The Instigator
lordjosh
Con (against)
Tied
14 Points
The Contender
sherlockmethod
Pro (for)
Tied
14 Points

Empathy, Race and Upbringing" are important attributes for a Supreme Court Justice Nominee

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/27/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,050 times Debate No: 8428
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (4)

 

lordjosh

Con

Empathy, race and upbringing do not qualify a person to any appointment in the court system. It is vital that an appellate judge set aside any personal prejudices and uphold the Constitution and the laws of the United States. Pres. Obama's first pick, Judge Sonia Sotomayer, is the antithesis of impartiality. She believes that her personal experience may guide her to a different, if not better conclusions than "white males". This type of approach to law serves only to empower the federal government with authority to govern morality at their will.
sherlockmethod

Pro

I thank my opponent for offering this debate and look forward to his argument.

Definitions:
Empathy - http://www.merriam-webster.com...
In addition, I do like the wikipedia entry on this one. http://en.wikipedia.org... My opponent may choose not to accept a wiki, but the write up is good.

Race - http://en.wikipedia.org...(classification_of_human_beings) Race has different meanings, but now the term is mostly used in respect to humans. Charles Darwin mentioned race, but also spoke of a race of cabbage. Race in the sense of turn of the century science was closer to species than how it is used today. When I use race, it will be in the modern day context of humans.

I really don't want to play too much with definitions, but I do want to be clear that empathy and sympathy are not the same.

Contention 1
Empathy is an important attribute in an appellate judge. Most humans have the capacity to empathize; the exceptions find themselves on a list with other sociopaths. I do not think my opponent means judges should be sociopaths and, unfortunately, some liberals have taken this path to attack the proposition. http://open.salon.com...
I see no need to resort to this nonsense so I will make the case by examining empathy in relation to some aspect of the appellate court system. I chose a case that best exemplifies the need for empathy, written by Justice Scalia, and I do not recall anyone referring to him as empathic so he will serve as a great example.

CALIFORNIA v. HODARI D., 499 U.S. 621 (1991)
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com...

I urge my opponent to read the entire opinion, but this case concerned a young man who ran from some plain clothes police, with police insignias on their clothes. The youth threw a bag of cocaine out, while running. The Constitutional issue was whether the demand for him to stop was a "seizure" in regards to the 4th Amendment. The SCOTUS was deciding this issue only, not his guilt, and they never spoke to him, but Justice Scalia stated in the majority opinion concerning the Mendenhall test:
It says that a person has been seized "only if," not that he has been seized "whenever"; it states a necessary, but not a sufficient, condition for seizure - or, more precisely, for seizure effected through a "show of authority." Mendenhall establishes that the test for existence of a "show of authority" is AN OBJECTIVE ONE: not whether the citizen perceived that he was being ordered to restrict his movement, but whether the officer's words and actions would have conveyed that to A REASONABLE PERSON. (Emphasis Mine)

Why is this important? Simple, we have an objective test viewed from the standard of a reasonable person. What does the Constitution define as a reasonable person – the document does not provide a definition, the Justices must rely on previous opinions and must place themselves in the shoes of both Hodari and the officers so as to evaluate the totality of the circumstances. In other words – empathy is needed, and these objective tests make empathy necessary and important for appellate judges.

Contention 2/3
Race and upbringing (referred to as background from here forward) cannot be separated, and both are important considerations, as race and background play a key role when a judge must apply objective considerations. In the same opinion, Justice Scalia stated very early that "Late one evening in April, 1988, Officers Brian McColgin and Jerry Pertoso were on patrol in a high-crime area of Oakland, California." Why is this important? Why is the fact the area was a "high-crime area" relevant to a Constitutional issue? Because of the totality of the circumstances, the "high-crime area" was necessary to Scalia and the majority. Do I really need to show the racial break down of a "high-crime area" in Oakland, CA to know it had a high minority population, a low income population? No, and the court did not either; they all knew this fact. When evaluating the totality of the circumstances in relation to a reasonable person, different racial makeups and backgrounds can provide alternate views of the circumstances and a more reasoned judgment will result concerning the Constitutional principle, just like it did here, as Hodari found no relief, but the dissent held strong ground for future cases that arose later. The Court and the citizens of the United States will be better served if the best possible view is proffered from a diverse court. Yes, race and background are important, as the SCOTUS needs diversity to posit the most accurate formulations of Constitutional principles to all Americans.

