One reason the left hates the American Constitution, and wishes to replace it, is that its embedded principles along with much of its explicit text is foursquare against the two main purposes of the left: class struggle and race struggle. Never mind the drive to abolish the electoral college, or the Senate, or admit new states to increase the odds of Democratic election victories. Just take in how the left wants to rewrite—which means abolish—the Bill of Rights.
The Boston Globe is currently running a feature series about how to “edit” the Constitution, which of course means replacing it in practice with an egalitarian Constitution that would place much more power to control people and resources in elites like the kind of people you find in the editorial suites of the Boston Globe. How convenient.
Take, for example, the suggestion on how to rewrite the First and Second Amendments from Mary Anne Franks, the Michael R. Klein Distinguished Scholar Chair at the University of Miami School of Law and the author of The Cult of the Constitution: Our Deadly Devotion to Guns and Free Speech. The first two Amendments “would be improved by explicitly situating individual rights within the framework of “domestic tranquility” and the “general welfare” set out in the Constitution’s preamble.
How so? For a new First Amendment, Franks wants this (with the important parts in bold):
Every person has the right to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly, and petition of the government for redress of grievances, consistent with the rights of others to the same and subject to responsibility for abuses. All conflicts of such rights shall be resolved in accordance with the principle of equality and dignity of all persons.
Both the freedom of religion and the freedom from religion shall be respected by the government. The government may not single out any religion for interference or endorsement, nor may it force any person to accept or adhere to any religious belief or practice.
And just who will decide what constitutes an “abuse” that will be curbed? It isn’t hard to guess about this. Get ready for the federal speech police, and an elaborate national speech code.
The second paragraph really doesn’t add much or improve on the original Establishment clause, and might even backfire on progressives. Shouldn’t that last clause—”nor may it force any person to accept or adhere to any religious belief or practice”—apply to the religion of Wokism?
For the Second Amendment, Franks says:
The right to safeguard one’s life should not be conflated with or reduced to the right to use a weapon, especially a weapon that is so much more likely to inflict injury and death than to avoid it. Far better would be an amendment that guarantees a meaningful right to bodily autonomy and obligates the government to implement reasonable measures to protect public health and safety.
The government is doing such a great job of protecting public health and safety in places like San Francisco and Portland right now—by all means let’s have more of these kind of government “obligations” to protect.
But check out the proposed text of Prof. Franks’s 2nd Amendment:
All people have the right to bodily autonomy consistent with the right of other people to the same, including the right to defend themselves against unlawful force and the right of self-determination in reproductive matters. The government shall take reasonable measures to protect the health and safety of the public as a whole.
I like how her 2nd Amendment morphs into a constitutional guarantee of abortion, while leaving the right to bear arms highly ambiguous at best. Let me fix it: you no longer have a right to bear arms, but you do have the right to cut off arms—and legs, and heads, etc.—of the unborn.
P.S. The Chronicle of Higher Education today is out with an article bemoaning J.D. Vance for saying “professors are the enemy.” I wonder where he could possibly have gotten such an outlandish idea?
P.P.S. So far I haven’t seen a proposed climate change amendment. What’s taking so long? Doesn’t the Boston Globe know we’re in a world-ending crisis?