Samuel Moyn is a Yale Law professor who teaches courses on Constitutional Law. He’s a fellow of the Soros-Koch Anti-American Quincy Institute. And he co-wrote a New York Times op-ed calling for the elimination of the Constitution.
This isn’t a bold new view. It’s what most lefties believe. They just don’t tend to say the quiet part out loud.
Moyn and Ryan D. Doerfler, a professor of law at Harvard Law, where, despite his last name, he’s described as “Chicano”, co-wrote their op-ed, “The Constitution Is Broken and Should Not Be Reclaimed”.
Harvard and Yale believe that rejecting the Constitution is exactly the point of view that should guide the future elected officials who walk through its miserably woke doors.
And the New York Times, which had a staff rebellion over publishing a Senator Tom Cotton op-ed calling for enforcing the law against racist rioters, thinks this is worth promoting.
“The real need is not to reclaim the Constitution, as many would have it, but instead to reclaim America from constitutionalism.”
And what would that look like? Glad you asked.
“The idea of constitutionalism is that there needs to be some higher law that is more difficult to change than the rest of the legal order. Having a constitution is about setting more sacrosanct rules than the ones the legislature can pass day to day. Our constitution’s guarantee of two senators to each state is an example. And ever since the American founders were forced to add a Bill of Rights to get their handiwork passed, national constitutions have been associated with some set of basic freedoms and values that transient majorities might otherwise trample.”
And that’s part of the agenda. But, most importantly, the Constitution limits the power of government. That’s a point so foreign to the thinking of the two law profs that they don’t even mention it.
They view constitutions as a means of having the government do one thing or another when the Constitution was a compromise between enabling government power and constraining it.
“liberals have been attempting to reclaim the Constitution for 50 years — with agonizingly little to show for it. It’s time for them to radically alter the basic rules of the game.”
Liberals haven’t tried to reclaim it, they’ve used elements of it where they fit its ideological purpose, such as the First Amendment, rejected those that didn’t, and sought to embed their agenda by hijacking whatever random elements of it they could, take the death penalty ban.
What Moyn and Doerfler are really arguing is that it’s time to stop using the Constitution as a facade and just nuke it. Can the Dems run on that and get 46% of the country behind them? These days probably. And there will be some alt-righters who will join the party by explaining why the Constitution constraints government power too much.
And that real patriotism means abolishing the Constitution. It’s the one thing Communists and Nazis are likely to agree on after all.
“progressives are forced to navigate hard-wired features, like the Electoral College and the Senate, designed as impediments to redistributive change”
There it is. The Constitution is an obstacle to “redistributive change” As it was designed to be. If the lefties are to create their wonderful people’s republic and take away all our rights, they need to take away the Constitution.
It was always going to happen that way.
“Why justify our politics by the Constitution or by calls for some renovated constitutional tradition?”
Indeed. If we have no use for America or the very concept of limitations on government power, why bother? At some point the scam has to end, why not now?
“It’s difficult to find a constitutional basis for abortion or labor unions in a document written by largely affluent men more than two centuries ago. It would be far better if liberal legislators could simply make a case for abortion and labor rights on their own merits without having to bother with the Constitution.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could set up a bureau of disinformation to monitor everyone’s speech without having to bother with the Constitution?
“By leaving democracy hostage to constraints that are harder to change than the rest of the legal order, constitutionalism of any sort demands extraordinary consensus for meaningful progress.”
And if you want radical change, the Constitution stands in the way. Who’s afraid of Extraordinary Consensus as a barrier? Aspiring tyrants.
“It conditions democracy in which majority rule always must matter most on surviving vetoes from powerful minorities “
As the Framers meant to prevent exactly this state of affairs.
“The Constitution prevents us from letting 51% of the country decide to send the other 49% to gulags. We need to get rid of it.”
“the way to seek real freedom will be to use procedures consistent with popular rule.”
Populism is now real freedom. Who knew?
Real freedom means dispensing with constraints on government authority and minority rights.
“One way to get to this more democratic world is to pack the Union with new states.”
Nothing says democracy like rigging the entire system to make elections irrelevant. And nothing says freedom like taking away limitations on the power of government.
“More aggressively, Congress could simply pass a Congress Act, reorganizing our legislature in ways that are more fairly representative of where people actually live and vote, and perhaps even reducing the Senate to a mere “council of revision” (a term Jamelle Bouie used to describe the Canadian Senate), without the power to obstruct laws.”
“In so doing, Congress would be pretty openly defying the Constitution to get to a more democratic order — and for that reason would need to insulate the law from judicial review. Fundamental values like racial equality or environmental justice would be protected not by law that stands apart from politics but — as they typically are — by ordinary expressions of popular will. And the basic structure of government, like whether to elect the president by majority vote or to limit judges to fixed terms, would be decided by present electorate as opposed to one from some foggy past.”
And then we could declare a People’s Republic of America and shoot everyone who disagrees to protect the environment, racial equity and the new revolution.
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights exist because the Founders and the Framers saw these people coming centuries ago. They didn’t win then. We must hope that they don’t win now.