Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Scalia's Punishment

I was in DC on Friday and discovered a fitting learning experience for the Original Intent advocates. On one wall of the Jefferson Memorial is the following, from a letter Jefferson wrote.

"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

This memorial was conceived during FDR's administration, and finished during WWII, a time of great change in the US. Advocates of Original Intent ought to have to stand in that great work and read this passage repeatedly until it sinks in that this Founder didn't intend to hamstring the future of the nation with notions bound to his own time.

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