they weren’t then you would see different precedents being set.

Tommy_G on December 30, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Our best and brightest … educated at our top universities … working for our most prestigious and influential media outlets … influencing politicians and the general public alike.

God help us all.

DJ Rick on December 30, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Have you ever actually read a book from the Bronte sisters?

Hey, I actually really liked Jane Eyre

The Constitution is very clear. It’s subsequent court decisions that have made things confusing.

BINGO BINGO BINGO BINGO.

And if they abused real elastic the way they abuse the Elastic Clause they’d be holding up their underwear with both hands.

+100. You owe me a new keyboard… :)

englishqueen01 on December 30, 2010 at 4:33 PM

Justifying legislation by providing authority to do so per the document that is the law of the land and the only reason you have any power is that you swore to protect and defend said document = BAD.

Passing 3,000 page bills in the middle of the night that no one has read except for the those with a hidden agenda fueled by an Marxist/Socialist ideology behind close doors that will change the fabric of society = GOOD.

Well…

… I’m glad we now have that straightened out.

/

Seven Percent Solution on December 30, 2010 at 4:34 PM

Here’s a hot flash for libs. Early freemen actually wanted to join the militia. They felt it was their duty and it was encoded in the Constitution as their right.

Not so they could have a gun, it was so nothing could be used as an excuse to replace the militia. Many in the Army felt the militia was unprofessional and useless. It wasn’t until late in the war that the milita was effectively used tactically by Nathaniel Lincoln and Morgan.

Lonetown on December 30, 2010 at 4:36 PM

From the Progressives’ point of view, making the Constitution clear would require at least 50,000 pages.

But no one would be allowed to read it.

SlaveDog on December 30, 2010 at 4:37 PM

Look at the Amendments IX and X.

They tell you exactly what to do with modern problems not thought of at the Framing.

And it isn’t ‘delegate them to the federal government’.

Apparently the guys drafting it trusted the people more than the politicians. Fancy that!

ajacksonian on December 30, 2010 at 4:32 PM

Amendment 9
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment 10
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

It does make you wonder why the Oppressive Left can’t figure out those two amendments.

Chip on December 30, 2010 at 4:38 PM

From the Progressives’ point of view, making the Constitution clear would require at least 50,000 pages.

But no one would be allowed to read it.

SlaveDog on December 30, 2010 at 4:37 PM

The EU Constitution comes on a CD-ROM with an index so you can find out the exacting minimum wages and taxes due by everyone in it… by locality. What you said is not a joke but a reality.

ajacksonian on December 30, 2010 at 4:39 PM

It does make you wonder why the Oppressive Left can’t figure out those two amendments.

Chip on December 30, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Because to them it is a “charter of negative liberties”.

fourdeucer on December 30, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Ezra Klein very succintly summed up liberalism.

Schadenfreude on December 30, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Progressives: Constitution confusing; Obamacare crystal clear.

BuckeyeSam on December 30, 2010 at 4:43 PM

Dude, my grandfather-in-law is over 100 years old. Cars are over a hundred years old. A hundred years ago was well into the 20th Century. Knowing that the founding and the Enlightenment and all that jazz was an 18th Century dealio is one of those bedrock facts that should always be on hand, like the freezing point of water and the number of states in the Union.

So his biggest gaffe was casually opining that the Constitution is about the same age as the Model T.

S. Weasel on December 30, 2010 at 4:43 PM

Yup, AP, Ezra is a Beta male, too…

d1carter on December 30, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Chip on December 30, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Those two Amendments create the entire negative-rights approach of the Constitution that is its hallmark: every other document that forms a government tells you what it must do for you and that your rights come from government.

Ours says that all rights come from the people and that we allow government to exercise a few of our negative rights on our behalf and retain all others to ourselves and our States.

