The untimely passing of Justice Scalia and the nomination and confirmation of Justice Gorsuch to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court has raised several interesting constitutional and legislative issues.
Originally intended to be the court of last resort for constitutional cases relating to our founding document, the Supreme Court has become a third legislative body that reflects the power structure in the Senate and the Executive Branch. Rather than examine the legal scholarship and honesty of the nominee, senators on both sides of the aisle attempt only to determine whether he or she will support a specific political agenda.
To most lawyers, the written word matters, especially in a contract that spells out the obligations, restrictions, and permissions that bind those who sign it. An individual would be ill-advised by counsel to sign a “living” contract . . . one with terms that could change at the whim of the interpreter at any given time. Legally, the entirety of a binding contract resides within the four corners of the paper on which it is printed. Representatives of the thirteen original states who signed the Constitution, as well as the citizens of each state through their ratifying conventions, had the very real expectation that those words would be honored and adhered to as the basis of the rule of law, applicable to all, equally, unless amended or revoked according to its terms.
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