Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The constitution and the second amendment: "It always has been up for reinterpretation"

Has it? In case you didn't notice, Representative Bill Foster believes in word substitution and the living and breathing constitutional doctrine. He said:
It always has been up for reinterpretation. The technology changes, and the weapons thought to be too dangerous to be in private hands change. A civil war cannon is frankly much less dangerous than weapons we are allowed to carry on the streets in many of the states and cities in our country today. This is something where technology changes and public attitude changes and both are important in each of the generations.

Of course, if one part of the Constitution is up for reinterpretation, the whole thing is. But that's less important than the fact that Representative Foster is disagreeing with his own forefathers here. He would have you believe that the Constitution has always been living and breathing - this is a common refrain with progressives. They want to push this ideal that what they believe, the progressives, that's how it has always been. Well, a historian worth his salt would see through this. His own founding fathers, in the early 1900s, sung a very different tune. As I pointed out in January, in 1912, the constitution was not "living and breathing". Here is a brief snippet of what the progressives' own founding fathers were saying:

Can a practically unamendable constitution, adopted in the conditions and under the influences of the political thought prevailing at the end of the eighteenth century, be adapted by judicial interpretation to the needs and thought of the twentieth century without causing us to lose the advantages which are commonly regarded as attached to a written constitution?

That's Frank Johnson Goodnow, who was at one point President of John's Hopkins University. Walter Weyl, who quotes (agreeing with) Goodnow in a different writing: (page 111)

According to Prof. Frank J. Goodnow, there are some measures " which many believe to be absolutely necessary either now or in the future . . . which we in the United States are probably precluded from adopting because of the attitude now taken by the courts towards our practically unamendable federal constitution."

Charles Beard, one of the first revisionist historians of progressivism, wrote the following: (page 56)

The new Constitution bound every state to an amendment, in case it was approved bv two-thirds of both houses of Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the states. Even this system, as events have proved, has required such extraordinary majorities as to make amendments by regular process well-nigh impossible.

The Progressive(Bull Moose) Party platform of 1912 laid out in its platform the necessity of easier amendment - the first plank! Additionally, Roosevelt talked about the importance of this, such as:

We propose to make the process of Constitutional amendment far easier, speedier, and simpler than at present.

Bill Foster believes it was always open to reinterpretation and change.

The original progressives did not believe it was always open to reinterpretation and whined that it was impossible to change.

Both cannot be correct.

1 comment:

  1. What state courts thought of the 2nd amendment in the 1800s...
    From the long suppressed 97th Congressional report on THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS (1982)

    19. * Nunn v. State, 1 Ga. (1 Kel.) 243, at 251(1846).

    "'The right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed.' The right of the whole
    people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear
    arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be
    infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the
    important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so
    vitally necessary to the security of a free State."

    US Senate conclusion....
    "The conclusion is thus inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second
    amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every
    major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a
    peaceful manner."

    Now you see why this is suppressed.