The Conservative is an Originalist, for he believes that much like a contract, the Constitution sets forth certain terms and conditions for governing that hold the same meaning today as they did yesterday and should tomorrow. It connects one generation from societal experimentation and government excess. There really is no other standard by which the constitution can be interpreted without abandoning it’s underlying principles altogether.
If the Constitution’s meaning can be erased or rewritten, and the Framers intentions ignored, it ceases to be a constitution but is instead a concoction of political expedients that serve the contemporary policy agendas of the few who are entrusted with public authority to preserve it.
To say that the Constitution is a “living and breathing document” is to give license to arbitrary and lawless activism. It is a mantra that gained purchase in the early 20th century and is paraded around by the Statist as if to legitimate that which is illegitimate.
The Conservative may ask the following questions: If words and their meaning can be manipulated or ignored to advance the Statist’s political and policy preferences, what then binds allegiance to the Statist’s words?
Why should today’s law bind future generations if yesterday’s law does not bind this generation? Why should judicial precedent bind the nation if the Constitution itself does not? Why should any judicial determination based on a judge’s notion of what is ”right “or ”just” bind the individual if the individual believes the notion is wrong and unjust? Does not lawlessness beget lawlessness? Or is not the Statist really saying that the law is what he says it is, and that is the beginning and end of it? And if judges determine for society what is right and just, and if their purpose is to spread democracy or liberty, how can it be said that the judiciary is coequal with the executive or legislative branch?
The Statist considers the judiciary his clearest path to amassing authority, for through it he can proclaim what the law is without effective challenge or concern with the fleeting outcome of an election cycle.
Moreover, the federal judiciary is populated with about one thousand lawyers- and the Supreme Court a mere 9, making statist infiltration easy. Even when holding high office in the executive or legislative branches, the Statist today looks for ways to enhance judicial authority at the expense of his own branch, for in doing so he seeks to immunize his agenda from a possible change in public attitudes. And the Statist on the Court tolerates representative government only to the extent that it’s decisions reinforce his ends, Otherwise he overrules it.
In 1850 Frederic Bastiat, writing about the law, summed it up well:
When the law has exceeded it’s proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose.
The law has been used to destroy its own objective. It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was suppose to maintain ; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and the property of others. It has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.
Mark Levin from his book Liberty and Tyranny, chapter 4 “On The Constitution.”