27 October 2008

This is a constitutional law lecturer?

Our dear (presumptive future) leader, via Hotair:

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 as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. 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 its been interpreted and 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, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that. …
I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn’t structured that way.


bothenook said...

sad to say, but his attitude isn't too far off from the anti gun folks out there. "yeah, the constitution got some things right, but we need to CHANGE some things we don't like".
standby bucko. i'm seeing a rough couple of years ahead

midwatchcowboy said...

Everyone has the opportunity to change the social compact under which we all live. (The one I've sworn my whole adult life to support and defend) They can petition the Congress to pass an amendment that should be ratified by 2/3 of the state legislatures. Alternatively they can get 2/3 of the legislatures to come together in a convention and rewrite the whole thing. Just don't let the three branches of government choose what they believe their own rules should be.