Attacking The Constitution

The New York Times takes up the assault of the Constitution.

The Constitution has seen better days…In a television interview during a visit to Egypt last week, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court seemed to agree. “I would not look to the United States Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012,” she said. She recommended, instead, the South African Constitution, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the European Convention on Human Rights.

Good, let’s send a member of the Supreme Court to a foreign country to tell them that our Constitution is not worth emulating. And certainly we don’t want to finish the article without taking a backhand slap at the Bill of Rights.

It has its idiosyncrasies. Only 2 percent of the world’s constitutions protect, as the Second Amendment does, a right to bear arms. (Its brothers in arms are Guatemala and Mexico.)

Yessireebob, we could really fix those pesky rights if we wrote a new Constitution. Maybe one more like the enlightened Canadians.

The Canadian Charter is both more expansive and less absolute. It guarantees equal rights for women and disabled people, allows affirmative action and requires that those arrested be informed of their rights. On the other hand, it balances those rights against “such reasonable limits” as “can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

The Canadian Charter does not guarantee rights. Because once you bring in “reasonable limits” they are not rights at all.

As they quote Justice Scalia, a Constitution is always just a “parchment guarantee”. Ours included. Looks like the progressives think we need a new one.


3 thoughts on “Attacking The Constitution

  1. The editor who wrote that column might need a remedial course in English vocabulary. A right is absolute and can never be legitimately invaded, abridged, or infringed; that's what distinguishes it from a permission. But this sort of linguistic muddle is far more often deliberate than not.

  2. I don't WANT to be like the rest of the world! The United States is EXCEPTIONAL (as in “the exception”) to all the other effed up places on the planet that our forefathers fled. When they point out how the US is not like other countries, I say “GOOD”!

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