He should have said “historically illiterate morons”:
This time the Hon. Antonin Scalia was calling those of us who think of the Constitution of the United States as a living document “idiots.”… The justice makes the U.S. Constitution sound like a real estate lease or a last will and testament. Even some of those may be subject to different interpretations over the years. Isn’t it the genius of the Constitution that its principles are broad enough to meet the demands of changing times? Isn’t that the great virtue of any basic law — that it is broad enough to grow in response to different conditions? Isn’t that why a country’s constitution is sometimes called its organic law?
Surely the distinguished justice cannot believe the Constitution of the United States means the same thing when applied to a legal question in 2006 as it did in 1787, or 1861, or 1954 or… well, pick your year.
No, Paul Greenberg, you idiotic, historically illiterate moron, the reason a country’s constitution is called its organic law is because it is derived from the country’s historical, legal and societal institutions. It can be changed, but through the mechanisms incorporated into the document, not by simply deciding it means whatever you want it to mean today, as opposed to yesterday or tomorrow.
The reason is that if one can simply decide that terms mean whatever we want them to mean, there is no reason why we cannot define a person to exclude, for example, those of Jewish descent. Why shouldn’t the Supreme Court do so today? There is, after all, a centuries-old, distinguished legal tradition of Jews being classified as second-class non-citizens, even subhumans, and we can cite copious examples of current foreign law which prohibits Jews from owning property, entering the country, or continuing to breathe in support of this interpretation.
The Constitution is simple, even simplistic. It had to be, because there is no shortage of morons like this for whom it is, even so, not simple enough to correctly grasp.