From Tom Woods…
No, not because it cedes too much power to the federal government. Surely that opinion would not be allowed in the New York Times.
Anticipating objections, I agree with the Spoonerite criticism of the Constitution, but in what follows I am acting as a historian and a logician evaluating claims.
Georgetown University’s Louis Michael Seidman writes in the NYT:
“Our obsession with the Constitution has saddled us with a dysfunctional political system, kept us from debating the merits of divisive issues and inflamed our public discourse. Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago…. Imagine that after careful study a government official — say, the president or one of the party leaders in Congress — reaches a considered judgment that a particular course of action is best for the country. Suddenly, someone bursts into the room with new information: a group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation, acted illegally under existing law and thought it was fine to own slaves might have disagreed with this course of action. Is it even remotely rational that the official should change his or her mind because of this divination?
The issue is not what Madison would have wanted. The point is that republican government is premised on the idea of consent. The people consented to the interpretation of the Constitution that was presented to them in the ratifying conventions. If in the interim no formal change in the Constitution has been forthcoming from the people, then the understanding that was presented at the ratifying conventions must be presumed to stand. Otherwise, professors at Georgetown University could impose their own preferences on the public instead