I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

Name:
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Originalism under attack

A post on the Balkinization blog has links to abstracts of three scholarly papers attacking the doctrine of originalist interpretation of the Constitution. I am glad to see that originalism is finally under major attack -- I wonder what took so long. Originalism needs to be recognized for what it is, a very pernicious form of judicial activism. Originalists have gone so far as to put words in the mouths of the Founders.

One of the papers has the blunt title, "Originalism is Bunk". Another paper, titled "Originalism's Living Constitutionalism", says,
.
Originalists' claims about the unique and exclusive legitimacy of their theory -- that originalism self-evidently represents the correct method of constitutional interpretation founder when one considers that originalists themselves cannot even begin to agree on what their correct approach actually entails. And their claims that originalism has a unique ability to produce determinate and fixed constitutional meaning, and that only originalism properly treats the Constitution as law and properly constrains judges from reading their own values into the Constitution, stumble when one considers the rapid evolution and dizzying array of versions of originalism . . . .A judge committed to the originalist enterprise in fact has significant discretion to choose (consciously or unconsciously) the version of originalism that is most likely to produce results consistent with her own preferences. Originalists might despise the notion of a living constitution, but they have gone a long way towards creating a living constitutionalism of their own, the very existence of which undermines their own rhetorical and normative claims to superiority.

The third paper is titled "Rebooting Originalism".

IMO the poster child of the evils of originalism is Judge Jones' infamous commencement speech at Dickinson College, in which he showed extreme prejudice against the Dover defendants -- regardless of whether or not Intelligent Design is a religious concept -- by saying that his Dover decision was based on his notion that the Founders based the establishment clause upon a belief that organized religions are not "true" religions. He said,

. . . this much is very clear. The Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry. At bottom then, this core set of beliefs led the Founders, who constantly engaged and questioned things, to secure their idea of religious freedom by barring any alliance between church and state.

Ironically, Judge Jones gave the speech while standing behind the Dickinson College seal, which was designed by USA Founders Benjamin Rush and John Dickinson and which contains a picture of an open bible and the college motto "religion and learning, the bulwark of liberty" in Latin.

Judge Jones was supposed to be neutral towards organized religions and he was not. By no stretch of the imagination are his above statements neutral towards organized religions.

In interpreting the establishment clause, originalists have portrayed the Founders as being everything from a bunch of blasphemous bible-burning satan worshippers to a bunch of bible-pounding holy-rolling fundies. Also, originalists have been conveniently ignoring the religious views of a very important Founder, George Washington -- see this and this.

The Federalist Society does not officially say that it is originalist but I strongly suspect that it is. It is named for the USA's first political party and the society's logo is a silhouette of James Madison. The question of Chief Justice John Roberts' membership in the society was an issue in his confirmation hearings.

Sometimes a broad non-originalist interpretation of the Constitution is necessary. For example, the Constitution does not generally prohibit states from interfering with interstate commerce, so the courts invented what is called the "dormant" commerce clause. Also, many big issues today were not even on the radar screens of the Founders -- e.g., environmental protection and freedom of speech on the Internet.
.

Labels: ,

9 Comments:

Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

More mindless repetition fromt the Cretin. He again shows that he doesn't understand Judge Jones' statement. He shows his wild interpretation of the significance of the Dickenson College seal. He shows his total ignorance of law.

How about something new for a change?

> freedom of speech on the Internet <

You have freedom of speech on the Internet. You can bray anything that you want, and you do.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 7:13:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> He again shows that he doesn't understand Judge Jones' statement. <<<<<<

I'm still waiting for your interpretation, dunghill

>>>>> He shows his wild interpretation of the significance of the Dickenson College seal. <<<<<<

It is not my interpretation -- it is Dickinson College's interpretation. I got it off the Dickinson College website.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 6:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For example, the Constitution does not generally prohibit states from interfering with interstate commerce ...

This of course explains why so many states collect tariffs.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008 8:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

> I'm still waiting for your interpretation, dunghill <

It has been on this blog repeatedly and will still be there when and if you learn to read.

>>>>> He shows his wild interpretation of the significance of the Dickenson College seal. <<<<<<

> It is not my interpretation -- it is Dickinson College's interpretation. I got it off the Dickinson College website. <

The Dickinson College website gives an interpretation to the relationship between their seal on a podium and the words of someone who stands behind it?

Thursday, February 28, 2008 12:04:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> It has been on this blog repeatedly and will still be there when and if you learn to read. <<<<<

Bullshit.

I will soon post another article slamming Judge Jones' "true religion" speech.

>>>>>> The Dickinson College website gives an interpretation to the relationship between their seal on a podium and the words of someone who stands behind it? <<<<<<<

No, dunghill, the website interprets the college seal. The website says that the open book represents the bible and the website translates the Latin college motto as "religion and learning, the bulwark of liberty." What a stupid fathead.

Thursday, February 28, 2008 2:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>>> It has been on this blog repeatedly and will still be there when and if you learn to read. <<<<<

> Bullshit. <

The truth is bullshit to you. It is still here on this blog for anyone who knows how to read, to do so. You are much like a little child who believes that when he puts his hands over his eyes he becomes invisible.

> I will soon post another article slamming Judge Jones' "true religion" speech. <

Mindless repetition, nothing new.

>>>>>> The Dickinson College website gives an interpretation to the relationship between their seal on a podium and the words of someone who stands behind it? <<<<<<<

> No, dunghill, the website interprets the college seal. <

You have just proven that you can't read. Read ViU's comment and your answer and see if you can deny that you have, as usual, shown your lack of understanding of what you attempt to read.

Thursday, February 28, 2008 8:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

>>>>>> The Dickinson College website gives an interpretation to the relationship between their seal on a podium and the words of someone who stands behind it? <<<<<<<

> No, dunghill, the website interprets the college seal. <

Then your original statement was absurd, obviously.

Thursday, February 28, 2008 3:44:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> No, dunghill, the website interprets the college seal. <

Then your original statement was absurd, obviously.<<<<<<

WHAT original statement?

Thursday, February 28, 2008 4:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> WHAT original statement? <

Hello. Anybody home?

Larry, you hopeless Bozo. The point is obviously your contrived relationship between the Dickenson College seal and anything Jones said or shold have said.

Friday, February 29, 2008 2:49:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home