Con's Contentions
Con focused on Sotomayor, a selection to replace Justice Stevens. My opponent provided one example to support his contention that Sotomayor is the "antithesis of impartiality". I ask voters to read the full context of the statement. Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Newt Gingrich, and World Net Daily use a one line quote to call her a racist. Here is the full speech and a great write up on the subject.
http://blogs.abcnews.com...
http://abcnews.go.com...
Evaluate the totality of the circumstances after reading all of it. Think about empathy, race and background.
Even if Sotomayor is the most racist judge in the history of America (she is not, and will make a good SCOTUS Justice), empathy, race and background are important aspects of appellate judges and this is the Pro position, I need not support Sotomayor in any capacity, but I can. If my opponent persists on this issue with Sotomayor, I will use Robert Bork as a counter example. Please don't make me do that.
Debate Round No. 1
lordjosh

Con

I thank you, sherlockmethod, for accepting the challenge and your integrity. I hope that you find my opinions to be thoughtful, educational, and my own. Notwithstanding any agreements or disagreements I may have with any of the pundits you mention.

I will accept both definitions of 'empathy' for this debate. I see no difference between the two, however. Wikapedia's only qualification is that empathy could could be felt as compassion or for cruel behavior. I would suppose one could have sympathy for cruel behavior. Would that sympathy be the result of empathy?

My opponent asks us to examine a case, presumably given weight for it's author is Justice Scalia. We are asked to focus on Scalia's admission that the Mendenhall test, in regards to 'show of authority', is an objective one, and also with the test's holding that the "words or actions" of the arresting officer are subject to "a reasonable person['s]" interpretation. Therefore, in absence of a Constitutional definition of a "reasonable person", "the Justices must rely on previous opinions and must place themselves in the shoes of both Hodari and the officers so as to evaluate the totality of the circumstances"; and become "reasonable" people? Surly we must presume that a person being considered for the High Court is a reasonable person, regardless of "previous decisions" or their ability to have empathy for a particular set of circumstances.

Therefore, empathy is not a qualification. A "reasonable person" is expected.

The 'empathy' in our context is qualified by race and upbringing, which is surfaced by the 'sales pitch' for the latest nomination to the bench. My opponent claims that, although Scalia may never have stepped foot in Oakland, CA, he and a majority had sufficient racial diversity to come to a reasonable judgement.

>>>>>"When evaluating the totality of the circumstances in relation to a reasonable person, different racial makeups[sic] and backgrounds can provide alternate views of the circumstances and a more reasoned judgment will result concerning the Constitutional principle, just like it did here"<<<<<

If it takes "different racial makeups[sic] and backgrounds" for a "reasonable" judgement to be produced, than there is no consistent perception of a "reasonable person". If there is no natural perception of reasonable, than a defendant's destiny is left to a crap shoot. A vie for 5 of 9 justices to see things as they do and to determine that they are reasonable and acted reasonably. The defendants destiny is left to whatever the makeup of the court is at the period in time in which his case was heard.
This is what is suppose to take place at the local level. In every State, a defendant has the right to make that case to a jury of his peers and they are to determine, in totality, if the State made their case.

CA v. Hordari was found on what the defendant should have reasonably thought and what constitutes a seizure of a person. The defendant was trying to deny a jury the ability to examine and contemplate the evidence which was obtained during that event . The defendant asked the Supreme Court to agree with him that the aforementioned Mendenhall test afforded him the "reasonable" assumption that he was under arrest(personal seizure) at the time he tried to dispose of his narcotic, and that the seizure was unreasonable, as the State of CA admitted it would have been if he was actually detained. The Court found that the seizure did not take place, based on J. Whites opinion in Florida V. Royer, because there was no "show of authority" to constitute a reasonable person to assume they are not "free to disregard the police and go about their business"(J. Scalia, CA v. Hodari). In other words, because the officer did not yet physically restrain, or declare to the defendant that he was under arrest, it is not reasonable for him to assume he was.

It is our concept of law in which our founding was based that leads a reasonable person to conclude that gathering around a car alone does not lawfully subject one to personal seizure. Yet, in a high crime area, were such an activity does warrant some suspicion, officers certainly may approach the situation. No evidence could be produced to suggest that it requires a diversity in race and upbringing to come to the appropriate conclusion. In fact, only knowledge and the will to adhere to our laws and principles are required. The Justices who agreed with this opinion did not need to wear the shoes of this defendant in order to determine that he could not reasonably believe he was being detained. They only had to determine if the officers actions conveyed a message to a reasonable person that they were under arrest.

