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Old 10-13-2007, 12:49 PM   #31
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Who gives a shit what they envisioned? In Canada, we approach constitutional issues from the "living tree" doctrine - i.e. the constitution is a living tree which is meant to grow and expand as times change.
Apparently liberals when it comes to George W Bush and the flexibility he needs to wage the War on Terror. Then suddenly "original intent" and "disrespect for America's Constitution" overrides any "living tree" doctrine and the Constitution isn't alive and allowed to "grow" anymore.
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Old 10-13-2007, 12:59 PM   #32
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Apparently liberals when it comes to George W Bush and the flexibility he needs to wage the War on Terror. Then suddenly "original intent" and "disrespect for America's Constitution" overrides any "living tree" doctrine and the Constitution isn't alive and allowed to "grow" anymore.
That's bullshit, and you know it. I don't buy this whole "living tree" versus "strict constructionist" dichotomy anyway, because what it really is--as everything seems to be in America--is an extension of struggles between political ideology.

The 14th Amendment, again, is a perfect example. So-called "strict constructionists," in this case, look at enforcement of this amendment as activities of "activist judges," even though the equal protection clause is plainly written.

The difference between constitutional issues of civil rights and that of governmental separation of powers are completely separate issues--mainly because the separation of powers are very explicitly written in the Constitution. Where are our so-called "strict constructionists" enforcing these provisions "as intended by the Framers"? After all, they "intended" for us to have a fairly weak federal government, particularly when it came to the executive branch.

No, like I said, "strict constructionist" is just a self-righteous and arrogant term for "conservative." That's why we get "conservative judges" that start spouting that civil rights are all about "activist judges," yet are more than willing to completely dismember the Constitutionally-defined separation of powers when it suits the larger conservative agenda.
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:00 PM   #33
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I don't get what all the fuss with the Supreme Court and their rulings is about.

Every modern democracy does have a system of a jurisdiction overseeing what laws get passed, checking their "constitutionality", and ruling in cases where the Constitution is involved.

And now they are called Activist Judge in the country that otherwise praises itself for being the first and the greatest democracy of modern times.

Maybe a system where the judges of the highest court get appointed by the politicians it has to oversee isn't that flawless?
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:03 PM   #34
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And now they are called Activist Judge in the country that otherwise praises itself for being the first and the greatest democracy of modern times.
Even the Roman Empire never abandoned the political structure of the Roman Republic, and it has been stated that the transition happened so gradually that no Roman citizen, at any period of time, could ever effectively say that the Republic had ended.

I certainly hope that the U.S. doesn't go in this direction over the long term.
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:04 PM   #35
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A big problem in the US is how the SCOTUS judges are appointed.

Here, it is not a political process, the court is not seen as a political entity in the struggle of right v. left and although certain justices definitely have their own defined views, it is simply not a political struggle like it is in the US. Furthermore we also have 4 women and the Chief Justice is a woman - it's a disgrace that in the US there is a grand total of ONE woman on your supreme court. And if anyone gives me the patented "maybe men were more qualified" answer, then you should probably examine what's wrong with your law schools and law firms (I believe nothing really, which again comes to some weird macho system of promoting only men).
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:06 PM   #36
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That would be very tragic for the whole world.
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:06 PM   #37
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Originally posted by INDY500

the flexibility he needs to wage the War on Terror.


i'm excited to see your enthusiastic defense of Hillary when she inherits all these brand new super powers. she'll need them to wage the War on Terror, aren't you glad GWB has made sure she'll be able to use them as she herself deems fit.

after all, if/when she's president, we'll just have to trust her to make us safe. she knows best, certainly Bush believes so.
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:09 PM   #38
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Originally posted by Irvine511
i'm excited to see your enthusiastic defense of Hillary when she inherits all these brand new super powers. she'll need them to wage the War on Terror, aren't you glad GWB has made sure she'll be able to use them as she herself deems fit.

after all, if/when she's president, we'll just have to trust her to make us safe. she knows best, certainly Bush believes so.
I frankly loved it when Republicans here in FYM, prior to Bush's election, were paranoid about the government and thought we had to do everything we could to weaken it.

I haven't forgotten their double standards. And, most assuredly, if any Democrat is elected in 2008, they'll go back to dusting off all their old rhetoric about needing to weaken the government.
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:25 PM   #39
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Imperialism? I thought we bought Louisiana from the French, Alaska from the Russians and the residents of Hawaii actually voted to become a state.

Slavery was abolished in the United States by the Thirteenth Amendment. Notice the Constitution was AMENDED by Congress and state legislatures, not reinterpreted by judges to fit the mores of the day.

Just as the Framers envisioned.
Purchasing land certainly doesn't fall under the isolationist terms the founders (especially George Washington) set the US under.

