Wednesday, May 25, 2011

cause and effect: sticking to "rule of law" vs. worrying about various and sundry violations of the Constitution

From my old friend, Andy Horning-- banging on the all-important drum of "rule of law" vs. all of the smaller squabbles that get us excited (e.g., the recent violations of the 4th Amendment in Indiana)...

Today we're mad at some Indiana Supreme Court justices. We want to fight back. That's reasonable.

But what's our goal?

Are we interested in firing a few judges? Reversing a decision? Easing a gun ban or two? Making the Fed show us some numbers? Would that make us happy, prosperous and secure?

As we raise the debt ceiling on our kids before sending them to yet another undeclared war in Pakistan or France or wherever; as we direct ourselves into "Free Speech Zones" and get arrested for selling unpasteurized milk to people who want it...I have to ask a question:

Is this how we want to live? Don't we have any better ideas than to keep nibbling at little abuses here and there? Don't we have a better vision for life than to just keep robbing Peter to pay Paul, and playing Hatfield v McCoy?

I want rule of law under existing constitutions as written. That's all. I want some people to help me ask for it. We've spent the last century asking for, voting for, and getting, the opposite, you know.

The constitutions are proven to work, and they're already law, though we've chosen to ignore and flout them.

Sure, should we actually, finally choose this rule of law we'd still have to keep sharp to make sure that politicians stay on their side of the fence...but it's all black and white and simple. We can read it, tell others about it, paint a picture of how it works, and make others defend the indefensible argument that we can't have laws as written.

Why don't we quit fussing over symptoms and finally cure the disease? We have what we've chosen; we need to choose better. If we want rule of law under existing constitutions as written, we'll have to ask for it. I have a petition, a proposal, and a timeline for compliance here:

Anybody have a better idea?

Of course, we could keep doing what we've been doing…at least for a little while longer. But after decades of trying to attack the symptoms of our growing cancer while ignoring the disease ...we're failing faster and faster every day?

We don't have much time left before we've got no more to lose.


At May 28, 2011 at 8:21 AM , Blogger Morning Constitutional said...

It's all very well and good to relate "the rule of law" to adhering to constitutions. The problem remains that because those documents need to be interpreted, and because in many cases they contain terms where meaning is in the eye and experience of the interpreter ("equal protection udner the law", "reasonable", etc.) one person's strict adherence is another's gross distortion. So many people love to bash "unelected activist judges" for making and not simply interpreting, but generally when the less concrete terms are involved that simply translates into "the bad guys are those who don't agree with my interpretation".

At June 3, 2011 at 6:47 PM , Blogger Andy Horning said...

1. Not that you don't have a point; but the guys who wrote the federal constitution wrote scores of letters, columns, diaries and books that explained their words' meaning. So there isn't much excuse.
2. But no matter, since there's a process for clarifying whatever isn't clear, in print. That's the "living" part of the contract.


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