A judge to interpret the Constitution

In England the judges should have independence to protect the people against the crown. Here the judges should not be independent of the people, but be appointed for not more than seven years. The people would always re-elect the good judges.
Andrew Jackson-former President

So the President’s pick to be the next Supreme Court Justice has never served anywhere as a judge. The pundits are saying this is a good thing because there is no paper trail on how she would rule on any type of case. That reminds me of someone saying we have to pass the healthcare bill before we find out what is in it.

But perhaps they are right. An unknown quantity can be left-wing, right-wing, or anywhere in between. Still, it would be nice to know what the President’s pick thinks about the Constitution, after all, that is what she will be interpreting.

Maybe a better way to pick a Supreme Court Justice would be to sit a group of ordinary citizens, with no knowledge of law, in a room and have them read sections of the Constitution; then have them explain what those sections mean to them. For instance, the following Amendments are short and easy to read.

Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment 2 – Right to Bear Arms.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment 9 – Construction of Constitution.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment 10 – Powers of the States and People.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

It would seem that any person of average intelligence should be able to glean the framers’ intent in these Amendments. Actually, the intent of most of the Constitution is very simple and commonsense based. The President’s selection for Supreme Court Justice should be asked for her interpretation of those Amendments. If she sees these simple Amendments differently than common American citizens, she should be rejected. For some reason, it seems to takes an attorney, a Constitutional scholar or an activist to find some supposedly hidden meaning in those beautifully simple words. At all cost, we should avoid those who would twist them.

Published in: on May 11, 2010 at 3:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

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