Friday, October 08, 2010

The Constitution Is For Everyone's Use Not Just Judges

For those who do not understand ANYTHING about that document called the Constitution here is an excerpt from TIA by Rob Tracinski. Let's remember that the Constitution is a restraint on government NOT the People.

The most revealing phrase here is Adler's description of any attempt at legislative self-restraint as "an extraconstitutional attempt to limit the powers of Congress." Extraconstitutional? But what does he think the Constitution is for, anyway? The whole purpose of the Constitution is precisely to limit the powers of Congress, and of the government as a whole.

What the left does not want to admit is that the Constitution is a charter for a government of limited powers. It is a constitution for a nation founded on the principles of liberty and individual rights. So the whole purpose of our system is for every branch of government to be limited in as many ways as possible, in order to prevent encroachments on the rights of the people.

The essence of the Constitution is to say, to the people: you may do whatever you want, and government can only interfere with you insofar as it is executing of a small number of specifically defined powers. And to the government, it sends the opposite message: you cannot do whatever you want, but are limited in your powers. And in case you have any doubts about what these limits are, we the people have written down in this document what you are allowed to do and what you are not allowed to do.

The left's view of the Constitution is to turn this on its head. The people are to be extensively regulated in every aspect of their lives—but as to the government, nothing should be interpreted as creating any additional limits on its powers.

Other commentators have already pointed out the concrete meaning of Lithwick's standard of constitutionality: that the legislature should take as much power as it can grab and wait until the Supreme Court slaps its down, on the theory that it's not a crime if you don't get caught. It is a legal theory of lawlessness.

On a deeper level, it is a theory of amorality. The root of limited government is the subordination of might to right, the idea that government coercion may only be used for specifically delimited purposes. This is what I call "the constitutional creed"—the idea that the Constitution serves as a guide to the only appropriate moral justifications for the use of government coercion. Yet the left's view, expressed by Lithwick and her colleagues in the mainstream media, is that government coercion can be used at whim, with the only limitation being what each branch of government thinks it can get away with in a continual power struggle with the other branches.

There is an old saying that "liberty for the wolves is death for the lambs." This is a constitutional theory of liberty for the wolves, a grant of unbridled power to those who want to wield force.

With less than a month before the election, we must remember that this is what is at stake: not just health care or the economy or anything so nebulous as "jobs." What is at stake is whether there are any limits on the power of the state. Lithwick has just given us a reminder of the fact that the left recognizes no such limits in theory, and the past two years have reminded us that the left sees no such limits in practice.—RWT

No comments: