Is The Constitution Omniscient?

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posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 01:16 AM
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I would like to present a nagging concern of mine for general discussion. Like everyone else here at ATS, I have strong opinions on several subjects that impact our daily lives to the extent we may or may not enjoy the freedoms we hope to anymore. What bothers me is the fact that as a people and a nation we will never fully agree on some of these issues such as where to truly draw the line on freedom of speech (think Westboro Baptist Church), the right to bear arms ("guns don't kill people, people do"), separation of church and state (VERY strong religious beliefs vs. VERY strong opposing views), and more. So when the US Supreme Court is called upon to referee a dispute, the one ground rule overriding all others is "what does the constitution have to say about it?" Even that is hotly disputed as it is virtually impossible to determine the distinction between the intent, societal evolution since it was written, the "letter" of said rights and privileges, the potential for abuse by a privileged few, etc, etc...

Case in point: the Supreme Court recently ruled on Obamacare and virtually nothing was settled and several times it has been claimed the constitution was just too vague or silent to offer guidance so the court had to guess. A much earlier ruling (Roe v. Wade) created such controversy and animosity that a divide opened between genders, politicians, families, churches, and many, many more.

Again, due to the reigning interpretation of the constitution at that time in American history.

Finally to my question.: Where is common sense and what I would consider necessary flexibility and appropriately applied subjectivity? The ability to color outside the lines if that is the correct action to take? For me personally, the Westboro issue is a prime candidate for restructure. If they want to hide behind free speech, and the constitution directly or otherwise makes this possible, common sense should enable the law of the land to stand up, acknowledge the constitution as the incredible guiding light it truly is, but make decisions that are in all good conscience a better rendering for laws that reflect the best result for the citizens of this country. Westboro would be stripped of all the tax exemptions, any governmental favoritism afforded religious organizations, and the Baptists would throw them out and disassociate as far away from them as possible. As I mentioned earlier, I recognize that such interpretive latitude could easily be a double edged sword as judges and supreme court decisions could intentionally or otherwise abuse the system, but I am at a point where I might be willing to take that risk in order to see better judgment in establishing the laws of the land.
Respect where respect is due....almost 225 years and only 27 amendments have been deemed necessary. That, my fiends truly is near omniscient. Just not quite. I am convinced to level the playing filed for the little guy, the under represented, the poverty stricken, the abused, and the many more subsections of the population that could benefit substationally and rightfully from undue oppression, the vise the constitution has on our society must be reexamined.

Does anyone understand or share this concern?




posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 01:48 AM
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post removed because the user has no concept of manners

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posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 06:02 AM
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reply to post by samstone11
 


No document can be omniscient. And that is not the point. The constitution is a contract between the state and the people. It should be updated from time to time. Personally I think leaving that in the hands of politicians is a dangerous and bad idea. Amendments (imnsho all laws) should be posed as experiments with controls, tests and time lines in which to test if it is having the right effect and automatically revert if there isn't clear proof that it works.



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 09:05 AM
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reply to post by samstone11
 
I agree somewhat with asciikewl - the constitution contains inbuilt provisions for amending as society itself adapts - and we should work within these provisions instead of mutilating our contract with government via judicial review that often gets it blatantly wrong.

As far as the Court weighing in on constitutional matters, it's a simple enough thing. There are a multitude of record, discussion, and prior opinion from the framers of the document and those over the following decades to very well clarify the intent of the document - the few tiny clauses that are always used to empower government expansion and control were addressed plenty of times by the framers to very clearly approve no such acts, otherwise entire sections of the document become contradictory and pointless (why specify the powers of Congress clearly if they can actually do anything affecting anything otherwise based on two small clauses that actually say no such thing?).

In short, everything else - health care, abortion, etc - should be left solely up to the states and people to decide as they will.

As far as "coloring outside the lines" of the constitution regarding WBC or any other specifics, I consider this unwise, personally, for other reasons. If you start censoring one group, what's to prevent a shift in the political winds from then using your precedent to turn right around and censor or control something you yourself approve? There are very good reasons such protections were inbuilt - when you start chipping away at them, you start sliding downhill to less and less freedom for all as opinions change or power is garnered by unsavory sorts.


I am convinced to level the playing filed for the little guy, the under represented, the poverty stricken, the abused, and the many more subsections of the population that could benefit substationally and rightfully from undue oppression, the vise the constitution has on our society must be reexamined.

I'm curious - how exactly would you personally modify or otherwise disregard the constitution to accomplish any of this?



