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Federal Judge: Constitution Not Worth Studying Anymore

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According to 7th Circuit Judge Richard Posner, writing on, it’s time for the Supreme Court – and, indeed, law students everywhere – to stop giving so much deference to that old, musty document known as the U.S. Constitution.

“I see absolutely no value to a judge of spending decades, years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, or seconds studying the Constitution, the history of its enactment, its amendments, and its implementation,” Posner wrote. “Eighteenth-century guys, however smart, could not foresee the culture, technology, etc. of the 21st century. Which means that the original Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the post-Civil War amendments (including the 14th), do not speak to today.”

Posner concluded: “In short, let’s not let the dead bury the living.”

Posner, an appointee of Ronald Reagan, is surely entering the initial stages of some form of regrettable dementia.

If anything, our current Supreme Court justices have strayed too far from their constitutional grounding. Increasingly, they put on those black robes and suddenly consider themselves the wisest men and women in the land, imbued with the kind of grand ideas and exceptional genius that renders the Constitution (and even legal precedent) matters of triviality. If these things can be used to support their learned opinion, great. If not, well, that’s fine too. No such banalities can be used to question a mighty Justice! Begone, peasant.

Posner is right, of course, that there are aspects of 21st century American life that are too far removed from the Revolution-era to make constitutional application an easy job. But then, that’s why we have the Supreme Court. If you could find every answer in the written text of that hallowed document, we would hardly need all of this “interpretation.”

But without a close study of the Constitution, its framers, and its intent, we are a ship lost at sea, simply making the rules up as we go along. At some point, Posner (and many other liberals) apparently forgot that the Constitution was – and is – one of the greatest legal foundations for government in the history of the world. Upon those brilliant insights, we built a country that permanently changed this thing we call life.

The grand importance of the Constitution, though, is not in its specificity or its one-to-one relevance in 2016. It’s the theme that is written between every calligraphic line: Whenever possible, the power of the federal government over the citizenry should be severely limited. This should be the guiding light of every Supreme Court Justice, every senator, every congressman, and every president.

“I think the Supreme Court is at a nadir,” wrote Posner at another point in his essay. “The justices are far too uniform in background, and I don’t think there are any real stars among them.”

Well, then, Judge Posner, this would be a pretty bad time for them to start ignoring the Constitution, wouldn’t it?

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    Total 7 comments
    • Just me

      Well poser – there’s a CONSTITUTIONAL way to handle your concerns. It takes 2/3rds of both houses and must be ratified by 3/4 of the states. That’s pretty easy to understand even for you!

    • dianecee

      It’s time to stop listening to old musty judges

    • Downvoteobama

      I think its time to hang your self Judge..with all due respect. Garbage like you should have been emptied long ago..

    • apache5

      that federal judge needs to be removed from office and thrown in jail for treason and anyone like him as well!! this is waht is killing our country idiots like him or her!!

    • Man

      well you know, that is why Amendments are added to the constitution… so what is so shocking about this? The constitution isn’t perfect… that why the bill of rights was added. It was ratification.

    • Grampa

      The law must be what they say it is. Well if we have no constitution we have no need for judges. We will just notify twelve citizens and they will listen to the case and rule as they feel is proper. This includes our government representatives. As a complaint is registered the accused will stand in front of the jury. The jury would also set the penalties which because we are no longer in need of a constitutional guidelines could be as severe as the jury feels just.

    • ElOregonian

      Another progressive-putz that wants to “Recreate our history” in order to achieve a morbid agenda filled with totalitarian ideals, but first they have to erase our past, or to at least diminish its actual worth, in order to insert their communistic views in where they boldly perch themselves at the top, and the rest of us serfs are nothing more than useful idiots, nothing more worthy than to placate their every whim.

      I’m sure the judge is most envious of that human toad known as Kim Jong-un, the North Korean pot-bellied despot.

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