There is no room on the Court for someone who believes that it may be "...impossible in all and even most cases" to "transcend...personal sympathies and prejudices and aspire to achieve a greater degree of fairness and integrity based on reason of law" (Judge S. Sotomayer, A Latina's Voice Heard, speech, 2002). In other words, her background may lead her to different conclusion based on her "sympathies and and prejudices". She acknowledges that there will be some "differences" in her judging because of her "gender and...[her] Latina heritage".

The perceptions of reasonableness are to be hashed out in the legislatures, by the people, and as locally as possible. It is the courts duty to adhere to those principles the people set forth in law. Not to those principles which a judge may hold personally. Integrity is an important attribute for a Supreme Court Justice nominee.
sherlockmethod

Pro

I thank my opponent for a well reasoned response. I do find your argument to be thoughtful, educational, and your own. As for the pundits I listed, I will not attribute their nonsense with your articulate response. I see no need to lie; my distain for these pundits is high, but I do not attribute any of that distain towards you or your argument. Your response is a welcome relief from the rhetorical nonsense they spew. I can name as many liberal pundits I hold in a similar state.

Having read my opponent's response, I still maintain the pro position concerning the resolution, and will rebut the Con position in full.

1)Definitions – my opponent seems fine with the definitions listed and I agree that empathy may result in sympathy, but so long as my opponent does not equate one with the other, we are fine. Too often I see these terms used in an interchangeable format. My opponent did not do this in his response, so I see no need to address this further.

2)My opponent states, "Surly [sic] we must presume that a person being considered for the High Court is a reasonable person, regardless of "previous decisions" or their ability to have empathy for a particular set of circumstances." And "[E]mpathy is not a qualification. A "reasonable person" is expected."

I agree with my opponent in the respect that Justices are assumed to be reasonable people, but I must make clear that empathy is needed to determine whether another acted as a reasonable person within the given circumstances. The Justices must determine reasonableness in the full context of the situation. I can see no way to divorce empathy from these considerations.

Empathy is needed and is important when choosing a member of the SCOTUS or any appellate court.

3)My opponent states, "The 'empathy' in our context is qualified by race and upbringing."
Agreed.

4)My opponent states, "If it takes "different racial makeups [sic] (error in original) and ‘backgrounds' for a ‘reasonable' judgement [sic] to be produced, than there is no consistent perception of a ‘reasonable person.'" My opponent hit the nail on the head in one respect - we do not have a consistent definition for a "reasonable person" in the law, hence the need for empathy. I never stated a diverse court was needed for a reasonable judgment to result, but a diverse court can produce a more reasoned opinion.

5)My opponent goes further and equates the makeup of the court given a set of facts at a given time, is little more than a crap shoot. I will not go that far, death penalty attorneys will, but I will not. The court is bound by the framework of the Constitution and, in this case, the framework of the 4th Amendment. Hodari is a great case because both the majority and the dissenting opinion fit within the framework of the 4th Amendment. Two conflicting results and both are constitutionally sound. Because the makeup of the court can produce opposing opinions, each within the 4th Amendment framework, empathy, qualified by race and upbringing, is important as race and upbringing affect reasoned legal opinions when dealing with objective standards.

6)As for my opponent's contentions concerning the makeup of juries and that local courts are better equipped to deal with the matter of what a reasonable person may be within the local community, I need to reiterate the point that juries do not make a judgment in reference to the constitutionality of evidence presented, and the test used by the SCOTUS would never fall into the hands of a jury. Juries determine facts and guilt. The appellate system is left with those facts, but objective standards do not end with assimilation of the facts in reference to guilt. I see no reason to accept one should have a jury of his peers judge facts and guilt, while not recognizing an appellate system can benefit from having equal diversity among learned judges of different race and background.

