Our living, breathing Constitution

Many judges these days like to refer to the Constitution of the United States as a "living, breathing document", implying that its text is designed to be flexible. It is not. The Constitution is a set of rules, and like any other set of rules, it is meant to be strict and uncompromising. Of course, the Constitution can be modified through the amendment process, but once ratified, any amendment becomes like the rest of the Constitution: rigid. And while any amendment may be repealed, as was the case with the 18th Amendment (The Prohibition Act), until that happens, it is just as concrete as any other part of the Constitution, and not subject to interpretation beyond the literal meaning of its text. The Constitution does not live, breathe, or do the cha—cha, for that matter. It is in many ways an instruction manual for the way our country was designed to run, and amending it is very serious business. When a judge refers to it as "living and breathing," what he or she means is that...(Read Full Article)

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