Anyone who has tried it knows the problems created when a tape recorder microphone attempts to record speech or music emanating from another tape recorder. The second tape loses a generation and sounds less clear. Repeating the process with yet a third recorder makes the resulting tape garbled to the point of unintelligibility.

In a way, one wonders if this isn’t something of a metaphor for what is happening with Supreme Court Justices and our Constitution. With the passage of time and with each generation of judges we appear to be getting closer and closer to the original constitutional intent of our Founders being muddled to the point of unintelligibility.

The analogy breaks down pretty quickly, though, because our Constitution is a written document with words that haven’t changed (except by amendment) from when it was first approved in 1789.

If the Constitution itself hasn’t changed one iota, what has? It is simply the eyes of those who are charged with the responsibility of wrestling with employing it to interpret modern legal issues (even strict constructionists would have to admit) our Founders could never have imagined.

But it is greatly troubling to hear Pres. Obama say, as he did in campaigning for the job of leader of the free world, that he came to the realization that our guiding Constitutional light centered its focus on what government could not do. He was interested, he said, in figuring out what the Constitution could do for people.

This sounds innocent enough, but it represents a sea change of magnificent proportions to what our Founders intended in sculpting it. They recognized the inherent dangers of giving too much power to a centralized government. Their idea was to provide as much liberty as a free people could stand because the alternative, even a well-intentioned one in which government provides for everyone’s needs, eventually leads to tyranny.

In that sense, nominee Elena Kagan will be the perfect Obama U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

— Loné Beasley 

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