Barack Obama, 2001
If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it I'd be OK .But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try 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, at least as it's been interpreted, and the 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 doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.
Yes, Barry, you could sit at the lunch counter and eat, as you say, as long as you can pay for it. It didn't say that you could go in and force the lunch lady to bring you a plate for free, simply because she had a plate and you didn't. But that's not the scary part.
The scary part is the part in bold letters. "Break free from the Constitutional Restraints?" Is that why you became a Constitutional Law Professor at University of Chicago? I remember a while back when you said "I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution."
Does it really? Does being a Constitution professor really mean that you respect the Constitution?
You know, it has been said that no one knows the Bible better than the Devil himself. He has to, if he's going to use that age old document against the very people who espouse it. Plus, he's always looking for a loophole, a way to twist the words into what he wants it to say.
That's why I think you became a Constitutional Law scholar, Barry O. So you can "break free" from the constraints the founding fathers placed (intentionally) on the role of government in people's lives. Looking for the loopholes much? What the government might think they are doing FOR the people might just as well be perceived as what the government is doing TO people. Is that the fundamental flaw
you were looking for, or perhaps something that could be exploited?
I have had more than a few of my esteemed colleagues make the statement, "You either love the Constitution or you don't. You tenthers and second amendment nuts just pick the parts you like and want to do away with parts you don't like. You either take the Constitution as a whole, or admit you are a Constitution hating freedom hater."
It seems like those guys are in good company with our President. He hates the Constitution too.