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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Time’s Orwellian Story on U.S. Constitution Refuted by Real Resurgence

Time magazine’s cover story shows the U.S. Constitution and asks, “Does it still matter?” Reading this story, we kept waiting for Emmanuel Goldstein to show up for the Two Minutes of Hate. It was difficult to discern whether we were reading Time, or George Orwell’s 1984.

It portrays the Constitution as an outmoded document that we should ignore to whatever extent is expedient to pursue someone’s vision of a better society: “We cannot let the Constitution become an obstacle to a future with a sensible health care system, a globalized economy, and evolving sense of civil and political rights.”

The story shows all sorts of poll questions that present a false choice, such as, “The 14th Amendment says that any person born in the U.S. automatically becomes a U.S. citizen… Should [it] be revised?” The Citizenship Clause says no such thing, because it adds that anyone not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the U.S. is not a citizen.

That’s why children of foreign ambassadors, prisoner soldiers and heads of state born here do not become citizens. Federal law excludes them, but that exclusion would be unconstitutional if what Time said were true (which it’s not). The question is how broad that “jurisdiction” clause is. Could Congress exclude children of illegal aliens? It’s an active debate in legal circles, with no clear answer.

Instead, the questions should have included: “Are you more interested in the Constitution today that you were four years ago?” “Do you agree or disagree with candidates discussing the Constitution more in their campaign speeches this year?” “Are you now aware that the Constitution only vests the federal government with power over specific areas of life, leaving the states sovereign to decide  all other issues?”

Read the rest of the article

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