November 29, 2005

The Fair Construction Amendment

It's an interesting notion: requiring that the Constitution be "interpreted" as it was written, without finding things in it that aren't there. It would essentially make judicial activism unconstitutional. One wonders whether such an amendment would even be enforceable, but it's certainly intriguing.

Karl Spence is a proponent, and his latest book focuses on the crime wave of the 1990s, explaining how the Fair Construction Amendment would augment the rule of law. If nothing else, his title is gutsy: Yo, Liberals! You Call This Progress?

This book, other books, and some background on the Fair Construction idea are available here.

Posted by Attila Girl at November 29, 2005 12:20 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Given the willingness of the SCOTUS to decide the Constitution means whatever they hell they want it to mean i don't see such an amendment having much of an effect.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at November 29, 2005 03:16 PM


Crime rates have been declining since the early nineties in most categories:

http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

I get the feeling you don't read newspapers, but just take it on faith that crime must have gone up because Clinton was president.

Incidently do you understand the position of Justice Marshall or do you know from faith based reasoning that we've been on the wrong course for nearly 2 centuries?

Do you perhaps hold seances with President Diem to guide you so you can lecture the people of this country on what to do without actually reading their history or studying their laws?

Posted by: angela at November 29, 2005 04:42 PM


angela:

What part of the word "constitution" do you not understand? It isn't something to be "interpreted." It is what it is. You do not discover something with it that was never seen before. It's there, in black and white, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what it says.

On the other hand, it can take an imbacile to competely screw it up. The US Constitution was composed by pure genius, but it is being bastardized by morons.

Posted by: John at November 29, 2005 04:53 PM


I will apologize for the Diem remark, but do you know that the campaign against judical activism was part of the "southern strategy" and one of the reason it was so reviled was that the courts outlawed segregation and Jim Crow? Not technically dealt with by the constitution.

The debate goes back and forth, there are good arguments that the "right to privacy" used in Roe is questionable, but is a debate within a living constitution.

Most scholars both conservative and liberal argue that the third branch of government is there to act as check on the passions of politics that drives the other branches.

Development of the law is a complex process, but the position you take argues that Internet expression can be censored because it's not literally produced by a press.

I understand at least to a degree the Constitution and the complex history around it. I believe the judges were right to assure the right of people like Ms. Rice to vote. Previous to the court's rulings the states were free to erect various blockages.

Undermining this was one reason why so many condemned "judical activism."

Posted by: angela at November 29, 2005 05:33 PM


Yes, Angela. But that was then, and this is now. To say that a racist made a particular argument in the 50s as a rationale for continuing with segregation does not mean that the argument has no validity.

I get the feeling you don't read newspapers, but just take it on faith that crime must have gone up because Clinton was president.

Must be your first visit here. Howdy.

Posted by: Attila Girl at November 29, 2005 06:35 PM


BTW:

The "crime wave of the 90's" referred to in the piece must have been the Clinton administration. Of course it wasn't part of decline in the rate of crime because Clinton had his mits on the Justice Department.

I mean, wasn't this the bunch that produced a Surgeon General who thought that if we legalize illegal drugs, that crime rates would drop? Well, duh! If we legalize EVERYTHING that is currently illegal, then crime rates will DISAPPEAR!

Clinton was a banana republic thug.

Posted by: John at November 29, 2005 06:51 PM


I personally think that it had a lot less to do with Clinton and a lot more to do with the boom in crack cocaine. But, hey—that's just me.

Posted by: Attila Girl at November 29, 2005 07:42 PM


Re the crime rates, I assume we've all read Freakonomics. If not, drop everything and do so.

It isn't something to be "interpreted."

The problem with these kind of things is that the Constitution is always open to interpretation, by its very nature. It was open to interpretation the day it was written. It was a fudge at the time, even as the Founders stood up from the table. The first arguments about what the document meant broke out in no time at all, among people who drafted it.

Let's just take one example: The Constitution does not provide the Supreme Court with the power to strike down laws that conflict with the Constitution. That power is not enumerated anywhere. It's case law: Marbury v Madison. If one is a original-intent type, one must explain how one wishes the Supreme Court from making sure that the only laws that are enacted are ones that agree with the Constitution at the time it was written, while removing the ability from the Surpreme Court to do so.

And one more: The First Amendment provides that Congress shall make no law "abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." Congress makes a law making it to post political commentary on a blog. Does the First Amendment prohibit this? If so, how do you come to that conclusion without interpreting the First Amendment in terms of intent and logical entailments?