And, as melon said, you have ignored the 14th on this issue.
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:39 PM   #40
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You should remember another amendment that was passed at the same time:



The latter is particularly important, because the intention was to prevent laws from being created that targeted a specific, unpopular minority. In the 19th century, that meant passing laws with the intent of singling out the African-American population. Unfortunately, this amendment had been "reinterpreted by judges to fit the mores of the day" (those "mores" being a deep hatred of blacks and support for segregation) for close to 100 years, before actually being enforced properly in the 1950s and 1960s.

And now here we go, in the 21st century, passing laws with the specific intention of singling out and discriminating against an unpopular minority of gays. According to the 14th amendment, passed by those same state and federal legislatures "as the Framers intended," these laws are unconstitutional. But, as you can see regarding all those laws supporting racial segregation for nearly 100 years after the 14th amendment banned them, it takes judicial courage to uphold the law, rather than cave in to popular political pressure. The United States, unfortunately, is not known as a courageous leader in civil rights, from a global historical standpoint.
You see same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue, fine, but that's how I see the issue of abortion. What else have they in common? They are being quarreled over in courthouses, not legislatures. Judge shopped by both sides trying to get an agreeable outcome. That's what makes them wedge issues, a failure to act legislatively.

Just don't argue as A_Wanderer does that morality derived from religion should not be permitted to shape those laws should they carry the argument.
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:43 PM   #41
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Same-sex marriage is absolutely being quarreled over in legislature. That's why it's such an issue! Many conservatives are trying to put through bills banning same-sex marriage. Many liberals want to legalize civil unions.
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:53 PM   #42
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Originally posted by INDY500
You see same-sex marriage as a civil rights issue, fine, but that's how I see the issue of abortion. What else have they in common? They are being quarreled over in courthouses, not legislatures. Judge shopped by both sides trying to get an agreeable outcome. That's what makes them wedge issues, a failure to act legislatively.
Abortion is far more complicated, because it becomes a question as to whether the "unborn," who legally have no rights having not "been born," should trump the rights of the mother. In other words, should a woman be legally forced to have a child against her will? Frankly, these are questions I struggle with, as well.

But this only accents my disappointment with how "abortion" and "same-sex marriage" get lumped together. They are two separate issues. Abortion deals with quasi-existential issues of what defines "life," whereas same-sex marriage and larger issues of gay rights are pretty clear cut, thanks to the 14th amendment.

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Just don't argue as A_Wanderer does that morality derived from religion should not be permitted to shape those laws should they carry the argument.
I believe it impossible to completely divorce one's values from the creation of law. On the other hand, I believe that all laws should be based on secular grounds. For instance, even if murder is wrong, according to the Bible, laws against murder should not be created solely because the Bible says so, because it's irrational. Nonetheless, murder is also wrong, according to secular humanist reasoning, because it goes against principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In other words, a firm line is drawn when one's freedom to act infringes on another's rights. This is where religious arguments against gay rights and gay marriage fall apart; there is no secular reasoning to support discrimination, as all of it is "irrationally" religious in nature; and any attempts at justifying these prejudices in the secular arena have flat-out failed, due to the fact any such arguments have collapsed under the weight of logic and the scientific method applied against them. In other words, arguments in favor of discrimination against gays is as nonsensical as young earth creationism.

On the other hand, I have privately formulated arguments for and against abortion on the basis of secular humanist logic, and that's where this issue gets all the more difficult. That's why I wish for these subjects to be treated separately; they are inherently different.
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:17 PM   #43
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Same-sex marriage is absolutely being quarreled over in legislature. That's why it's such an issue! Many conservatives are trying to put through bills banning same-sex marriage. Many liberals want to legalize civil unions.
Well, that's a good point. Of coarse it's hardly just conservatives given some of the states in which these measures have passed. But most of these bills are more about protecting states from having to recognize same-sex marriage by the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution simply because 5 or 7 judges in another state suddenly "discover" such a right in their own state constitution.

Even the most ardent supporter of same-sex marriage should recognize that "the Law of the land" should not be formed in that manner.

As for your and Melon's other point, the 14th amendment and "Equal Protection" could be used as an argument for civil unions but not, IMO, marriage.
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:19 PM   #44
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Originally posted by INDY500
As for your and Melon's other point, the 14th amendment and "Equal Protection" could be used as an argument for civil unions but not, IMO, marriage.
Why not?
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:24 PM   #45
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But most of these bills are more about protecting states from having to recognize same-sex marriage by the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution simply because 5 or 7 judges in another state suddenly "discover" such a right in their own state constitution.

Even the most ardent supporter of same-sex marriage should recognize that "the Law of the land" should not be formed in that manner.

As for your and Melon's other point, the 14th amendment and "Equal Protection" could be used as an argument for civil unions but not, IMO, marriage.
So, you don't think that it's a civil rights issue? Because if you do, I don't see how you can state that.

And for the last part of your post, I'll join Martha in saying, "Why not?"
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