We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It would be difficult to overstate the significance of The Federalist for understanding the principles of American government and the challenges that liberal democracies confront early in the second decade of the 21st century. Yet despite the lip service they pay to liberal education, our leading universities can't be bothered to require students to study The Federalist—or, worse, they oppose such requirements on moral, political or pedagogical grounds. Small wonder it took so long for progressives to realize that arguments about the constitutionality of ObamaCare are indeed serious.
For the full answer, if Berkowitz offers one, you'd have to be a paid subscriber to the Wall Street Journal. A lawyer before becoming a columnist, Jennifer Rubin offers explanations, "The first has to do with the transformation of law schools from intellectual institutions to professional trade schools. Especially with the astronomically high tuition at most law schools, the emphasis, by necessity, is on preparing students for the practice of the law....Second, law schools have given way to the notion that the Constitution is whatever the Supreme Court says it is." She concludes:
The reason in large part is the defect in legal and collegiate education, and the mindset behind the indifference to seminal documents that reveal the ingenious and enduring structure of our Constitution.
A few weeks ago, I helped with a discussion of the Bill Of Rights for my son's Boy Scout advancement requirement. The teacher wasn't aware until I commented that the Bill Of Rights exists because of the Anti-Federalist criticisms of the draft Constitution not doing enough to restrict federal power or ensure state and individual rights. Then, as we briefly reviewed the first ten Amendments neither of us could remember what the 9th Amendment is.
I'm not a lawyer, nor a President who claims he is a constitutional law scholar who ignores it at will. But, I have read both the Federalist Papers and The Anti-Federalist Papers. The Anti-Federalist Papers can easily be accessed at this link. Many of the arguments raised have immediate relevance to today's issues of federal powers and limitations. Without being properly briefed in such arguments, a lawyer's imagination and scholarship to prepare a brief is limited.
Returning to the 9th Amendment, "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people," relatively little has been written about it and it has seldom been cited by the Supreme Court. That is beginning to change, as some scholars are trying to catch up, and as the federal government claims more and more powers that intrude into individual lives. Liberal Political Science professor Steven Taylor argues that the Federalist Papers by themself are not a bible to be strictly adhered to as "the guide" to today's arguments over the Constitution. But, he does admit that certain portions become more relevant as issues arise. So it is with the 9th Amendment.
I've been reading up on the 9th Amendment, and it has also led me into the definition of natural rights. In other words, I'm drawn back into discussions and arguments that date back to the Hebrew Bible. I expect to return to this subject once I've settled my own thoughts.
In the meantime, let's just start by being informed of how both the Federalist Papers and the Anti-Federalist Papers distilled these subjects in launching us to where we are today. Is it too much to ask that you choose a lawyer or politician who has also?
It seems that a law student at the University of Tulsa would get a far better understanding of constitutional law than would a law student at university of Chicago (considering Obama was an adjunct there) or at Harvard (where apparently Obama "studied" constitutional law.)
--the Anti-Federalist position isn't taught probably because it can't help but bring up the endless 'causes of the Civil War' question. Tho the "Fourteen Points" did pressure congress to create the Bill of Rights, it still earned that Confederate coloration 60 years later.
My grandfather taught me to read by age three, sounding out the words in the "funny papers" every day. We did the same with our children. Once one learns to read, life becomes an endless opportunity to absorb knowledge. Woe to those that depend on educators (law professors) to teach; they should merely be responsible for asking good questions.
I had a pretty good Constitutional Law professor in most ways. She did have her blind spots, though. A classmate asked innocently one day whether a law criminalizing assault on a pregnant woman might raise the issue of whether the fetus was legally a person. She responded furiously that there was absolutely no common link in the arguments. It wasn't even an idea she could bear to entertain in the abstract, as a teaching exercise. This was in the early 80s. Politics can make us stupid.
Arkansas courts are deliberating that very thing right now --meth mothers who deliver stillborn --the courts want to charge them with a crime against the li'l critter whose status is so spiky, the 'pro choice' lobby is resisting, on those familiar grounds that so nonplussed your professor.