7)My opponent stated, in what I consider eloquent fashion, this:
"It is our concept of law in which our founding was based that leads a reasonable person to conclude that gathering around a car alone does not lawfully subject one to personal seizure. Yet, in a high crime area, were such an activity does warrant some suspicion, officers certainly may approach the situation. No evidence could be produced to suggest that it requires a [sic] diversity in race and upbringing to come to the appropriate conclusion. In fact, only knowledge and the will to adhere to our laws and principles are required. The Justices who agreed with this opinion did not need to wear the shoes of this defendant in order to determine that he could not reasonably believe he was being detained. They only had to determine if the officers [sic] actions conveyed a message to a reasonable person that they were under arrest."
As well written and reasoned as this contention may be, I must respectfully disagree. I would love to debate my opponent on the holding of Hodari D and the reason for the holding as he read the case well, but the case did not center on the officers' suspicion, as the trial court concluded if the officers had probable cause to stop Hodari the drugs would be admissible. No one doubted the officers were permitted to approach the vehicle, and arrest was not the issue, seizure was the main point. I agree no reasonable person should conclude he is under arrest once told to stop in most circumstances, but that was not the crux of this case. I can find no evidence to suggest that an understanding of the "concept of law in which our founding was based" could lead a reasonable person to conclude this situation was or was not a seizure in view of the shifting opinions within the framework of the 4th amendment.

8)My opponent states, "The perceptions of reasonableness are to be hashed out in the legislatures, by the people, and as locally as possible. It is the courts duty to adhere to those principles the people set forth in law. Not to those principles which a judge may hold personally. Integrity is an important attribute for a Supreme Court Justice nominee.

I agree. I have made no contention to the contrary.
Debate Round No. 2
lordjosh

Con

At the risk of being too cordial;

I thank my opponent for a first class debate. This season is a busy one for me and I have not been able to participate on this sight lately. I had to, well, I suppose, 'pick a fight' when these current affairs began to unfold.
My opponent has made this debate enjoyable and worth while for both participant and observer.

This debate has, as all good debates do, fleshed out the philosophies behind the positions. The "certain primary truths, or first principles, in which all subsequent reasoning must depend".[1] This is what I wish to focus on since I believe it is those differences that lead us to different views in this debate. However I would like to clear up our understanding of the case presented by my opponent for I may wish to continue it as an example when challenging my opponents philosophy.

My opponent stated he believes that in the the case CA v. Hodari D., "...arrest was not the issue, seizure was the main point". The case was about the arrest, or the personal seizure of Terry Hadori D., not the seizure of the cocaine. It is exactly what J. Stevens was focused on in his dissent;

"It is equally clear, however, that, if the officer had succeeded in touching respondent before he dropped the rock - [499 U.S. 621, 631] even if he did not subdue him - an arrest would have occurred."

"...the distinction between an arrest and an attempted arrest."

"...the facts of this case do not describe an actual arrest, but rather, an unlawful attempt to take a presumptively innocent person into custody."

The question for the court was whether or not the defendant was in custody, assuming the custody would have been unlawful, when Terry produced "the rock". The court found that the action that took place before the unloading of the contraband did not, under common law, amount to an arrest. Therefore, assuming the police just wanted to say hello, Terry incriminated himself, then he was arrested.

To the issue;

I would like to focus on two statements my opponent made;

1) "I never stated a diverse court was needed for a reasonable judgment to result, but a diverse court can produce a more reasoned opinion."

and

2) "I can find no evidence to suggest that an understanding of the "concept of law in which our founding was based" could lead a reasonable person to conclude this situation was or was not a seizure in view of the shifting opinions within the framework of the 4th amendment."

The first statement is a reiteration of an old urban legend.i.e. diversity = better. Not in just some instances, but in all aspects. We are told to take this as truth while existing in the absence of any real proof. I hold my opponents statement as evidence, " a diverse court can produce a more reasoned opinion", I ask, how? It may be one thing to say that a small group of people, all from different races and background, may come to a different conclusion than one of similar people. But better? How?

I think the answer presents itself in his second statement.

"....in view of THE shifting opinions within the framework of the 4th amendment."(emphasis mine)

What is THE shifting opinion? Who determines the direction of the shift? Who tells us where that shift has left us? I know one thing. My opinion has not shifted at all on the 4th amendment and my opinion is based on the founding position. If CA v. Hodari D. were instead the US v. Hodari D., and the situation actually fell under the authorities granted to the federal government, I believe the majority opinion would have been based on sound common law. The dissent was trying to expand on poor precedence. J. Stevens claimed that an officer given chase amounts to an attempted arrest, which amounts to arrest. This goes beyond common sense. Your not under arrest until an officer tells you "your under arrest". I don't believe different backgrounds would lead to different conclusions. A disdain for law enforcement may. "In its decision, the Court assumes, without acknowledging, that a police officer may now fire his weapon at an innocent citizen and not implicate the Fourth Amendment - as long as he misses his target."(J. Stevens, Ca V. Hodari D., dissenting opinion) And his background is the norm for Supreme Court justices.

