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Interpreting the Constitution Based on Modern Fads Is a Mistake

Alarmingly, more people today believe the Supreme Court should base its decisions on “current understandings” of the Constitution than on what the text of the Constitution meant when drafted, says a recent poll by the Pew Foundation. According to the poll, 55 percent of respondents believed judges should look to “current understandings” while only 41 percent believed they should interpret the Constitution based on the text as originally written.
These results should frighten everyone. Allowing judges to interpret the constitution based on contemporary fads will not only eviscerate our liberties, it will also empower justices to take constitutional joy rides wherever they choose. And that would take them—and us—to problematic destinations.
If judges base their decisions on “current understan…
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