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If You View the Constitution


Clyde
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If you interpret the Constitution in a very strict manner, are you a conservative or a liberal?

 

Why?

I'd say you were conservative. By their very names, liberals are about change. They would therefore want a more open interpretation of the Constitution. This is neither good nor bad.

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I'd say you were conservative. By their very names, liberals are about change. They would therefore want a more open interpretation of the Constitution. This is neither good nor bad.

 

Strict interpretation is conservative? Even if its against the wishes of the majority?

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Strict interpretation is conservative? Even if its against the wishes of the majority?
I'm confused, now. What does the majority have to do with whether a strict interpretation of the constitution is considered conservative or not. Are we voting on word definitions now? If so, I wish to put nomothetic on the ballot. :D
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Strict constructionist is a favorite conservative buzzword, but there are accepted interpretations beyond the bare-bones reading of the document that most conservatives would prefer. It's a case by case thing, which is why we should have lively debate and a Supreme Court and not a computer designed for 'if this, then this.'

 

Another case where perception and reality don't quite meet is in the case of so-called 'activist judges.' The conservatives on the Supreme Court have actually voted to overturn more laws than the liberals, but because these are outcomes that conservatives deem desirable we don't hear a lot of garment rending and teeth gnashing the way that we do when the California S.C. or 9th Circuit overturns a law.

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Strict constructionist is a favorite conservative buzzword, but there are accepted interpretations beyond the bare-bones reading of the document that most conservatives would prefer. It's a case by case thing, which is why we should have lively debate and a Supreme Court and not a computer designed for 'if this, then this.'

 

Another case where perception and reality don't quite meet is in the case of so-called 'activist judges.' The conservatives on the Supreme Court have actually voted to overturn more laws than the liberals, but because these are outcomes that conservatives deem desirable we don't hear a lot of garment rending and teeth gnashing the way that we do when the California S.C. or 9th Circuit overturns a law.

 

I wouldn't think the number of laws overturned is an indicator of whether a judge is activist, would it?

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I wouldn't think the number of laws overturned is an indicator of whether a judge is activist, would it?

 

Absolutely not. For example, if a state banned all guns of all types under all circumstances and the Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional based upon the 2nd ammendment they would have overturned a law but they would not be activist judges.

 

Also, since a newly passed law is more likely impose restrictions on freedoms that did not previously exist than it is to remove restrictions that had existed in the past, it stands to reason that a conservative judge would resist new restrictions and therefore overturn more decisions.

 

However, you can only really determine if a decision is "activist" or not is on a case by case basis.

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It is highly, highly bothersome to me when I see someone say that a Court has "ignored the will of the majority." It is a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of the courts. In many cases, it is precisely the very existence of the courts tha protects us from the "will of the majority" when that "will" is unlawful.

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It is highly, highly bothersome to me when I see someone say that a Court has "ignored the will of the majority." It is a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of the courts. In many cases, it is precisely the very existence of the courts tha protects us from the "will of the majority" when that "will" is unlawful.

 

Thank you for saying what I've always believed. :thumb:

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It is highly, highly bothersome to me when I see someone say that a Court has "ignored the will of the majority." It is a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of the courts. In many cases, it is precisely the very existence of the courts tha protects us from the "will of the majority" when that "will" is unlawful.

I don't have a problem with a court saying that a law is unconstitutional. I have a problem with a court basically making new law.

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I don't have a problem with a court saying that a law is unconstitutional. I have a problem with a court basically making new law.

 

Why? What if there is not a law that addresses an issue that comes before the Court?

 

The problem with the "don't make new law" approach is that issues get to the courts a lot faster than they are addressed by the legislature.

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Why? What if there is not a law that addresses an issue that comes before the Court?

 

The problem with the "don't make new law" approach is that issues get to the courts a lot faster than they are addressed by the legislature.

1) My first concern is with policy encroachment, that is, rogue jurists who will twist the law in a manner that usurps the role of the legislature.

 

2) Second, legislating from the bench is an extra-legal and therefore, illegitimate form of judicial decision making. Appropriate judging entails a strict adherence to enforcing carefully delineated and limited legal values, rules, and procedures. Without these constraints, judges will generate law that is illegitimate and inconstant.

3) Inventive decisions can prescribe behaviors and establish rules far beyond the issues of the instigating case.

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