Gorsuch and Original Intent

I think Gorsuch is a very reasonable nominee, but somehow the idea of original intent gets selectively twisted.

The founders’ original intent was to create a document that could address the needs of the time. Think I’m wrong? The first thing they did was add ten changes, the Bill of Rights. Then then added another change in 1795. The founders were pretty much all alive then, and making adjustments to fit the needs of the time. The original intent was a living document that addressed the needs of the times based on the founding principals.

People try to bring in history, selectively. If history really matters that much, then the Constitution only protects our right to have muzzle loading single round weapons. But no, we interpret the 2nd amendment based on the needs of the time, not the weapons the founders were thinking about when they wrote the Constitution.

The challenge, of course, is interpreting the founding principals in a given time. It’s broad, but generally a principal was that we would use government to do for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves, or which worked better if done by society. National defense is the easy example, but keeping the Mississippi clean is another example – it’s impossible for an individual in Missouri to insure the water isn’t polluted the next state up.

This, really, is the problem – we have one part of our society that generally trusts the individual, and another part that generally distrusts the individual.

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