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Posted: 3/31/2006 7:33:42 AM EDT
Please, hear me out before you respond. I've seen a lot of arguments on ARFCOM about how the constitution isn't a living argument. I think this is because people think that's the side they should take because of gun rights. I submit that it is indeed a living document and being interpreted as such is not the reason for gun control.

The Bill of Rights, is made of 10 Ammendments... That is the key word. I'm totally fine with that knowing that as long as those ammendments are in place, they can't be trampled. In order to repeal an ammendment, it takes extraordinary political will and capital, along with state and popular support. In other words, the 2nd ammendment isn't going to be repealed. The desecration of our constitution thus far by gun control groups is not because it is a "living document" it is simply an illegal usurption of an ammendment that is already in the books. If they want gun control, they better pass an ammendment for it and that just aint gonna happen.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 7:37:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 7:38:19 AM EDT by TheCynic]
"Living Document" refers to a broad judicial interpretation of the Constitution based on common day public opinion which allows for unconstitutional laws to be enacted in the name of "mob rule" without the need to go through the amendment process.

What you describe is the (brilliant) legal mechanism that the founders built into the Constitution to allow for changes in attitudes.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 7:37:39 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 7:38:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 7:39:41 AM EDT by Grunteled]

Originally Posted By DocBrooks:
Please, hear me out before you respond. I've seen a lot of arguments on ARFCOM about how the constitution isn't a living argument. I think this is because people think that's the side they should take because of gun rights. I submit that it is indeed a living document and being interpreted as such is not the reason for gun control.

The Bill of Rights, is made of 10 Ammendments... That is the key word. I'm totally fine with that knowing that as long as those ammendments are in place, they can't be trampled. In order to repeal an ammendment, it takes extraordinary political will and capital, along with state and popular support. In other words, the 2nd ammendment isn't going to be repealed. The desecration of our constitution thus far by gun control groups is not because it is a "living document" it is simply an illegal usurption of an ammendment that is already in the books. If they want gun control, they better pass an ammendment for it and that just aint gonna happen.



That is not what is meant by the term 'living document' so what you have just described is irrelevent and redundant. That phrase is used to say that interpretation of the language of the existing constitution is subject to the changing views of culture and the judiciary. That is why we oppose it.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 7:40:04 AM EDT
OK OK, I guess I misinterpreted what was meant by "living document"... good call.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 7:40:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 7:41:07 AM EDT



because the "living document" argument has NEVER been used to gain me more rights then i had the day before.


Link Posted: 3/31/2006 7:41:28 AM EDT
As a living document it can be changed to suit the mob's whims, eventually making each and every american inept.

As a fixed document it is able to be guarded from the whims of assholes in power who want to enslave every american.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 7:42:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 7:42:59 AM EDT by Q3131A]
Others have covered it pretty well.

The Constitution is the foundation of our government and country. By making it a "living document" you effectively make the foundation sand by re-interpreting the amendments to suit contemporary wants.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 7:58:11 AM EDT
It's how one interp[rets "living document." Indeed, the Constitution is living to the extent there is a provision for amendment. The current meaning of "living" means one can twist words and call it "Constitutional." The real issue is the usual liberal hypocrisy: something is acceptable if they agree with it, otherwise ban it. That principle goes through many aspects of liberal "doctrine" from freedom of speech (leftist only) to guns and others. I have seen a "conservatism" applied to the Constitution by liberals, which shows this well. Some have sneeringly claimed that the 2nd Amendment applies only to flintlocks because that was what was in existence at the time. Of course, that the writer of that comment was printed in a newspaper by computer presses (and, possibly transmitted to regional presses by microwave or cable) was "different", I am sure. That only "hand-screw" presses existed at the time of the Constitution's writing was an irrelevant detail. So, even the terminology doesn't matter, it's just the forcing of hypocrisy on us that is the issue.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 8:00:15 AM EDT
Historically, there have been some honest (maybe "open" is a better word) gun grabbers who were able to admit the 2d ammendmnet said what it said and actually initiate the ammendment process to repeal it.

I seem to recall a Rep. Owens or some such from Ohio most recently - but this could have been 15 or so years ago.

