A Living Document

I am a firm believer in the theory that the Constitution is a living document. What does this mean? This means I subscribe to the theory that allows the document and, therefore, the laws of the land, to mold to present day society.

“This idea for a very long time was just laughed at,” said Nelson Lund, the Patrick Henry professor of constitutional law and the Second Amendment at George Mason University, a chair endowed by the National Rifle Association. “A lot of people thought it was preposterous and just propaganda from gun nuts.”
More than 35 years later, no one is laughing. In 2008, the Supreme Court endorsed for the first time an individual’s right to own a gun in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller. The 5 to 4 decision rendered ineffective some of the District’s strict gun-control laws. And Justice Antonin Scalia’s majority opinion echoed the work of Kates and his ideological comrades, who had pressed the argument that the Second Amendment articulates an individual right to keep and bear arms.
The above quote is from an extremely well formulated article in the Washington Post. The article makes the point that until fairly recently, the Second Amendment was never thought to be a personal guarantee, rather, it was guaranteeing the individual states the ability to form their own militia’s.I chastise Justice Scalia for arguing the Constitution is “dead, dead, dead.” He describes himself as a textualist, someone who believes the Constitution is to be interpreted as it was understood when drafted. I still vehemently disagree with Justice Scalia on this point.

However, as someone who believes the Constitution is a living document, I must take the good with the bad. It was great when women’s suffrage was granted Constitutional protection, the same for equal rights among all races. Though I disagree with the present day interpretation of the Second Amendment and will continue to argue for its more historical interpretation, I must submit to the fact that the Constitution is a living document and, as a result, certain protections may be granted with which I do not agree. I accept that the interpretation of the Second Amendment can mold to societal norms as the Constitution is, in fact, Justice Scalia, a living, breathing document.

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Bryan is the founder of 2 Rights Make a Left. While obtaining his J.D., Bryan researched and wrote extensively on Capital Punishment, an issue that remains close to his heart to this day. He has spent the majority of his adult life involved in politics in some form or another. Bryan spends most of his time reading, writing and discussing all things politics. Bryan loves to travel and, if he had his way, would constantly be jetting off to another destination. The rest of his time is spent following his beloved Bears, Bulls and Cubbies.

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