Notes From Babel

Constitutional Rights Are Not Subject to “Contemporary Significance”

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Thomas Sowell is absolutely correct:

There is no reason why judges should “consider the basic values that underlie a constitutional provision and their contemporary significance,” as Justice Stephen Breyer said in his dissent against the Supreme Court’s gun control decision.

Certain rights are enshrined in the Constitution for the simple reason that they ought not be hagridden by the fluid “contemporary” value society happens to ascribe to them.  The right to bear arms is the ultimate example—it is a right that must be guaranteed through the life of the republic such that it may be exercised but once at the end of it.

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Written by Tim Kowal

June 30, 2010 at 11:46 pm

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