These thoughts are a layperson’s ideas on how best to gain an understanding of the argument between rightist ‘constitutionalists’ and liberal proponents of a looser interpretation or ‘living document,’ interpretation of the constitution.
I say layperson, but I read quite a bit, too, which also may be reflected here.
This was originally posted on a political forum on another site, but I received some positive response on it, so I thought I’d create an article out of it. I’ve found there isn’t a great deal of accessible material out there on some of these issues, so maybe this will help someone doing research.
1. The original intent of the US constitution could arguably be defined as encompassing a meaning related to Natural Law (which can be found in many human codes of ethics, going as far back as the Code of Hammurabi) which is different from Divine Law or Constant Law. If there is any original intent in the constitution, it is to be found in ethical realism. Without an understanding of what inalienable rights are and what individuality is as opposed to whatever, we lose a sense of distinction and law, life, and freedom all fall into a senseless ball of mixed ‘whatever you want freedom’, which is categorically a childish understanding of “liberty.”
The wannabe masters of the universe that cry out ‘original intent’ before smashing the constitution (along with our rights) to bits, are engaging in a practice known as doublespeak, which is very closely aligned with postmodernism. The agenda is deceit–their practice, dishonesty–their goal, intellectual slavery. People are so much better for business when they are like manageable cattle.
(I.E, postmodernism can include the systematic destruction of semantics, of which the loss of meaning is analogous to the confusion of tongues.)
2. But to be pragmatic about what we are dealing with—the constitution is hundreds of years old and has altered thanks mainly to legislatures. It seems correct to say that the current form of the Constitution is a law brought about by legislatures, and that there is no one intention behind this law. In other words, times have changed–and have changed the constitution.
The trick of course, is in a vision not so myopic and not so farsighted that one sees both the forest and can distinguish the trees as far as interpretation.
Also, not to have an agenda when you do attempt an interpretation.