Sunday, April 19, 2009

Our "Flawed" Constitution

“When a judge, at any level of jurisprudence, seeks to RE-interpret the Constitution, …with their own personal moral predilections, or …’society’s evolving standards’, what they are doing is something which is prohibited by the very constitution they are regarding.”
Quote from: Our "living breathing" Constitution - Edward Daley

Consider Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that has resulted in over 40 million abortions in the United States. Justice Harry Blackmun consulted his wife and daughter before writing the majority opinion. His daughter Sally had experienced an unexpected pregnancy while a sophomore at Skidmore College. Shortly after she married the father of the baby, she suffered a miscarriage. During the next six years she completed her graduation requirements. Sadly,her marriage collapsed. Today she questions whether she would have graduated at all had the child been born, and states that she might have made a different decision “had Roe v. Wade been around.” Sally is now chairwoman of Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando.

Why did Justice Blackmun consult his daughter regarding Roe vs. Wade? Did his decision have anything to do with Sally’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy and the pain and trauma it caused the Blackmun family? Is this how Supreme Court decisions are supposed to be made?

President Obama might think it’s the highest moral path in making Supreme Court rulings. He believes that the Constitution is a living, breathing and flawed document to be updated and refined by the Justices on the Supreme Court, based on their values, concerns, perspectives and empathies.

In the short time Obama served in the U.S. Senate, he established a record on judicial nominations when he voted against the confirmations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. In explaining his vote against Roberts, Obama opined that deciding the “truly difficult” cases requires one to resort to “one’s deepest values, one’s core concerns, one’s broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one’s empathy.” In setting forth the sort of judges he would appoint, Obama has declared: “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old – and that’s the criterion by which I’ll be selecting my judges.”

And in a radio interview on Chicago’s WBEZ-FM in 2001, Obama said that the Constitution is fundamentally flawed in that it doesn’t allow for redistribution of wealth. Pointing to the rulings on civil rights issues by the Warren court in the 1960’s, Obama said the court failed to “break free from the essential constraints” in the Constitution, which were placed there by the Founding Fathers, and launch a major redistribution of wealth. In the same interview he stated that the Constitution is “an imperfect document, and I think it is a document that reflects some deep flaws in American culture. African Americans were not -- first of all they weren’t African-Americans -- the Africans at the time were not considered as part of the polity that was of concern to the Framers. I think we can say that the Constitution reflected an enormous blind spot in this culture that carries on until this day, and that the Framers had that same blind spot. [The blind spot] reflected the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day.”

The U.S. Constitution is in in grave danger under this administration. How could Barack Obama take the oath of office of President of the United States and swear that he would ”to the best of [his] ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States” when he has declared it imperfect, lacking, and in need of interpretation based on one’s “heart” and empathy?

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