Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Protecting rights the Founders never knew we had

Armando got a chance to post over at the Daily Kos about "The Extremist Agenda: The Judiciary". Without going into too much detail, he essentially accuses Senator Frist, guided by James Dobson, of attempting to use the judiciary to turn the US into a fundamentalist theocracy. Feel free to the read the article if you like. I didn't find it persuasive, but lack the energy right now to deconstruct it. What I did find interesting, in his five point list of the evil the conservative judiciary would wreck, is the charge that conservative judges would:

Weaken civil rights protections through outlandish and unfounded readings of the Constitution and federal civil rights laws. End affirmative action, shred employment discrimination laws. Legalize discrimination against gays. [Emphasis mine.]
I don't think many would quarrel with the fact that the Constitution says nothing about affirmative action, gay marriage, a woman's right to choose, and myriad other "rights" we cherish or fight over today. While I'm all for some of those rights and ambivalent about others, I'm not going to pretend that they flow inexorably from the Constitution's written language. Instead, they result from readings the Founding Fathers would undoubtedly have found "outlandish and unfounded." So it struck me as funny that someone would charge that the other side -- the conservative side that wants to go back to straightforward constitutional readings (for better or worse) -- is the side that intends to engage in perverse readings of the written Constitution.