Friday, January 18, 2008

Fred Thompson and the Constitution

The Constitution is Not a “Living, Breathing Document”
Posted on January 18th, 2008
By Fred in Law, Judges

This morning I heard that one of the other candidates commented that the Constitution is a “living, breathing document.”

Frankly, I assumed this came from Senator Clinton or Senator Obama. It is identical to what Al Gore said when he was running for President in 2000, when he said he would look for judges “who understand that our Constitution is a living, breathing document, that it was intended by our founders to be interpreted in the light of the constantly evolving experience of the American people.”

Imagine my surprise when I learned that this statement actually came from my opponent, Governor Huckabee, in an interview with CNN this morning. Now I know Governor Huckabee was talking about amending the Constitution, but I don’t think he understood that he was using code words that support judicial activism.

He does not appear to understand that reliance on the notion that the Constitution is a living, breathing document is precisely the kind of wrong-headed thinking about the Constitution that gave us Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion across our nation, and Lawrence v. Texas, which decriminalized sodomy.

I do not believe the Constitution is a living, breathing document. I am committed to appointing strict constructionist judges to the bench if I am elected President, strict constructionists who believe the Constitution has a fixed meaning that can be applied to cases that come before the courts today. They do NOT believe the Constitution is a “living, breathing document,” whose meaning, constantly changing with the sifting sands of our culture, can be determined and applied by unelected judges.

I fear that this loose language about our Constitution calls into question Governor Huckabee’s appreciation and understanding of the issue of judicial activism and raises questions as to what kind of judges he would appoint were he to become President.

[NOTE: Mike Huckabee’s words today contradict what he says on his website. –Sean]


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