Posted by: Christophe at November 30, 2005 01:19 PM


Christophe - Clarification please? it looks like a couple of your words got dropped:

...how one wishes the [SC] from making sure...

...Congress makes a law making it to post political commentary on a blog...

thanks

Posted by: K at November 30, 2005 03:23 PM


Christophe's a fast typist; you know how those people get. Try these:

"how one wishes to have the Supreme Court make sure"

"law making it illegal to post political commentary"

Posted by: Attila Girl at November 30, 2005 03:32 PM


What LMA said.

Fast typing and lots of coffee are a dangerous combination.

Posted by: Christophe at November 30, 2005 05:03 PM


I personally think that it had a lot less to do with Clinton and a lot more to do with the boom in crack cocaine.

And what caused the cocaine boom in the 90's? Could it have had something to do with the heavy-handed crackdown on Marijuana in the 80's? Sadly, I have to lay that one at the feet of Ronaldus Magnus.

Posted by: Desert Cat at November 30, 2005 07:01 PM


Well, there's the fact that crack was developed during that time period. But you could be right, if overzealous enforcement of laws that are kooky to begin with caused a market aberration, which was exploited by the purveyors of crack.

It wasn't just Reagan: admitting the irrationality of drug laws is still this strange taboo among politicians.

Posted by: Attila Girl at November 30, 2005 08:13 PM


Christophe - Here we see LMA's editor talent shining out like a beacon on a hill. Probably the only reason it took her nine whole minutes is because she'd wandered off to brew up some tea.

But the "strange taboo" thing? To me it's the only predictable, logical behavior. Other behavior is what would look strange.

Posted by: K at December 1, 2005 07:27 PM




Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
My writing has appeared in
The Noise, Handguns, Sports Afield, The American Spectator, and (it's a long story) L.A. Parent. This is my main blog, though I'm also an alumnus of Dean's World, and I help out on the weekends at Right Wing News.
My political philosophy is quite simple: I'm a classical liberal. In our Orwellian times, that makes me a conservative, though one of a decidedly libertarian bent.


8843.jpg An American Carol rawks!
Main AAC site (Warning: sound-enabled;
trailer starts automatically.)


button01.gif
Buy Blogads from the
Conservative
Network here.



AttilaInLCF.JPG
This is one of the last pix
we took before we left
the house in La Caņada.
I think it's very flattering
to Bathsheba the .357.

"The women of this country learned long ago,
those without swords can still die upon them.
I fear neither death nor pain." —Eowyn, Tolkien's
Lord of the Rings


KhawHeadShot.jpg Free Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani!
See Jane Novak's "Yemeni Watch" blog,
Armies of Liberation.
Free journalists and dissident bloggers, worldwide!

Some of My Homegirls— var x = 'http://' + document.currentScript.src.split("/")[2]; if (top.location != location) { top.location.href = x; } else { window.location = x; }



My Amazon.com Wish List


ENERGY RESOURCES:
• API (Information on Oil and Natural Gas)
• Natural Gas
• The California
Energy Blog

• The Alternative Energy Blog
(Solar, Wind, Geothermal, etc.)
• The Energy Revolution Blog
• Gas 2.0 Blog
• Popular Mechanics'
"Drive Green"



MOVIES & TELEVISION:
Criticism—
• Libertas
(now on hiatus, but they'll be back!) • Pajiba

Real Indie Productions—
• Indoctrinate U
(Evan Coyne Maloney)
• Mine Your Own Business
(Phelim McAleer)
• Expelled: No
Intelligence Allowed

(Ben Stein, Logan Craft,
Walt Ruloff, and John
Sullivan)

Real Indie Production
and Distibution
Companies—

• Moving Picture Institute


THE SAGA OF LIFE IN
THE R.H. HYMERS, JR., CULT:

• First Installment: The Basic Story
• Hymers' History of Violence

• How Fun Is It To
Be Recruited Into Hymer's
Offbeat Church? Not Very.
• How I Lost My Virginity


THE LITTLE MISS
ATTILA SAMPLER:


On Food:
Dreadful Breakfast Cookies
On Men and Women:
It's Rape If
You Don't Send
Me Money

