Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Who Killed the Constitution - Introduction

(thanks to the Daily Paul for posting the introduction to Tom Woods' Who Killed the Constitution?)

The Constitution Is Dead - Introduction

Many Americans worry that the Constitution is dying. Leading the chorus are those critics, mostly on the Right, who decry activist judges for rendering the Constitution more and more irrelevant with their twisted decisions, which substitute their political preferences for the nation's highest law. In recent years other voices, mostly from the Left, have joined in, deploring President George W. Bush and his administration's supposedly unprecedented attacks on the Constitution.

We have bad news for both sets of critics: the Constitution is already dead. It died a long time ago.

To be sure, every politician claims to admire the Constitution, and government officials must swear to uphold it. But what does their alleged fidelity to the Constitution really amount to in practice?


Even those who bewail our present constitutional crisis miss the much larger story. The assaults on the Constitution are not the work of one branch of government, or of one party, and they did not and could not emerge overnight. Every branch of the federal government has trampled on the Constitution, and has done so for close to a century. The crisis we face today is the culmination of decades of offenses against the Constitution by Democrats and Republicans, justices, presidents, and congresses alike, all of whom have essentially rejected the idea that the Constitution possesses a fixed meaning limiting the power of the U.S. government.

That idea was not a minor aspect of the Constitution; it was the very purpose of the Constitution.

Read the rest

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