The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

"Up or Down, Sonia?" Be the first in SD to vote.

Sotomayer's hearings are starting...
Carl Levin is introducing...
Trigger fingers are itching...

Some of yours probably are too.

If so, take the poll on the right.

Or, if you prefer, go ahead and speak
your mind in the comment section.

Any bets on when they call for cloture?

p.s. Did you know they sometimes refer
to cloture as "guillotine?" Gulp.


Bob Newland said...

I have little hope that ANY Supreme Court makeup will do anything but continue to trim liberty at the edges.

The principle debate over a new nominee (Sotomayor and beyond) will probably center on whether he or she will opine to reverse Roe v Wade or not.

Like it or not (and I quite often don't) whatever the Court decides in the cases it hears becomes for all practical purposes an Amendment to the Constitution.

Bill Fleming said...

"...continue to trim liberty at the edges".

I suppose you could argue, Bob, that in essence, that's also what the Constitution does, limit liberty.

Bob Newland said...

The Constitution was drawn up expressly to limit government, not liberty. It was the assumption that people innately had the liberty to do anything they wanted to do that did not violate the "laws of nature." It was assumed that those laws included--for humans, at least--that humans could not arbitrarily infringe on others' rights by harming them without cause. The Bill of Rights was then added to further impress upon the servants of the people--government--that they could not, specifically, infringe a few enumerated rights.

All governments of the USA since then have worked without rest to de facto, or by statute, repeal the Bill of Rights.

Bill Fleming said...

Well, Bob, I said you COULD, argue the other side, so I guess I WILL, mostly just to hear what you'll say. So please bear with me while I lay out part of the argument.

First, there is this, the Preamble... the reason the document was created:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Now that seems to me to be saying that the the purpose of the document is:

1. To ESTABLISH a Government, not to limit it. Indeed there was no federal government at the time it was established, so that's about as "limited" as it gets, isn't it?

2. To Limit Liberties, as per the following definition:

Domestic Tranquility

One of the concerns of the Framers was that the government prior to that under the Constitution was unable, by force or persuasion, to quell rebellion or quarrels amongst the states. The government watched in horror as Shay's Rebellion transpired just before the Convention, and some states had very nearly gone to war with each other over territory (such as between Pennsylvania and Connecticut over Wilkes-Barre). One of the main goals of the Convention, then, was to ensure the federal government had powers to squash rebellion and to smooth tensions between states.

That's as far as I'll go right now except to ask, if the Constitution wasn't viewed as a restraint on liberty, why did they add the Bill of Rights?

And all the Amendments that have come later.

Gotta run.

Looking forward to your answer, mon/

Bob Newland said...

I did misrepresent in my earlier post. Of course the Constitution was drawn up to establish a government. It then delineated specific powers that government was to exercise. It is those specific powers that the founding fathers began to overstep, and all public servants since then have overstepped even further.

I am in a poor position to exemplify graphically the results of those oversteps, because of the terms of my, uh, current condition. Others might want to. If they don't, well, I'm not inclined to argue my position further right now.

It will have to suffice that it is plain that liberty is being suppressed ever more steadily and to the deficit of us all.