Needless to say the Progressives and the Left hate a negative rights concept as it has the word ‘negative’ in it, so it must be bad. Yet if you invert it to say that all positive rights are retained by the people, as well as many negative ones, they just don’t know how to respond… in their world view the government creates society and, from that logic, man himself. The US Constitution puts government in its place, and it isn’t a pretty or nice place, either.

ajacksonian on December 30, 2010 at 4:44 PM

speaks like a valley girl. looks like one too.

sbvft contributor on December 30, 2010 at 4:48 PM

WOW !!!
using that logic that means we cannot understand William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 1564; died 23 April 1616).

Do people really THINK before they TALK???

ColdWarrior57 on December 30, 2010 at 4:49 PM

OT:

Wow… not a single mention of Palin on the front page. A first!

dforston on December 30, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Carl Sagan…billions and billions

What are a few hundred years? Ezra is a klein Mensch but not a smart one.

Schadenfreude on December 30, 2010 at 4:50 PM

It does make you wonder why the Oppressive Left can’t figure out those two amendments.

Chip on December 30, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Because to them it is a “charter of negative liberties”.

fourdeucer on December 30, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Yes, to them it’s a case of how am I entitled to someone else’s property, and dang that gun sure looks scary, let’s ban it!

Chip on December 30, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Das Kapital was written over 100 years ago, too. So the Lefty Marxists are all throwing their copies away, right?
catmman on December 30, 2010 at 4:03 PM

I’m still waiting for a liberal to try and “re-interpret” a single word of the Communist Manifesto.

But, apparently, some things are sacred.

logis on December 30, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Dude, my grandfather-in-law is over 100 years old. Cars are over a hundred years old. A hundred years ago was well into the 20th Century. Knowing that the founding and the Enlightenment and all that jazz was an 18th Century dealio is one of those bedrock facts that should always be on hand, like the freezing point of water and the number of states in the Union.

So his biggest gaffe was casually opining that the Constitution is about the same age as the Model T.

S. Weasel on December 30, 2010 at 4:43 PM

So it is the M1911A1 (Chambered in 9mm for some)

Chip on December 30, 2010 at 4:52 PM

If we had adults in charge in the Zombie Media, then we’d not have to suffer the infantile babbling of children instructing us about our shortcomings.

ya2daup on December 30, 2010 at 4:53 PM

AP, you are a kind man to give Klein such a ‘liberal’ interpretation of his remarks. I think he meant exactly what he said and wasn’t reaching or rushed etc.

What a pair. I love their smug, bemused, tut-tut, dismissive attitude. ‘Don’t worry lefty viewers, all 12 of you, the Constitution is old. No one knows what it means now. This is only a stunt by the Repubs.’ The whole segment strikes me as whistling while going past the graveyard.

JimP on December 30, 2010 at 4:54 PM

Iowahawk is a treasure. Thank you Sir!

Leaving Ezra’s work experience blank was a stroke of genius.

This s/b

Major / GPA ___Political Science_/_4.0 (honors horrors)________

Schadenfreude on December 30, 2010 at 4:56 PM

The US Constitution puts government in its place, and it isn’t a pretty or nice place, either.

ajacksonian on December 30, 2010 at 4:44 PM

I’ve heard this question posed a couple times: Can you, as a private citizen violate the Constitution?

Answer: You can’t because it’s a restraint on Government.

Chip on December 30, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Yes, to them it’s a case of how am I entitled to someone else’s property, and dang that gun sure looks scary, let’s ban it!

Chip on December 30, 2010 at 4:50 PM

Well, there you go. They insist that citizens be unarmed to make it easier to steal from them.

ndanielson on December 30, 2010 at 4:58 PM

What a maroon!

/bugsbunny

CurtZHP on December 30, 2010 at 4:59 PM

From the Progressives’ point of view, making the Constitution clear would require at least 50,000 pages. But no one would be allowed to read it.
SlaveDog on December 30, 2010 at 4:37 PM

To be fair, the Democrats’ policy is to let the plebes read their orders, but only AFTER they’re written. Since the invention of the telescope, there simply aren’t any towers tall enough to hide the decrees of a government who reserves the right to constantly change its rules without notice.

