I think I am like most Americans. I have some extreme liberal views, I have some extreme conservative views, but I have mostly centric views. I tend to lean "right" because it feels safer to do so. One of my extreme conservative views is that the Constitution is very important document and that it should be treated with the utmost care because it is the check on our government. The Consitution is what gives the people their power. This comment by Robert on abajournal.com is one of the best explanations of why I feel the way I do:
I can’t believe how everyone overlooks the obvious.
Either the Constitution means something specific, or it means nothing at all. If “what it means” is completely up to a vote of nine political appointees, then it has no specific meaning.
If it has no specific meaning, then government limitations are non-existent. The only limitation is what the USSC will allow, which is only limited to what they can find emanating from penumbras. Since they are appointed for life, we citizens have no control over the government at all, since that puts all power in the SC.
And that is the definition of “tyranny.” It isn’t a question of whether the majority of Americans LIKE what they are doing, it’s a matter of whether or not there are limits.
But the Constitution IS the limit? Really? The USSC is 9 people sworn to uphold and defend that document, charged with the responsibility to settle cases and controversies which may arise under it, but there’s a singular problem with that.
We so regularly see decisions that are 5-4, and no one ever stops to consider that this means that AT LEAST 4 (maybe 5) either haven’t the love for the Constitution the job and oath demand, or they haven’t the wit to understand it correctly.
Ever stop to think about who ratified the Constitution? It was the average man of 1787, who probably didn’t go to college since there were only 20 in the U.S. at the time, and couldn’t possibly have gotten information about the document from any of the usual modern sources; there were no USSC cases, DeTocqueville was a half-century from being born, and the Federalist Papers weren’t started until six States had already ratified. Think people who just fought a war to get rid of a government they couldn’t control would replace it with one they couldn’t understand?
The bottom line is that it is a VERY simple and VERY clear document, and if four (or five) of the nine brightest lawyers in America can’t get it, we have a serious problem.
You can view the full article that spawned this comment at http://www.abajournal.com/weekly/article/stevens_says_court_will_eventually_straighten_itself_out