The Instigator
surfride
Pro (for)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
gahbage
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points

The Constitution is and was meant to be a living document.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/25/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,339 times Debate No: 4506
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (11)

 

surfride

Pro

The U.S. Constitution is and was intended by the Founding Fathers to be a "living" document, that is, they intended for it to change with the times, and it does. As an opponent, I would like you to attempt to prove that the Constitution should be interpreted exactly as it was written and that it should not be a "living" document.
gahbage

Con

Thank you for this debate.

No I'll start off by pointing out that my opponent says that a living document changes with the times. However, this cannot be how the framers meant as a type of law system.

Take this example: In the distant future, "freedom of speech" is defined as "you can say anything you want, as long as it is not criticizing the government". Now obviously, you can tell that the framers meant for a right to criticize the government. However, if this "changed with the times", the new times would take away that right.

My opponent is correct, however; the Constitution is a living document - but not for the definition he gave. A "living document" is a document that can be changed , or amended in our case. This allows for the formation of new laws and the altering of old ones. But with the definition my opponent used, the Constitution is not living, because it was not meant to "change with the times".
Debate Round No. 1
surfride

Pro

Sorry, what i should say is "can be changed with the times", obviously it does not mean that the Constitution just changes automatically, but that it can and should be amended to reflect the times. I was looking for someone who believes that the constitution should not be "interpreted" and should be taken "literally". That said, let's get debatin'.
gahbage

Con

Well, my previous points still apply to that. I actually thought you meant "can be changed with the times", so . . . yeah. Extend all my points I guess? Anyway, the "living" part of the Constitution is that it can be amended.
Debate Round No. 2
surfride

Pro

okay, just forget this debate, it's turning out to be a lot suckier than i thought. 100characters 100 characters
gahbage

Con

Okay...

Extand all my p100 CHARACTERS 100 CHARACTERS 100 CHARACTERS 100 CHARACTERS 100 CHARACTERS 100 CHARACTERS
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by gahbage 8 years ago
gahbage
Killer: But if I was Communist, I would say so in my profile where it says political party or whatever. Or something.

surfride: That still doesn't address my main point, which is that the term "living document" refers to the process of adding amendments, not interpreting it.
Posted by surfride 8 years ago
surfride
Imagine my surprise, when I found that I logged on and my argument was posted without my logging on earlier. . .Upon questioning my brother, I found that he had logged in and posted an "argument". Here is MY argument, sorry about the delay. I feel that Gahbage's argument is entirely based on grammar.
Of course the constitution is meant to change with the times. As the times change, so does people's desire for changes in laws, women's suffrage for example. The times demanded women's suffrage, and it was granted. The document changes, and the will of the people, which dictates what "the time" desires, is what changes the documet. Sorry again about the fake argument thing.
Posted by Killer542 8 years ago
Killer542
Gahbage, are you aware that the hammer and sickle on your picture makes you look like a communist?
Posted by gahbage 8 years ago
gahbage
Lol.

25 characters. 25 more characters.
Posted by Maya9 8 years ago
Maya9
surfride reminds me of Cartman from South Park: "Screw you guys, I'm going home!"

Pretty childish.
Posted by SnoopyDaniels 8 years ago
SnoopyDaniels
I have a question that I have always wanted to ask a broad constructionist. If the founding fathers intended the constitution to be subject to broad and sweeping interpretations, both pliable and subject to future change, why on earth did they spend so much time agonizing over every last word and phrase? Furthermore, why did they include an amendment clause if they wanted us to just reinterpret it when the need arose?
Posted by gahbage 8 years ago
gahbage
Aha sorry. >.<
25 characters
Posted by surfride 8 years ago
surfride
gotta say, this is turning out to be a bit lamer than i thought. . .i was sort of looking for an extreme conservative who hates Roe v. Wade and the like.
Posted by gahbage 8 years ago
gahbage
Wow . . . I posted before I was finished . . .
Posted by gahbage 8 years ago
gahbage
I can't type. >.< "No I'll start off..." should be "Now I'll start off..."
11 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by gahbage 8 years ago
gahbage
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Vote Placed by Sweatingjojo 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Im_always_right 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by beem0r 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Killer542 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Battlecry 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by jpw017 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Jamcke 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by ILoveCheese 8 years ago
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