Nowadays, we are allowed to see all the wonderful new “rights” the government gives us shortly after the first draft has been signed into law. But it’s impossible for anyone to know what the law actually IS at any specific moment in time.

People made a huge deal about Obamacare being 3,000 pages of unintelligible gobbledygook. But that’s far less than a shadow of what the law will eventually become.

Years from now, after non-accountable regulatory agencies have written their own rules to implement Obamacare, and after non-accounable judges have made untold decisions interpreting and re-interpreting what that all of that incoherent and patently contradictory nonsense was really meant to say, just this one single “right” imposed upon the citizens and states by the central authority will be well over 50,000 pages long — and it will NEVER be finished.

logis on December 30, 2010 at 5:09 PM

It’s never been more clear to me.

SouthernGent on December 30, 2010 at 5:11 PM

If we wrote a new Constitution today and limited ourselves to five pages, there’d still be a lot of headscratchers for the courts tomorrow, notwithstanding its newness.

For the record, the Founders did it in 4 pages. Unless your fifth is the Bill of Rights, but that wasn’t ratified for a few more years . . .

SoRight on December 30, 2010 at 5:11 PM

Have you ever actually read a book from the Bronte sisters?

catmman on December 30, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Not by choice.

Esthier on December 30, 2010 at 4:32 PM

HA!

As far a Jane Eyre goes, if I were to pick one of the works of the Bronte sisters, that one is probably the better as far as plain readability is concerned. Still…

Oh, and Dickens? Uhhgggghhhh. Some of it is VERY tedious, but I understand how groundbreaking it is.

And just to stir things up, I suppose in this morons world the Emancipation Proclamation, since its so old, over 100 years, then it also is no longer relevant?

catmman on December 30, 2010 at 5:15 PM

Maybe someone ought to do a reading of “United States v. South-Eastern Underwriters Association (322 U.S. 533)
If my recollection is correct. The facts of the case DIDN’T lend themselves to HEALTH INSURANCE. Homeowners, Fire , Auto etal are a different creature. Healt Insurance is a state animal regulated by the particular states, not sold across state lines….yada yada..

roflmao

donabernathy on December 30, 2010 at 5:16 PM

The Second Amendment, for instance, says nothing about keeping a gun in the home if you’ve not signed up with a “well-regulated militia,” but interpreting the Second Amendment broadly has been important to those who want to bear arms. And so they’ve done it.

People like this misunderstand the document on purpose. It behooves them to pretend it’s obscure, as illustrated by his example of the 2nd Amendment.

It’s not a broad interpretation that favors private gun ownership and even keeping a gun at home. (If I can’t possess it I don’t own it.) It’s understanding English grammar that’s key.

“…the right of the people to keep and bear arms) precedes the dependent clause it qualifies, i.e., the well regulated militia benefits from that God-given right. The militia is organized by govt, but the right is a gift from God.

Liberals tend to be ignorant of a lot of things, and their solution to their ignorance is often despotism; and if their victims are as ignorant as they are, they get often it.

Akzed on December 30, 2010 at 5:16 PM

I’ve heard this question posed a couple times: Can you, as a private citizen violate the Constitution?

Answer: You can’t because it’s a restraint on Government.

Chip

wrong answer.

(hint)and yours is one that might give aid and comfort to our enemies

audiculous on December 30, 2010 at 5:20 PM

No, not different problems. The problems we face are the same, always problems of human nature.

Skandia Recluse on December 30, 2010 at 4:17 PM

Well said. They had fiery rhetoric in their political debates, massive debts, a struggle between factions that wanted more centralized power and less power, regional differences, new technology to adapt and adopt, war, foreign relations, civil rights, piracy in Africa, Muslim extremists, hot-button issues, shallow media, a fickle public…

Yeah, completely different.

hawksruleva on December 30, 2010 at 5:20 PM

I think Klein’s getting a bit of a bad rap.

Nope. Sorry. I’m not accepting this defense of Klein from someone who pounces on every little misstatement of right-wingers (he happens to not like), with great “concern” about how it will “make all right-wingers look stupid.”

