The Living Constitution

In this post on the blog Marginal Revolution, Alex Tabborak cleverly points out that progressive argument that the Constitution is a living document collapses on itself when making the argument that it’s okay not to follow the Constitution since it evolved (i.e. we started ignoring it) around the time of the New Deal.

Because, if it’s true that the Constitution is a living document in the sense that progressives think it is, then what was good during the New Deal may not be good now.  The Constitution lives after all.

I posted this comment on Marginal Revolution:

I agree that the Constitution is a living document. But it gets its life from Article V – Amendment, that way it evolves with a democratic process, not necessarily with language, ideologies and power grabs.

I have yet to hear a compelling argument for why we would want to the Constitution to evolve outside of the process laid out in Article V.

2 thoughts on “The Living Constitution

  1. We don’t want to go outside Article V. The reason is because if the Constitution is “living” and that means following whatever portions are politically pleasing and ignoring others, then ultimately it means not obeying it.

    Then the danger of someone coming along and not obeying major portions can occur such as rights at trial and so forth. The dangers of a “living” Constitution become obvious. The problem is, “living” for who?

    • I agree Bill. Thanks for the comment.

      The mere existence of Article V seems to debunk the idea that we can will the Constitution to be whatever it is we desire.


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