This past week we witnessed yet another missed opportunity to educate the body politic on our founding principles, one more casualty of the 1987 confirmation hearing that has now coined the verb form “to bork”. In spite of the paucity of her written record and the fact that she hasn’t a record from the bench at all, the Elena Kagan Supreme Court confirmation hearings could have been enlightening on a number of wedge issues that are important to the country. George Will went to the trouble of outlining a number of questions the answers to which would have been instructive, covering issues such as the Commerce Clause, eminent domain, the Citizens United free speech decision, diversity as a compelling public interest, and others. Alas, for our next public constitutional refresher course we must await an appointment that threatens to swing the ideological balance of the Court, and then look out, we’re in for a bloodletting like none we have seen at least since the Clarence Thomas hearing and maybe Robert Bork’s. It will be the “mother of all constitutional debates” involving the central arguments between the founding principles embodied in the Constitution of 1787 and those of the “living constitution”, the one the progressives have wanted for the past 100 years, and the left is simply biding its time until it has an opportunity to tip the balance in its favor. Meanwhile, I say a prayer every day that Roberts, Alito, Thomas, Scalia, and “swingman” Kennedy stay healthy and upright at least until 2013; they may be all that hold us back from the abyss.
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