Put Down the “Living Constitution”

…because it means law personified —— though we are a nation of laws, not of men.
…because it means a national society —— though the American people act through their States, never packaged as a whole.
…because it is ever-changing, unknowable —— a blank check and an invitation to tyranny.

Instead of a government with “no existence beyond the scope of its powers” and a system where the people have “set limits upon the extent and mode of law-making even by themselves,” we see the deformity of law incarnate and a “living constitution,” which returns us to the old age of an arbitrary sovereign.

“The Constitution is a written instrument. As such, its meaning does not alter. That which it meant when adopted, it means now. Being a grant of powers to a government, its language is general, and, as changes come in social and political life, it embraces in its grasp all new conditions which are within the scope of the powers in terms conferred. In other words, while the powers granted do not change, they apply from generation to generation to all things to which they are in their nature applicable. This in no manner abridges the fact of its changeless nature and meaning. Those things which are within its grants of power, as those grants were understood when made, are still within them, and those things not within them remain still excluded.”  South Carolina v. United States, 199 U.S. 437, 448-449 (1905).

The people of the United States, formerly a fellowship of Kings, have become, once more, mere subjects, in a place where sovereignty belongs to the United States but not to any of them, nor to their people, and the power of its rulers is limited only by their imagination.