What Klein said was stupid. Period. Trying to parse it and make excuses for it, just the opposite of the way you would parse a right-winger’s gaffe and make them look stupid doesn’t change that.

JannyMae on December 30, 2010 at 5:20 PM

I am convinced that the total synapse connections of these left wing, liberal idiots are less than the sum of their digits. insufferable fools.

rplat on December 30, 2010 at 5:25 PM

I love how lawyers keep telling us how much we need them to interpret the Constitution. All the lawyers in Congress and they rarely write without ambiguity and when they do a fairly good job there’s a lawyer ready to nitpick every little nuance and judges let them. Why is that?

gitarfan on December 30, 2010 at 4:23 PM

It’s their religion.

Del Dolemonte on December 30, 2010 at 5:27 PM

the well regulated militia benefits from that God-given right. The militia is organized by govt, but the right is a gift from God.
Akzed

I think that you’re sort of sneaking in that “God-given right” part.

That part isn’t there and whether rights are God-given or not is an addition unnecessary to the idea of rights.

audiculous on December 30, 2010 at 5:27 PM

wrong answer.

(hint)and yours is one that might give aid and comfort to our enemies

audiculous on December 30, 2010 at 5:20 PM

If by that, you mean that “treason” constitutes a violation of the constitution,m you would be WRONG. Treason is a matter of law enforcement, and is legally considered the only statutory crime that requires a constitutional amendment to change. So if treason is a crime, where is our redress for the weasels who regularly violate their oath to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America?”

gryphon202 on December 30, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Now if it had been written in English, we’d have something there.
Wait…
catmman on December 30, 2010 at 4:01 PM

I again came late to join in the fun :-)

The constitution is intended to be a high level guideline. As “The Magnificent One” once said

“To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted”

Mr. Sparky has comprehension problems. Primarily due to lack of proper education. Or maybe lack of appropriate spanking for failure to learn.

antisocial on December 30, 2010 at 5:28 PM

The Second Amendment, for instance, says nothing about keeping a gun in the home if you’ve not signed up with a “well-regulated militia,” but interpreting the Second Amendment broadly has been important to those who want to bear arms. And so they’ve done it.

I guess since the docum4ent don’t speak to the Internet…TV…Telephone……Abortion….Education…Airplanes….Space Travel…. climate change…. etal…..

SO THAT’S WHY THE GOVERNMENT CAN DO WHATEVER IT WANTS….

ROFLMAO

donabernathy on December 30, 2010 at 5:31 PM

The Constitution does not confuse, it confounds – and that’s the bit the Left hates.

OldEnglish on December 30, 2010 at 5:33 PM

I think Klein’s getting a bit of a bad rap

No, he’s an idiot.

Kini on December 30, 2010 at 4:26 PM

can’t top that

darwin-t on December 30, 2010 at 5:34 PM

A constitutional scholar is someone who knows more about the hundreds of court cases that have needlessly damaged the constitution than he or she knows about the constitution and its framers.

gryphon202 on December 30, 2010 at 5:34 PM

gryphon202,

you’re right and I’m wrong, I guess. If a citizen wages war against the US or aids and comforts people so, then I guess that the person isn’t doing something that the Constitution defines as a crime against the United States of America.

where is our redress for the weasels who regularly violate their oath to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America?”

try looking at Art II Sec IV under “impeachment”

procedures are in Art I

audiculous on December 30, 2010 at 5:40 PM

The bad news? I think Klein’s getting a bit of a bad rap.

Chamberlain-esque Candy Ass RINO blogger

Well, of course you do.

Jaibones on December 30, 2010 at 5:40 PM

Well, to give him credit: 223 years is more then “a hundred”. (Ok, he’s an idiot.)

Boxy_Brown on December 30, 2010 at 5:40 PM

A constitutional scholar is someone who knows more about agrees with the hundreds of court cases that have needlessly damaged the constitution than he or she knows about the constitution and its framers.

gryphon202 on December 30, 2010 at 5:34 PM

darwin-t on December 30, 2010 at 5:41 PM

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