As others have said, the term "living document" has been hijacked by people who don't think they need ammendments.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 8:04:03 AM EDT
"In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man,
but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

~ Thomas Jefferson
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 8:05:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 8:06:43 AM EDT by DeltaDelta214]
In a practical sense, "living document" is simply a democrat party ploy. Since they are not in power they attempt to get liberal judges to legislate from the bench.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 8:06:39 AM EDT
because the men who wrote it were brilliant georgian britons who loved liberty


and the "persons" who will re-write it today are evil low-down whores
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 8:23:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 9:17:41 AM EDT by Kihn]
Used to be known as the 'Underlying Principle' argument. Open to a huge interpretation by Legislators based on their selective pickings of writings and broad personal interpretations of what was meant by the authors then. Another bizarre angle at the argument is how they feel that the authors would see it today based on our progress and changes during the history of our nation. Something akin to clairavoyance by those who practice it in my opinion. 'Origninal Intent' is our side of the argument, what is known as 'Strict Interpretation' in today's lexicon BTW.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 8:32:35 AM EDT
Why can't people spell 'Amendment' correctly?


The 'living document' argument, which usually comes from the side that wants to liberally reinterpret or exclude whole articles, based on their feelings simply don't want to accept what America is SUPPOSED to be, and the rights and freedoms that other people have.

They don't realize that a law which is written on paper ALWAYS means the same thing. Even if words change in our popular lexicon that could alter the meaning of a law. "That which it meant when it was written, it still means today".

Sure, we can, by the process laid out within the Constitution itself, alter or add laws as needed, and we can also abolish laws that are no longer needed or applicable in our society.

I personally think the Bill of Rights should be considered 'set in stone', and unalterable. I just wish the Founding Fathers had been a little more clear on the 2nd Amendment... then we wouldn't get so much 'reinterpretive dissidence' on it, as I call it.

Link Posted: 3/31/2006 8:56:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 8:58:44 AM EDT by BillofRights]
Your question has been answered above. You misinterpreted the phase. "living document" Al Gore, John Kerry and the like are not talking about legally changing the constitution

If the liberals were trying to eliminate the 2nd though an honest and forthright process of repealing it, then we could at least respect our enemy.

However, they are trying to abolish the 2nd though judicial activism and sneaky wordplay. They deserve only hated and contempt.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 9:23:24 AM EDT
I'll bypass all the jurisprudence and political philosophy, and just get down to the brass tacks on why the "living document" arguments are foolish based on primary documentory evidence: the Amendment process of the US Constitution itself. Justice Scalia, among many, many others has written brilliant obiter and journal articles on why the "living document" people are foolish and wrong, but let's just get down to the amendment argument.

The amendment process is a long, difficult, and protracted series of events that all have to go in the favor of the advocates of an amendment in order to get it passed. Why? Because the document, as an anchor for all the other laws of the state, and which grants certain powers to the state, is supposed to be static and unchanging.

Static and unchanging means we look at the original intent of the framers. We arrive at original intent by examining what the language meant at the time it was written, at what the writers intended, and at the society of that day. If someone doesn't like what the Constitution says in that light, they have the option of (1) working through the process to amend, (2) shutting up and living with it as is, or (3) getting the hell out of dodge and moving to another country (keep in mind that America WAS founded on your right to get up and leave if you don't like it).

If the document's interpretation can change because certain parties want to change the intent, without changing the document itself, without going through the amendment process, then the document is rendered meaningless in its entirety. What part can we trust to be law if the means of changing it are void? Lex Rex depends on law being static. Communication and thought itself depend on some measure of static-ness, but law most of all as it form the codified rules by which we measure things.

There was a time when an inch was a living thing in old England. The king realized that a standard was necessary in order for everyone to know that an inch on plans was the same thing everywhere, so he stuck his thumb down and said "that's an inch". The width of his thumb. Not anyone's thumb. Not the thumb of the foreman. Not the thumb of his father, or his son. His thumb, as recorded in that place and time. If he got fatter later (and the historical record shows he did) an inch did not change.

It has to be the same with the law. Law must be static or it is rendered meaningless and powerless for all purposes.

The "living document" folks like their term because "living" sounds so much nicer than "dead". A better way to look at it is jello vs rock. To change the shape of jello, you can squish it with your hand, heck, you can blow on it or just leave it in the sun. It's still jello, but it's entire structure can be changed with little effort. In contrast, to change the shape of a rock, you need a tool. I'd rather have the powers of the state limited by rock personally, but I am sure Mao, Lenin, Hitler, and Hitlery would prefer otherwise because after all they know better than we do what is good for everybody and checks and balances just get in the way of their progress.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 11:13:54 AM EDT
"As a living document it can be changed to suit the mob's whims, eventually making each and every american inept."

Yes, they think us ordinary folks out here in "flyover country" are too stupid to read plain English, and we need the Libtards to properly "interpret" the meaning of the Constitution for us.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 11:19:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sylvan:
I think you miss the definition.
Living document means you can change the meaning of the in place amendments in order to match societal whims.
It basically means the constitution is a worthless document and that what judges want now is the only law of the land.




Ding Ding Ding!!

If the Supreme legal document of our system is subject to interpretation based upon social opinion or mob mentality then what is to say that every legal document, contract, law, etc will be held to the same?

