Is the Constitution Still Valid?

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Purist libertarians and conservatives frequently remark that many of today’s Federal laws are ‘unconstitutional’. But just how credible are these claims? If we were to believe libertarian extremists, we’d have to eliminate 90% of the federal government, from the CIA and NSA, to the departments of energy and education. Can it really be that most of our federal laws are prohibited by an archaic document written hundreds of years ago? As it turns out, most constitutional scholars agree that these claims of unconstitutionality are mostly invalid.

The US constitution was written over 200 years ago, during a time when technology was primitive, people were far more self sufficient, and owning a gun for hunting and defense of property was somewhat necessary. Today, however, America would be unrecognizable to our founding fathers. We now live in highly developed urban areas, and even those of us who live in the country have access to modern technology such as cell phones and computers. Modern telecommunications allow us to instantly summon a sophisticated police force to handle altercations and criminal offenses, making personal firearm ownership largely redundant. The term ‘firearms’ now applies to weapons of mass destruction that the founding fathers never could have conceived of, making the second amendment a rather unreasonble law in today’s times.

The fact is, the constitution was written for a time so different from today, that very few of its amendments still make sense. ‘Freedom of speech’ now includes the right to disseminate vile hate speech to millions of people over the internet, ‘search warrants’ prevent our NSA from monitoring the population for potential terror threats, and ‘trials’ and ‘juries’ allow criminals and terrorists to hire lawyers and escape justice.

Modern constitutional scholars almost unanimously agree that the constitution is a living document, to be interpreted in a manner appropriate to modern times. It is not to be taken literally, as if we still live in an agrarian wild west. President Obama is a constitutional scholar himself, and thus understands the amendments and how they fit into the modern world. There is no reason to let an ancient document prevent us from implementing common sense gun controls laws, or provide healthcare for the uninsured. The fact is, we are living in the 21st century, and rigidly interpreting a document that was written for a bygone era only promises to keep us in the past, while the rest of the world moves forward.

1 COMMENT

  1. Glad to see a common sense article like this one to dispel some of the myths espoused by modern extremists such as libertarians and lassiez faire types who wish to regress to the wild west days when robber barons ruled the land.

    • The 2nd Amendment was written in lieu of a police force, you dimwits. It was written stop a tyrannical gov’t from putting us in bondage. Unfortunately for you budding fascists, there’s over 400 million guns in America and we can’t wait to use them on you DBs.

      • Thankfully, when our presumptive presidential candidates Donald J. Trump and Hillary R. Clinton set aside their differences, both recognize there is absolutely no room for racism, bigotry, hate speech or any antisemitic thoughts whatsoever. The Constitution has been the evil veil behind which those who would oppress the innocent children of Zion have masqueraded for far too long. Both of these fine candidates will bring into being an era of unparalleled peace, tolerance and equal justice for all. But not without finally doing away for once and all with one of the most evil, hideous documents ever to be written.

        Vote Hillary ’16
        Vote Trump ’16

  2. The author makes many valid points,
    he points out that we are strangled by the very laws that free us.
    he indicates that our fearless leader knows what is best for us.
    he pontificates on the merits of interpreting laws for some of us,
    (which is quite useful, especially when caught by one of these pesky rules)

    then he makes a tangential argument about healthcare,
    from this point forwards, he tilts at windmills.

  3. It is obviously above the capabilities of most lay people to correctly interpret the constitution for themselves. We need constitutional scholars and other experts to uncover the true hidden meaning and implications of this document, and tell us what our rights truly are.

    • Thank you, all the arm chair scholars out there just spread misinformation. How do they think they can really understand a document centuries old better then the professionals with years of education from some of the most advanced forward thinking schools. It takes someone with elite understanding of the changes to our soceity and how to translate the feeling of those times today. We have always been a progressive forward looking country and the Constitution was the first steps but we haven’t moved fast enough beyond those first steps. I am sure our founding fathers would be ashamed of the fact we bind ourselves to time when we just started to progress forward into our brave new world. If we truly wish to honor their first sacrifces, we like they, must much move forward towards a progressive country where all are equal. The experts have always tried to tell us it is a living breathing document and that it was originally just the first baby steps forward. I can only hope our next dear leader will have to insight and understanding as our current president in such matters. She will have to be tough and committed to keep us moving forward but also have the strength and compassion to stop those who wish to revert back to darker times as opposed to progressing forward. The only way to honor the feeling of the Constitution of old, is to place it upon the shelf and write a new progressive Constitution of today which applies to all equally.

  4. You are a truly progressive thinker. I have found my new home and feel safe.

    • Welcome to one of the last remaining bastions of truth to be found in the sea of lies of deceit.

