Dahlia Lithwick’s recent piece in Slate had me cringing almost immediately when she mashed this out from her keyboard:
the Constitution is always going to raise more questions than it answers and confound more readers than it comforts.
Frankly, I’m more dumbfounded by this statement than anything I’ve read in the crystal clear U.S. Constitution. The only thing confounding about the Constitution is that contemporary readers cannot reconcile how our current public policy and federal power both represent a substantial shift away from the original intent of the document.
That a product of an American law school can even fathom this confused view of the Constitution is troubling. Perhaps law schools should insist that their students take some remedial classes in American legal and political history as part of their JDs. After all, this is a question of compact theory and the enumerated powers of the federal government. Then again, overly creative lawyers are generally the problem regarding our public policy gone wild and increasing destruction of federalism, so I’m obviously the idiot here for expecting a lawyer, or a law school, to denounce the legal cash cow publicly.
And then there’s this:
It’s because the Constitution wasn’t written to reflect the views of any one American.
I’m not sure what the relevance of this statement is. It makes no difference whatsoever if the constitution was written to reflect the views of one, two, 17, or 3,000,000 Americans; the document simply states the basic powers given to the newly formed federal government. This isn’t complicated, unless you’re a lawyer for whom “complicated” = penumbras, emanations, & interpretations which, you guessed it… lead to favorable judgment$.