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Supreme Court Justices are sworn to uphold the Constitution Of The United States. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we select Justices who have respect for that document. That's why it was fairly disturbing to discover that one particular liberal Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, does not think so highly of our Constitution:
As Egyptian officials prepare to send to trial 19 American democracy and rights workers, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg visited Cairo last week where she suggested Egyptian revolutionaries not use the U.S. Constitution as a model in the post-Arab Spring.
"I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012," Ginsburg said in an interview on Al Hayat television last Wednesday. "I might look at the constitution of South Africa. That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, have an independent judiciary. It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done."
Ginsburg has said in the past that she looks to foreign law when weighing issues. That is a violation of her Constitutional oath of office, but at least now we know why she does it.
When liberals speak of a government that embraces "basic human rights", they aren't talking about a government that guarantees individual liberty, as does our Bill Of Rights. They are talking about something entirely different. To liberals, "basic human rights" means the government should intercede and provide everyone with things like food, shelter, education, health care, universal pre-school, birth control, utility bill payments, welfare payments, retirement income, etc. Basically, if anyone lacks anything, liberals believe the government should provide it for them, and that it is a "right".
Nothing the government does is free, however, so when liberals provide some people with these unnamed Constitutional "rights", they must infringe on the rights of others. This is commonly known as "redistribution of wealth", which is also nowhere to be found in our Constitution.
President Obama holds the same view of our lousy Constitution as does Justice Ginsburg. He has called it "fundamentally flawed", and opined that it contains an "enormous blind spot". This Obama statement from a few years ago explains what he meant:
Obama said, “The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent as radical as I think people tried to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, as least as it’s been interpreted, and Warren Court interpreted in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties, says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn’t shifted.”
When liberals use the phrase "economic justice", they mean that if you have something your neighbor does not have, the government should force you to provide that thing for your neighbor. This is the essence of "redistribution of wealth", and it's also why liberals whine endlessly about income inequality (rather than focusing on the undeniable rising standard of living of all Americans over the last 100 years). A major difference between liberals and conservatives is, conservatives believe in equal opportunity for all, while liberals believe in equal outcome for all. This is also the difference between capitalism and socialism, and it explains liberal disdain for capitalism (unless liberals can use a rising stock market as evidence Obama is doing a good job, as they've been doing recently. Consistency is not liberals' strong suit). By the way, the rising American standard of living came from capitalism, not socialism, but liberals would prefer you not know that.
After a liberal Supreme Court Justice expresses her disdain for our Constitution, she's going to need some assistance in removing her foot from her mouth. Who better to provide such assistance than the liberal New York Times, who conveniently ran a column called 'We The People' Loses Appeal With People Around The World in the wake of Ginsburg's remarks. Here's a taste:
The Constitution has seen better days.
Sure, it is the nation’s founding document and sacred text. And it is the oldest written national constitution still in force anywhere in the world. But its influence is waning.
A quarter-century later, the picture looks very different. “The U.S. Constitution appears to be losing its appeal as a model for constitutional drafters elsewhere,” according to a new study by David S. Law of Washington University in St. Louis and Mila Versteeg of the University of Virginia.
The study, to be published in June in The New York University Law Review, bristles with data. Its authors coded and analyzed the provisions of 729 constitutions adopted by 188 countries from 1946 to 2006, and they considered 237 variables regarding various rights and ways to enforce them.
Translation - Our Constitution is old and musty, and just not hip for these modern (left-wing) times. And why is this so ? One guess:
There are lots of possible reasons. The United States Constitution is terse and old, and it guarantees relatively few rights. The commitment of some members of the Supreme Court to interpreting the Constitution according to its original meaning in the 18th century may send the signal that it is of little current use to, say, a new African nation. And the Constitution’s waning influence may be part of a general decline in American power and prestige.
Notice the cover for Ginsburg's behind. Liberals want more and more "rights", but oddly, they also want to end certain existing rights:
[Our Constitution] has its idiosyncrasies. Only 2 percent of the world’s constitutions protect, as the Second Amendment does, a right to bear arms. (Its brothers in arms are Guatemala and Mexico.)
Yeah. That crazy Constitution of ours allows our citizens to arm and protect themselves. Big Brother doesn't like that. A defenseless and docile (dependent) population is much easier to control. Independence is so "idiosyncratic" these days.
Liberals wish we were more like Canada:
“America is in danger, I think, of becoming something of a legal backwater,” Justice Michael Kirby of the High Court of Australia said in a 2001 interview. He said that he looked instead to India, South Africa and New Zealand.
Mr. Barak, for his part, identified a new constitutional superpower: “Canadian law,” he wrote, “serves as a source of inspiration for many countries around the world.” The new study also suggests that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, adopted in 1982, may now be more influential than its American counterpart.
The Canadian Charter is both more expansive and less absolute. It guarantees equal rights for women and disabled people, allows affirmative action and requires that those arrested be informed of their rights. On the other hand, it balances those rights against “such reasonable limits” as “can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”
Groovy. I wonder why they left out the part about how Canada doesn't even have free speech. If the Canadian government thinks what you are saying is offensive (politically incorrect), they can arrest you. For one example, the Canadian government threatened to arrest conservative columnist Ann Coulter BEFORE she gave a speech in Canada. I guess Coulter was guilty of thought crimes. This is what happens when liberals start determining what is a right and what isn't. Another name for it is "oppression", and left-wingers admire it.
Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia pointed out something about rights - the more rights that are guaranteed, the more the government becomes totalitarian:
...Justice Antonin Scalia told the Senate Judiciary Committee in October. “Every banana republic in the world has a bill of rights,” he said.
“The bill of rights of the former evil empire, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was much better than ours,” he said, adding: “We guarantee freedom of speech and of the press. Big deal. They guaranteed freedom of speech, of the press, of street demonstrations and protests, and anyone who is caught trying to suppress criticism of the government will be called to account. Whoa, that is wonderful stuff!”
I prefer to stick with individual liberty over government diktat, but that's just me. Maybe it's because I was taught that if you want something, you go out and earn it. You don't just demand that someone else give it to you for free. That seems RIGHT to me. I don't need the government to control every aspect of my life. I always thought the greatest thing about America was that here it didn't. If that concept is old and musty, then I suppose I am too.