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History - Essay Example

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Date: Constitution Some Americans today claim that our Constitution should not be "interpreted"; instead, it should be applied according to the founders' original intent. In fact, one of our Supreme Court justices, Antonin Scalia, has stated that he is a textualist; an originalist…
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Download file to see previous pages The criticisms arise from not only the common law people like lawyers but even judges who are the custodians of the laws in the constitution. There are mainly three groups of people where the constitution is involved. The first group subscribes to the theory that the constitution should be based on original intent, the others insist that it should be based on textualism and the rest insist that the constitution is a living document and hence subject to changes and other amendments (Isaacs 5). Textualists hold the belief that the constitution should not be based on intent where judges and others using the constitution make their own interpretations of it. Instead, they should use it according to the way the original drafters of the constitution wrote it. The same views are held by those subscribing to the originalism theory who insist that the original meaning of the constitution should be maintained and if any amendments are to be made whatsoever, they should be in line with the original ideas of those who drafted it and diverse further. These two groups of people go parallel with those arguing that the constitution is a living document which should be dynamic and hence flexible to have as many amendments as necessarily required. This last group therefore insists that the constitution should be interpreted according to the situation at hand and in accordance to other laws and also in order for the rest of the citizens who are not legal technocrats to understand it better. These differing ideologies about the constitution were also experienced initially when it was being drafted as not all those congressmen present voted in support of it in the constitutional convention of 1787. The differences were also experienced later on in the late 1700s and early 1800s hence the various amendments that were made among them being the 1st to the 12th amendment all which were made during this period. The founding fathers of the constitution therefore disagreed and finally made changes and hence were not supporters of textualism. Textualism is a good thing since it helps to ensure that the original meaning of the constitution is maintained. However the original intent of the constitution should be present because times are changing and since even the original drafters of the constitution made changes to the document, then there is no need of fully committing to textualism. Based on the above facts and even the evidence that has been seen through the twenty seven (27) amendments made since it was drafted, my views are that the constitution is and remains to be a living document and hence will keep on allowing for amendments to be made but at the same time ensure that the original ideas and meaning is not lost during the changes and interpretation. We fought a revolution for "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" because "all men are created equal." Yet the United States remained a slave nation for over 80 years after this revolution even though some founders disapproved and some states abolished the institution. So was this great country of ours founded on hypocrisy? The founders of this nation had the best interest of the rest of the US citizens at heart. It is this love and passion for their country that made them draft the constitution which was not only a declaration of law but also the way forward for the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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