In honor of Constitution Day, September 17, join me as we revisit a post from 2018 where we consider the Constitution’s original intent and its relevance to today.
She is Alison LaCroix, a Professor of Law and an associate member of the Department of History at the University of Chicago. (1) She quotes a colleague when she says, “There are wrong answers in constitutional law, and there are right answers, and the right answers change over time.”
Wait a minute…
What is your first reaction to this? Do you think that the Constitution applies to all times in the life of American history? Or, should its meaning deviate from the original intent of the Founders and “live and breathe” with changing times in history?
My gut reaction is to recognize that professors are considered to be academically elite. We are supposedly influenced to follow their reasoning because “they are more highly educated than the rest of us.”
Who was the Constitution written for?
Dr. LaCroix presents cogent thinking in her argument. However, the Constitution was written for We, the People, and not We, the Intelligentsia. The Founders were highly gifted intellectually (among other ways) as well. They crafted a document meant to serve as the organic law of the land. The Founders even provided a way to amend the Constitution, should it be necessary (see Article V).
Another key point, if the Constitution was meant to live and breathe with each generation, why did the Founders include their posterity (that is, you and me) in the Preamble? Why would We, the People ordain and establish THIS Constitution for the United States of America? Their own words were definitive. Their process is defined.
“(We the People) …secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Therefore, let’s have a respectful, courteous discussion, not about parties, personalities, or factions. Instead, let’s discuss principles in honor of Constitution Day (September 17). Should the Constitution be interpreted with original intent? Or should it be a document that changes with the times? In any case, I am on the side of the Founders’ original intent and purpose for our nation.
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship.🇺🇸
(1) More information about Professor La Croix: https://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/lacroix
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