« Miller Lite | Main | One of those places in Asia »

Flash: The New York Times Endorses Clarence Thomas

I discussed the New York Times' editorial in support of Judith Miller below; I forgot to mention the funniest part, though. A typical scenario in Constitutional jurisprudence these days goes like this:

Twenty or thirty years ago, the Supreme Court issued an opinion which was novel in Constitutional law. Now, the Court has an opportunity to revisit it, and the Court stands by its recent precedent rather than evaluating the case on its constitutional merits. Clarence Thomas writes a blistering dissenting opinion, pointing out that the constitution actually meant something different, and that the Court shouldn't rely on flawed precedent when it can rely on the actual meaning of the Constitution at the time of enactment...

...and the New York Times immediately denounces Thomas for being radical and extremist and outside the mainstream.

That is, until now:

Mr. Fitzgerald drove that point home chillingly when he said the authorities "can't have 50,000 journalists" making decisions about whether to reveal sources' names and that the government had a right to impose its judgment. But that's not what the founders had in mind in writing the First Amendment. In 1971, our colleague James Reston cited James Madison's admonition about a free press in explaining why The Times had first defied the Nixon administration's demand to stop publishing the Pentagon Papers and then fought a court's order to cease publication. "Among those principles deemed sacred in America," Madison wrote, "among those sacred rights considered as forming the bulwark of their liberty, which the government contemplates with awful reverence and would approach only with the most cautious circumspection, there is no one of which the importance is more deeply impressed on the public mind than the liberty of the press."
(Emphasis added.) Since when does the New York Times give a rats ass about "what the founders had in mind"?

The "evolving needs of society," to quote Justice Stevens' majority opinion in Kelo vs. New London, always outweigh what the people who ratified the Constitution thought at the time. It's a living document! We can't think about what Madison wanted; all we should care about is what the country needs now. And it needs Judith Miller to testify.


TrackBack URL for this entry:


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 8, 2005 4:50 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Miller Lite.

The next post in this blog is One of those places in Asia.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.31