    • You couldn’t have a more stupid name. Who will be the guarantor of “equal progress for all”? Who decides what is equal? You morons have no knowledge of the history and communism/socilaism and the millions who died from this horrid ideology. It would be best for you and everybody to kill yourselves.

      • Who will be the guarantor of “equal progress for all”?

        Dan, the same courageous people who brought you the NAACP and the 1960’s civil rights movement are the same guarantors responsible for equal progress worldwide. Anyone who would dispute this is quite simply peddling fiction.

  5. The Constitution was intended to be a sort of rule book, a document to codify clearly and unambiguously what powers the government may exercise, and what areas it may NOT interfere with. Claiming that the Constitution is “a living document” or that each generation may interpret it with its own spin is madness. If you don’t like what it says, then amend it; replace the old clauses with something new, but something which is clear and intelligible. Simply depending on the mood of the day to interpret it is a clear source of conflict.

    Imagine that you enter a game of cards with six people, and half way through the game, some of the people decide to arbitrarily change the rules. That is what a “living document” does for you.

  6. Hahah an archaic document that is the sole reason you can can even have your perverted opinion! You my friend need a rubber room & a straight jacket to live out your days. You clearly are a danger to yourself. Follow that old dusty document word for word, fight to change it, or shut up and show yourself to the door. BYE!

    • It is being changed by the great thinkers of our time. Look how bravely our current president has challenged those who try and drege up the times of slavery and the rule of force by the majority. The biggest issue of the time was the king telling the colonies they we’re not equal to those in the kingdom. Our forefathers fought against such notions but became complacent in continuing forward. Yes their efforts had merit, but they were just men and had only started to be the first rays of light from under the dark clouds of inequality. It is this generations task to continue to move forward under the guidance of some of the best minds of this era and their progressivism. We owe great thanks to Obama giving use the gift of healthcare for all, the freedom to identify oneself how ever they chose, and to lead us forward from these cultural dark ages. We are luckly to have Hilary’s dedication to continuing the progressive goals of today, and that she has had the strength to challenge those who blindly follow our old and incomplete Constitution.

  7. Umm – *HELLO*, people!… We have E-Voting now don’t we? – A *vast* improvement, it has to be said, over the fundamentally messy ‘paper trails’ of old, with all their inconvenience and inefficiency.

    Why do we still need to do what a bunch of moldy, silly old white geezers from *way back* when, told us all to do on a piece of *PARCHMENT*, fer chrissakes?!… – what crust!!

    – Did Apple just stop with the iPhone 1?!…

  8. Umm — You are TOTALLY wrong about the second amendment “(Written) during a time when technology was primitive, people were far more self sufficient, and owning a gun for hunting and defense of property was somewhat necessary. ”

    A) technology was advancing quickly at the time, and rapid fire (automatic) weapons were in development, many of the founding fathers were involved in munitions related industries or were inventors and scientists themselves (i.e. Franklin). The founding fathers KNEW private individuals who owned warships, cannons, etc. the equivalent in the day of a person owning an F16 ARMED jet today. They wrote the 2nd amendment with the intent that this should continue according to other writings of the authors of the constitution.
    Most of the founders were living in and representing modest sized cities of the time and were familiar with larger ones.

    ” even those of us who live in the country have access to modern technology such as cell phones and computers. Modern telecommunications allow us to instantly summon a sophisticated police force to handle altercations and criminal offenses, making personal firearm ownership largely redundant. The term ‘firearms’ now applies to weapons of mass destruction that the founding fathers never could have conceived of, making the second amendment a rather unreasonble law in today’s times.”

    B) You really, really, underestimate how freaking HUGE the USA is. In the some of the rural areas of the USA that I have lived, an emergency call about an ongoing attempted murder could take over 30 minutes or more before the first responder could arrive. And in some of the urban areas I have waited LONGER than 20 minutes for police to arrive to deal with the nut case threatening peoples lives with knives and trying to break in windows. And they never did arrest the known person- they instead put the witnesses in handcuffs while the perpetrator literally strolled away.

    So in your definition the people who founded this country were stupid cave men unable to understand the possibilities of the future (then why did they include the ability to modify the constitution with amendments? and even in some cases call for a complete rewriting of it every generation or two?).

    Honestly I doubt anyone agreeing with you will even give consideration to my words here – pigeon holing me as a “gun nut” and thinking I live in a trailer and wave a confederate flag while wearing linens. But your attitude and poorly based arguments are so dense I have to speak out about your ignorance. (BTW I don’t live in a trailer, don’t support the confederacy, and certainly wouldn’t join a group that would rather see my skin color run out of the country or killed, and I have more college degrees than many).