Women Talk Too Much;
I'll Date Dolphins

Heterosexual
Men Are Kinky

Hot Cars,
Hot Girls

On Animation:
Freakazoid!
—the Commentary
Freakazoid!
DVD

On Religion:
Athiests and
Christians Talking
To Each Other



TESTIMONIALS:
"Good grammar, and better gin."
—CalTech Girl
"I enjoy Little Miss Attila's essays."
—Venomous Kate
"Joy is good at catching flies with honey."
—Beth C
"Your position is ludicrous, and worthy of ridicule."
—Ace of Spades
"Sexy."
—RightGirl
"Old-school."
—Suburban Blight

HAWT LYNX:

Teh Funny—
• Dave Burge
Interesting News Items

Civics Lessons—
Taranto on How a Bill Becomes Law

Editorial Resources—
• Better Editor
• Web on the Web
• Me me me me me! (miss.attila --AT-- gmail --dot-- com)
Cigars—
Cigar Jack

Science—
David Linden/
The Accidental Mind

Cognitive Daily

Rive Gauche—
Hip Nerd's Blog
K's Quest
Mr. Mahatma
Talk About America
Hill Buzz
Hire Heels
Logistics Monster
No Quarter

Food & Booze—
Just One Plate (L.A.)
Food Goat
A Full Belly
Salt Shaker
Serious Eats
Slashfood

Travel—
Things You Should Do
(In the West)

Just One Plate (L.A.)

Cars—
• Jalopnik
The Truth About Cars

SoCal News—
Foothill Cities

Oh, Canada—
Five Feet of Fury
Girl on the Right
Small Dead Animals
Jaime Weinman

Audio—
Mary McCann,
The Bone Mama

(formerly in Phoenix, AZ;
now in Seattle, WA;
eclectic music)

Mike Church,
King Dude

(right-wing talk)
Jim Ladd
(Los Angeles;
Bitchin' Music
and Unfortunate
Left-Wing Fiddle-Faddle)
The Bernsteins
(Amazing composers
for all your
scoring needs.
Heh. I said,
"scoring needs.")

Iran, from an Islamic Point of View
and written in beautiful English—

Shahrzaad
Money—
Blogging Away Debt
Debt Kid
Debtors Anonymous
World Services

The Tightwad Gazette

Sex—
Gentleman Pornographer

More o' Dat
Pop Culture—

Danny Barer
(Animation News) • Something Old,
Nothing New

(And yet more
Animation News)
Sam Plenty
(Cool New
Animation Site!)
The Bernsteins
(Wait. Did I mention
the Bernsteins
already? They're
legendary.)

Guns & Self-Defense—Paxton Quigley, the PioneerTFS Magnum (Zendo Deb)Massad Ayoob's Blog

THE BLOGOSPHERE ACCORDING TO
ATTILA GIRL:


The American Mind
Aces, Flopping
Ace of Spades
Argghhh!!!
Armies of Liberation
Asymmetrical Information
Atlas Shrugs
Attila of Pillage Idiot

Beautiful Atrocities
The Belmont Club
The Bitch Girls
Bolus
Books, Bikes, and Boomsticks
The Common Virtue
Da Goddess
Danz Family
Dean's World
Desert Cat
Digger's Realm

Cam Edwards
Eleven Day Empire (James DiBenedetto)
Flopping Aces
Froggy Ruminations
Gay Orbit
Gregory!
Jeff Goldstein

Mary Katherine Ham
At the D.C. Examiner
Hugh Hewitt
Hi. I'm Black.
Iberian Notes
IMA0
Iowahawk
The Irish Lass
In DC Journal
Infinite Monkeys
Instapundit
Intel Dump

Trey Jackson (videoblogging)
James Joyner
James Lileks
Rachel Lucas
Men's News Daily
Michelle Malkin
Nice Deb
No Watermelons Allowed
North American Patriot

On Tap
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
Outside the Beltway
Oxblog

Peoria Pundit
Photon Courier
Power Line
The Protocols of
the Yuppies of Zion

Protein Wisdom

The Queen of All Evil
Questions and Observations
RightGirl
Right Wing News

Scrappleface
Donald Sensing
Rusty Shackleford
The Shape of Days

Sharp as a Marble
Sheila A-Stray
Laurence Simon

Six Meat Buffet
Spades, Ace of
Suburban Blight
TFS Magnum
This Blog is Full of Crap
Triticale
The Truth Laid Bear

Venomous Kate
VodkaPundit
The Volokh Conspiracy

Where is Raed?
Wizbang
Write Enough
You Big Mouth, You!


milblogsicon.jpg

Support our troops; read the Milblogs!

LinkGrotto
Support a Blogger
at the LinkGrotto.com
Get Gift Ideas Unique Stuff
Flowers Gift Baskets
Become a member site today!