So let us say that the makeup of the court at the time was different. And let say the majority signed on with J. Stevens. My opponent says of the two opinions, "...both are constitutionally sound." So he would accept either answer as the truth? Only if he believes that the law set by The People conforms to the judgement of unelected servants. I believe the Law is superior to them.

Therefore, a thorough understanding of our history, philosophy and law, coupled with the integrity to set aside personal opinions in favor of the intention of the people. The supreme court, nor the opinions of it's occupiers, were endowed with the burden to be the barometer of the people's intentions. One place, where diversity makes sense, is the legislature. The Congress is there to represent the people while the government performs the duties bestowed upon it. The legislature's most basic purpose is to make law. Yet, they cannot make a law that expands beyond the boundaries laid upon them. It is the Supreme Courts duty to "check" that. "Check" that with constitution, not their own conscience.

In closing, I would like switch gears to an example that I believe negates my opponent's con position. Justice Clarence Thomas. He come from the most humble of backgrounds. He is a black person of African descent who grew up in the south in very tough times for people like him. We should assume, if we follow my opponents philosophy, that his presence is a representation of diversity. Yet, we are told to believe his opinions are not representative of his particular constituency(for lack of a better word). Is he not doing his job? Does the court require another black man, with opinions more in line with what we are told black people want. Do we find nine people with the most diverse opinions possible and let them hash it out? Would that produce the best outcome?
This is not how we want our courts to operate. We want them to be fair and honest, and to uphold the law. We do not want them assuming their life experiences are superior to the people.
sherlockmethod

Pro

I thank my opponent for a stellar debate and will only conclude my arguments here, after addressing his contentions. I will present no new arguments as my opponent cannot respond.

In reference to Hodari D. I must make clear the issue before the court was the admittance of evidence. I may not have been clear when I presented this matter, but the appeal hinged on whether the cocaine was admitted as evidence and I do agree the seizure of person was a focal point, but the end goal of the defense was to throw out the drugs under the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine. If the seizure was unlawful, the drugs would not be admitted. I chose this case because it is close one and I still stand by the prospect that both the majority and the dissent fit within the framework of the 4th Amendment.

My opponent states in reference to my argument of a more diverse court, "The first statement is a reiteration of an old urban legend.i.e. diversity = better. Not in just some instances, but in all aspects. We are told to take this as truth while existing in the absence of any real proof."

I provided the reasons why a more diverse court will give a more reasoned opinion concerning objective standards within the framework of the Constitution. I can only let the voters decide, as I hold urban legends to be a fun subject, but I do not rely upon them.

My opponent asks, "What is THE shifting opinion? Who determines the direction of the shift? Who tells us where that shift has left us? I know one thing. My opinion has not shifted at all on the 4th amendment and my opinion is based on the founding position."

The 4th Amendment has shifted considerably since the founding fathers wrote it. Violated? No, the frame is there, but we have moved within it. The opinion may have shifted in Silverthorne Lumber CO. v. United States, 251 U.S. 385, when Justice Holmes stated, "The essence of a provision forbidding the acquisition of evidence in a certain way is that not merely evidence so acquired shall not be used before the Court but that it shall not be used at all." Maybe a shift occurred with Rochin v. People of California 242 U.S. 165, or further with Mapp v. Ohio, 267 U.S. 643, to most famously Miranda v. Arizona 384 U.S. 436. All these seminal cases present a shift within the framework, and no one shifting opinion can cover the complexity of the jurisprudence put forth under a simply written yet complicated Amendment. I cannot answer my opponent's question, and do not think anyone else can either. In addition, if my opponent knows THE founding position on the 4th Amendment, he needs to share it with the century's worth of legal scholars who have dedicated their careers to studying it.

My opponent states, "If CA v. Hodari D. were instead the US v. Hodari D., and the situation actually fell under the authorities granted to the federal government, I believe the majority opinion would have been based on sound common law."

With all due respect to my opponent, we do not have a federal common law. Erie railroad is a 1L's nightmare.
http://www.law.cornell.edu...

And before anyone thinking this is only in reference to civil matters, we don't have a criminal common law at all (state or federal). Please see the principles of legality for an understanding as to why.

