And this Infatuation Isn’t Even Sober and Mature!

by Don Boudreaux on September 21, 2010

in Hubris and humility, Legal Issues

Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

Enjoying an uproariously good time poking fun at the Tea Party, Richard Cohen helpfully explains that its adherents’ insistence on strict interpretation of the Constitution is the result of a “fatuous infatuation” with that document – is the consequence of a yokel-like refusal to recognize that the Constitution is valuable “only because it has been wisely adapted to changing times.  To adhere to the very word of its every clause hardly is respectful to the Founding Fathers” (“Republicans under a spell,” Sept. 21).

Question for Mr. Cohen: if government officials and the courts are free to choose which words of the Constitution to “adhere to” and which to ignore, what meaning does the Constitution really possess?  And why did the Founding Fathers struggle so hard during the long, hot summer of 1787 over the precise wording of the Constitution?  Why didn’t they – to ensure that they would win the respect of future generations of Very Smart Persons – simply draft a document that reads “Government may do whatever it judges to be best for The People” and leave it at that?

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

And furthermore, why include Article V?

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