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 12:06 PM
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reply to post by samstone11
 


My two cents:

The line should be drawn in the same place that blood is. What i mean is, unless someone is going to be caused harm, there should be no law against it.

It seems all too often that people want laws created to build social order. I am not sure this is the job of government. Governments job is to ensure that they meet their required need for high level administration. Basically, do the peoples bidding.

But The People tend to want it to truly do their bidding by disallowing things that they don't like, regardless of if it harms them. So we get things like prostitution and pot made illegal. Do I have to enjoy them just because they are legal? Nope, and I wouldn't. But it doesn't hurt me if you do...so why should I care?

It is all about control. Westboro....no I don't like them. I wish someone would kick the crap out of them all. But, I also don't think they shouldn't have a right to act in the morose manner that they do. No one is guaranteed a right to not be offended....and we shouldn't be. Thus, just because Westboro is offensive is not a reason to stifle them. Think of it this way: if stupid people aren't allowed to act stupid, then you won't know who they are and will mistakenly interact with (and be impacted by) them. I would rather you have the ability to show your stupidity as a warning to me that I should just ignore you entirely.

If others took such a viewpoint (live, let live, and ignore the rest), we might find that we are all a little easier to tolerate.



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 12:10 PM
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Originally posted by Yeats
I am with you, let me get a clear shot at any (any member of WBC). and I will teach them all about "free speech"


I am of the belief that while everyone should be free to speak their mind, they should also be held to account in the social order of their culture for doing so. As it regards WBC, shooting them is murder. Giving them a beating when they show up....that is something that if I were on the jury, I would never find someone at fault for. Within our social order, that would be appropriate.

Of course, this is a "mob mentality" viewpoint....but the only way I can think of that would allow accountability for their actions (when you cause someone severe pain, human behavior would dictate that a physically aggressive response would ensue).



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 10:41 PM
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reply to post by Praetorius
 
Your points are all well defined and articulate. When you ask if I can suggest a means to make changes, I will readily admit that to be beyond my skill set. In keeping with my original concern, however, I simply posit the concern that the constitution is already abused regularly and there are those who are positioned well enough to manipulate it for their own benefit. What happens at that point is that the powerful get stronger and the weak become more so. Personally, I believe this is one of the most advantageous weapons TPTB have against the little guy because there is little to nothing that can be done about it once the determination has been made that the constitution supports any particular viewpoint or action.

Does this not mean we are guaranteed to lose before we come to the starting line?

I promise I am perfectly OK with being proven wrong. I am actually hoping I have over-thought something or seen a goblin that isn't really there.



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 10:48 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 

I want to commend you for your ideas. I completely agree with all I just read and personally believe your viewpoints would make a serious and tangible difference if actually adhered to in our societal zeitgeist. Unfortunately, although I suspect a majority of the people of this nation will also agree with you, the ones who get to make the rules have other goals and agendas wherein your common sense approach only gets in the way.

Thanks for the input.



posted on Aug, 23 2012 @ 10:49 PM
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Originally posted by samstone11
reply to post by Praetorius
 
Your points are all well defined and articulate. When you ask if I can suggest a means to make changes, I will readily admit that to be beyond my skill set. In keeping with my original concern, however, I simply posit the concern that the constitution is already abused regularly and there are those who are positioned well enough to manipulate it for their own benefit. What happens at that point is that the powerful get stronger and the weak become more so. Personally, I believe this is one of the most advantageous weapons TPTB have against the little guy because there is little to nothing that can be done about it once the determination has been made that the constitution supports any particular viewpoint or action.

Does this not mean we are guaranteed to lose before we come to the starting line?

I promise I am perfectly OK with being proven wrong. I am actually hoping I have over-thought something or seen a goblin that isn't really there.


In my opinion, go back to the original guiding priciples and magically the manipulations go away, using and abusing the court system to define what is in plain english has overcomplicated what common sense dictates.

Whats the adage about lawyers?



posted on Aug, 24 2012 @ 01:03 PM
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See, most laws are built on a pivotal point, some axis that what drives them is bound to follow. And when we break that axis, the whole of the law falls apart.

Our constitution was likely built on the : "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness", in that order. We destroy any of the three, we're messing with the intent. Your liberty doesn't come at the expense of my life, and my pursuit of happiness doesn't come at the cost of your liberty. To me, it's pointless to have the document if we're not willing to uphold those 3 things.

Besides, if we want the INTENT of the writers, we read what they wrote surrounding the documentation.





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