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April 19, 2005

The liberal plan to "rehabilitate" the Constitution (What's at stake in the judicial filibuster battle, cont'd.)

Powerline contributor John Hinderaker writes in the Weekly Standard of a conference held recently at Yale Law School called "The Constitution in 2020". The purpose of the conference was for "progressives" to develop a long-range vision for how the Constitution should evolve in the next fifteen years. Go to the link to read the particulars. Here's how Hinderaker sums it up (emphasis added):
The essence of the progressive constitutional project is to recognize "positive" rights, not just "negative" rights, so that citizens are not only guaranteed freedom from specified forms of government interference, but also are guaranteed the receipt of specified economic benefits. The bottom line is that Congress would no longer have the discretion to decline to enact liberal policies. The triumph of the left would be constitutionally mandated.
How can they pull it off, given that there's no way on earth they would be able to muster the required supermajority of states to amend the Constitution as it now stands? Simple — they have no intention of submitting their proposed changes to the formal amendment process! Hinderaker again (emphasis added):
The left makes no secret of its intentions where the Constitution is concerned. It wants to change it, in ways that have nothing to do with what the document actually says. It wants the Constitution to enshrine its own policy preferences--thus freeing it from the tiresome necessity of winning elections. And how will the Constitution be changed? Through a constitutional convention, or a vote of two-thirds of the state legislatures? Of course not. The whole problem, from the liberal perspective, is that they can't get democratically elected bodies to enact their agenda. As one of the Yale conference participants said: "We don't have much choice other than to believe deeply in the courts--where else do we turn?" The new, improved Constitution will come about through judicial re-interpretation. It only awaits, perhaps, the election of the next Democratic president.
Are you convinced yet that, for the sake of the Constitution, the Dems need to lose the battle over judicial filibusters?

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