Maybe in 15 years you could renegotiate your mortgage price..
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 11:22:32 AM EDT
Because that means it is worthless. It can be changed with each new SCOTUS, President, etc.....
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 11:41:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Belloc:
"In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man,
but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

~ Thomas Jefferson




OHHHH, I'm gonna use that in my American Government class.

Whats it from?
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 11:45:30 AM EDT
An object in motion tends to stay in motion
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 4:59:25 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
Why can't people spell 'Amendment' correctly?



Spehllng hsa nver bin meye strawng poynt
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 5:15:09 PM EDT
MO of the "living document" bit is that it allows for changes to be made thru Const Amendments.

The judicial activism and societal whim crap are just ways for those who desire to trample the Constitution to exert their will without due process. That should be fought by any and all means necessary including armed revolution. If they piss on the BORs sign me up for that immediately, I will be ready. Call me a Minuteman, and that ain't because of my sexual prowess.

All of that said, it is MO that the BORs is so basic to human liberty and a free nation that none of those should be touched. Those rights are not granted by gov't but are inherent to the human freedom.

My final word on the subject is that I ain't no fucking frog.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 5:34:55 PM EDT
I'll play (only because I've been drinking; otherwise, I know better than to debate these issues)

I think the phrase "All men created equal" came from the Dec of Ind. If we take the founding fathers at their meaning, at the time, this meant white dudes. Is that how we interpret it now? Stuff changes
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 5:43:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 5:46:31 PM EDT by Da_Bunny]

"The very purpose of a Bill of Rights," Justice Jackson wrote in the 1943 flag-salute case, "was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections."


No one can touch the Bill of Rights. They are non-negotiable.

Link Posted: 3/31/2006 5:51:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By argoyle:
I'll play (only because I've been drinking; otherwise, I know better than to debate these issues)

I think the phrase "All men created equal" came from the Dec of Ind. If we take the founding fathers at their meaning, at the time, this meant white dudes. Is that how we interpret it now? Stuff changes



Put down your drink and read some history. "All men" meant all HUMAN BEINGS.

Jefferson personally believed slavery to be a vile practice, and his words drew straight from the enlightenment tradition that was always about ALL HUMANS.

The original draft of the Declaration even included a rant against the slave trade, but it was removed under pressure from some other delegates.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 6:14:37 PM EDT
"BUT, BUT..... Isn't the Constitution written in pencil and comes with an attached eraser??????" "Can't we just change it at will?" " We can just make a law and change the whole Bill of Rights, right?"

Living Document. Old liberal roommate used to believe it and I used to quote that right back to him to show him how idiotic he sounded. I actually converted him into pro-gun, way less liberal.

Heard it so many times. Makes me sick.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 6:25:06 PM EDT
The "Living Document" interpretration referes to revising the meaning of the words of the constitution and the Bill of Rights to be something different than what the founding fathers had in mind. We have strayed away from our course as an honorable nation because so many of our politicians have bought into and sold us out on the "Living Document" theory. For example, in the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson wrote the passage, "all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights...." The living docment crowd has taken these words out of context to mean that all men are equal under the government and they use this to justify their wealth redistribution scheme. Thomas Jefferson said in so many words that all men are created equal before God and will be judged equally before God. The living document crowd takes God out of the equation and substitutes government in it's place. In doing so we end up with a government that looks more like communism than a Constitutional Republic. The Living Document crowd tries to reinvent the meaning of the 2nd amendment by saying that the right to keed and bear arms is not an individual right but a collective right of the several states. We all know this is bullshit but unfortunately all we need is another Libtard president and a Janet Reno wannabe AG and we will be in that sorry assed situation again. The living Document crowd wants us to also beleive that the Militia referred to in the 2nd amendment isn't we the people but some how it is the National Guard which is a federal army competly foreign to what the founding fathers had in mind. The US Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence are not "Living Documents" because they are based on certain principles that don't and should not change.
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 6:29:48 PM EDT
Because it is what it is, and means what it says...........not any multitude of interpretations
Link Posted: 3/31/2006 8:35:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/31/2006 8:39:05 PM EDT by AlvinYorkII]

Originally Posted By DocBrooks:
OK OK, I guess I misinterpreted what was meant by "living document"... good call.




"living document" is the term that unsuccessful libs use when they haven't been able to con the general electorite into voting their way. Why do you think they raise such a hissy fit every time that a conservative justice is nominated to the supreme court? They can see their agenda once again being put on hold. If they want to change the meaning of an article to the constitution all they have to do is to get an amendment accepted to the constitution. Easier said than done.


Alvin

Accept no legislation from the bench!
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