Friday, October 05, 2007

Changing The Constitution

Megan McArdle:
Turley is not the only liberal legal scholar who has turned on this interpretation, and it seems to bode a welcome retreat from the notion that the constitution means--whatever we think it ought to have meant. Having realized that a plastic constitution could also, horrors, be manipulated by people they disagreed with, the "living constitution" proponents seem to be retreating to the notion that constitutional interpretations ought to have a least a tenuous relationship to the underlying text. I'm not a constitution-worshipper, but I think society functions better if you change the rules by changing them, not by declaring that they mean whatever those in power say they do. Yes, I'm aware that this happens to some degree in every society, but the less of it the better, thank you very much. We needn't make the perfect the enemy of the reasonable.
I like reading that the idea of the "living constitution" might be in a bit of retreat. I'm not sure I believe this yet. I also like the part about changing the rules by changing them.

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