Tuesday, July 14

meaning of the constitution

Georgetown law professor Randy Barnett has a thought: During confirmation hearings for Supreme Court justices instead of the questions and answers focusing on specific cases why not ask for clarification as to the meanings of clauses of the Constitution?
"Supreme Court confirmation hearings do not have to be about either results or nothing. They could be about clauses, not cases. Instead of asking nominees how they would decide particular cases, ask them to explain what they think the various clauses of the Constitution mean.

"Don't ask how the meaning of these clauses should be applied in particular circumstances. Just ask about the meaning itself and how it should be ascertained. Do nominees think they are bound by the original public meaning of the text?"
Of course, this is too logical, too sensible. It won't happen, but it should. But it also mean that the Senators on the Judiciary would have to know something about the Constitution. That would certainly put Senator Franken behind a steep learning curve, wouldn't it?

What if Sotomayor had to answer specific questions about the clauses of the Constitution, rather than just reciting prepared text verbatim? Would she be automatically confirmed?

1 Comments:

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8:05 AM  

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