My opponent states, "So let us say that the makeup of the court at the time was different. And let say the majority signed on with J. Stevens. My opponent says of the two opinions, "...both are constitutionally sound." So he would accept either answer as the truth? Only if he believes that the law set by The People conforms to the judgement [sic] of unelected servants. I believe the Law is superior to them."

I addressed this point in the previous round. I will add, I never once stated the law provides "truth" in any respect. I am not sure what my opponent thinks the law "set by The People" is, but he is welcome to share it in the comments section.

My opponent states, "Therefore, a thorough understanding of our history, philosophy and law, coupled with the integrity to set aside personal opinions in favor of the intention of the people. The supreme court, nor the opinions of it's [sic] occupiers, were endowed with the burden to be the barometer of the people's intentions."

I addressed this point, also in the previous round. So long as objective standards arise within Constitutional boundaries, the SCOTUS are endowed by the privileges granted in the Constitution to keep those objectives standards within the boundaries, no matter how much they shift within.

My opponent states in reference to Justice Clarence Thomas, "Yet, we are told to believe his opinions are not representative of his particular constituency(for lack of a better word). Is he not doing his job? Does the court require another black man, with opinions more in line with what we are told black people want.

I never mentioned Justice Thomas, and yes, as a rags-to-riches black man, he does add diversity to the court. At no point in this debate did I insinuate otherwise, and I think he is doing a fine job as his background and legal training have helped his position. He was mentioned as a side note in the Sotomayor article I linked in my first round. I saw no need to mention him, as I focused on another issue (Hodari D).

At this point the voters must decide as I think I showed a firm case concerning empathy, race, and upbringing are important in an appellate court judge so long as Constitutionally permitted objective standards are present in the appellate system.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by sherlockmethod 7 years ago
sherlockmethod
Probably the best result for this debate.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
It seems to me that Pro's case is based upon determining how a "reasonable person" would behave. His argument is that to make that determination, the judge ought to be able to put himself in the position of a reasonable person to make that evaluation. The error in that argument, I think, is that a "reasonable person" is characterized generically in law, whereas empathy in the sense of the resolution is empathy with the defendant in the case. The legal criteria is not what a reasonable black cocaine dealer would do if pursued by a reasonable white policeman -- or whatever the circumstances of the case might be. The criteria is how an abstract person possessed of ordinary reasoning ability would act in accordance with the circumstances of the case. It has to be an abstract person for the law to be applied impartially.

We expect the judge to apply the standard independent of his ability to empathize. For example, imagine a case in which the judge has an extraordinary fear of spiders. A defendant is accused of firing a shotgun to kill a spider and accidentally injuring a third party in the process. We don't want the judge to empathize with the fear of spiders and thereby suppose the act was reasonable. We want the judge to apply an abstract standard of reasonableness.

Note that such questions are usually questions of fact, not questions of law. Therefore they are not subjects for appellate decision. I'm not sure whether Con found an exception or not, I'll assume he did.

Sotomayor seems to be advocating prejudice, claiming repeatedly in print that she can make better decisions than white men. That's an issue, but not the central issue of the debate.

I think Con made the relevant points in the debate.
Posted by lordjosh 7 years ago
lordjosh
This is a debate I posted(never accepted) which I think will clear up the founders intention of the first eight amendments as a whole. I would challenge any scholar to rebut my points.

http://www.debate.org...

The only answer my opponent or anyone else can give is that the meaning shifts. Yet they can't give any proof to notion that it is allowed to shift. We know we can change the Constitution by amendment, but the document is completely silent on shifting opinions of the document.
Fortunately, our Founders were not. In The Federalist Papers #81, A. Hamilton addressed this subject precisely.

The "...this charge is founded,.... to this effect: 'The authority of the proposed Supreme Court of the United States, which is to be a separate and independent body, will be superior to that of the legislature. The power of construing the laws according to the SPIRIT of the Constitution, will enable that court to mould them into whatever shape it may think proper; especially as its decisions will not be in any manner subject to the revision or correction of the legislative body...."

His follow-up;

"...there is not a syllable in the plan under consideration which DIRECTLY empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the spirit of the Constitution, or which gives them any greater latitude in this respect than may be claimed by the courts of every State."
Posted by sherlockmethod 7 years ago
sherlockmethod
I enjoyed this one. I leave for vacation tomorrow so I will address RFDs when I return, and always, I do not vote on my own debates so any points will be from others. Please RFD so I can learn from them.
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Vote Placed by KeithKroeger91 7 years ago
KeithKroeger91
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