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Aggregator • MaxedOutMama • ID=82381

Law School Professors - MaxedOutMama Dec 31, 2012, 3:00 pm

Exist to make the rest of us grateful that we are not so stupid:
As someone who has taught constitutional law for almost 40 years, (and then finally experienced the revelatory mind-expansion of medical marijuana)
 I am ashamed it took me so long to see how bizarre all this is. (Many of your peers achieved this illumination with LSD decades ago - where were you?)
Imagine that after careful study a government official — say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress — reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. (Imagine all the people, living foooor toooodaaayyyy. More appositely, is there not a sane citizen in the country who doesn't just cringe at the thought that either the president or one of the party leaders in Congress should be entitled to implement one or more of their great ideas with no legal impediment?)
Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. (oooh. They were white. They owned property. They revolted against their divinely appointed leadership, and even had the NERVE to speak their S_n_t_rs names in a critical context during election season. How evil! They were everything we hate.) 
Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?  (Well, no. But it is remotely rational that the official should then have the burden of convincing other elected officials of the correctness of his reasoning, and if said course of action requires a change in the Constitution, also of the need to change the Constitution. It's not like we've never amended this document, now is it?)
 Professor Mind-Expanding-Drugs (Indian name Give-Me-The-Bong) is not arguing for the lack of a Constitution, but for the lack of rule of law. If we have no Constitution, we have no legal framework that tells us what laws can't be passed by whoever wants to pass them. If there's something about our current Constitution that we don't like, we can change the Constitution. 

While the professor appropriately observes that some countries don't have Constitutions, he forgets that they do have a similarly restrictive basis in Common Law and similarly restrictive legal review of branches of government. Many countries have constitutions and ignore them, and other countries have constitutions that would quite frankly give Prof Give-Me-The-Bong a bad case of the vapors. 

It's not the Constitution or the common law - it's what's in it, and whether what's in it serves as a real constraint upon the brilliant ideas of the governing class. Since we are country of immigrants, there is nothing to provide a common foundation for rule of law except the set of laws we have adopted, and the first and foremost of those was the Constitution. 

For much tighter, more reasoned and objective analysis of our current social plight, I refer you to Dave Barry.

Happy New Year! Whatever your current situation, you can spare a moment for a prayer of thanks that fate did not turn you into a Georgetown law professor. ... more




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