Do Strict Constructionists Wish to Bring Back Slavery?by Stephen Littau
The View seems to be an endless source of idiotic commentary, especially in the realm of politics. It appears that Whoopi picked up where Rosie left off when Sen. John McCain appeared on the show.
To have “a strict constructionist” philosophy means to return to slavery and other injustices of the era of the founding fathers? What Whoopi fails to understand (and what Sen. McCain failed to explain) is that the founders themselves knew that the Constitution as written was not perfect and would have to change over time via the amendment process:
Article V. – Amendment
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
On December 6, 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery:
1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
A strict constructionist judge would, by definition, take Article V and the Thirteenth Amendment into account because a strict constructionist judge would rule on the current state of the Constitution; not as it was approved in convention on September 17, 1787.
Having said that, I do not believe that a President McCain would appoint strict constructionists any more than any other president has in recent memory. Anyone who could have authored the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill, a law which undermines the very foundation of freedom of speech and expression, cannot be taken seriously as someone who respects and/or supports the Constitution. In the modern political parlance, the term “strict constructionist” has become a codeword* for someone who supports whatever the current so-called conservative agenda happens to be. If McCain were serious about appointing strict constructionists, he would appoint individuals who would find many of the Bush Administration’s policies, executive orders, signing statements and laws unconstitutional. Many of McCain’s own proposals would also necessarily be D.O.A.
But Whoopi need not worry: if McCain does become the next POTUS, she will not find herself picking cotton. Even by McCain’s definition of “strict constructionist.”
*The ladies on The View are concerned with good reason that in many cases, the term “strict constructionist” has become a codeword for someone who simply would overturn Roe v. Wade.