The "Living" Constitution And Supreme Court Precedent

The U.S. Supreme Court nomination hearings of Elena Kagen brought up the same old issues. One, especially dear to pro-abortion liberals, is the legal principle of stare decisis, which is the idea that court precedent is engraved in steel and cannot be overturned by anyone or any body — even the very court that made the ruling. Of course this is absurd. We'd still have separate but equal if courts followed this line of thinking. What stare decisis really means is that the fleeting decision of five people must rule over the entire lifetime of a nation. Stare decisis is precious to liberals because they view Roe v. Wade as sacrosanct. By no means can it ever be re-examined. But while this old principle wasgladly glossed over by both sides during Ms. Kagan's hearing last week, no one thought to broach a new argument to expose the liberal hypocrisy: It is liberals who claim that the constitution is a "living" document, flexible enough to be interpreted any way the government wants it to be. No powers to mandate rules to the states? So what? No powers to take over industries? No problem. No powers to force you to buy something? Too bad. We do what we want. Live with it.

So, where there are defined rules for governing on paper — the U.S. Constitution — ratified and practiced for two centuries, government does what it wants anyway. But where five mortals decide something, no matter how faulty their reasoning or evidence provided, we must do forever what the decision says.