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That's Original


"In interpreting the Constitution," [U.S. supreme court nominee] Judge Alito said Wednesday [during confirmation hearings before the Senate Judicial Committee], "I think we should look to the text of the Constitution, and we should look to the meaning that someone would have taken from the text of the Constitution at the time of its adoption." (More)

Pardon my ignorance, but I am curious as to how lawyers, reputed to be so hidebound and "literal," can even permit the idea that "someone" (which really means the "founding fathers," largely a group of white male anglo saxons) had one idea about the "meaning" of the constitution? If they speak for individuals, how could there ever be only one true meaning of the said document? In reality, the "someone" is just our projection of then (as created in the now) into now (and passed off as the then). Which means that the reflected "meaning" shows as much or more about us and our philosophy as about any purported original philosophy or "meaning" (i.e., this is about our beliefs and not our facts). How could we know anyway what anyone would have taken from this text "at the time of its adoption." It's hardly believable that every "someone" then had the same ideas, feelings, and beliefs, which means that no single coherent "meaning" existed in the first place. It's the same kind of chimera as "journalistic objectivity" or "absolute truth." It doesn't exist. They are values, not "facts." Objectivity is only perceived through a filter of subjectivity. It's a construction of our unconscious and a product of our time. Not only that, but it's rarely unconscious as it might look - in fact it's probably much more conscious and, I suppose they would say "conscientiously," constructed opinion than they might suggest. Are we just supposed to ignore all that has happened - those ammendments, re-ammendments, and social changes - that have taken place since the constitution's adoption?

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