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Old 27th September 2020, 08:22 AM   #1
BobTheCoward
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Why is policy and constitutional law correlated?

I never understood why the position, "healthcare should be universal and government funded" is correlated with, "this 250 year old legal document means abortion is protected."

To me, what the government should do and what some document means are two different things. Asking what the constitution means is like asking how to interpret a rule in tennis...an isolated exercise.

But there are some pretty bright people here who also correlate these two positions. Why does this happen?
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Old 27th September 2020, 08:29 AM   #2
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Even you can't seriously be sitting here asking to have the base concept of "legal precedence" explained to you.
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Old 27th September 2020, 08:32 AM   #3
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I wouldn't say it's correlated, but policy is constrained by constitutional law.
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Old 27th September 2020, 08:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Even you can't seriously be sitting here asking to have the base concept of "legal precedence" explained to you.
I don't see why someone's feelings about legal precedence would be correlated with any number of liberal or conservative policies. But they are.
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Old 27th September 2020, 08:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
I wouldn't say it's correlated, but policy is constrained by constitutional law.
What about the equal rights amendment? Amendments seem part of the policy preferences.
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Old 27th September 2020, 09:01 AM   #6
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Why are, not why is. You know, English grammar.

A constitution is* the grammar of a nation's government. Except that, unlike the conventions of the grammar of a natural language, the provisions of a constitution are established rationally by the people "in Congress assembled," and they're laws for governing the drafting of further laws.

* Are? Be? Am? In non-standard English, you can hear all of those in that construction, and they stick out as ignorantly as unconstitutional statutes. Christ but this is weary work.
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Old 27th September 2020, 09:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I never understood why the position, "healthcare should be universal and government funded" is correlated with, "this 250 year old legal document means abortion is protected."

To me, what the government should do and what some document means are two different things. Asking what the constitution means is like asking how to interpret a rule in tennis...an isolated exercise.

But there are some pretty bright people here who also correlate these two positions. Why does this happen?
As usual, your meaning is unclear.

If a government action is challenged on constitutional grounds then interpreting the constitution can't be an isolated exercise. Of course, what somebody other than the SC says the constitution means is irrelevant.
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Old 27th September 2020, 09:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
As usual, your meaning is unclear.

If a government action is challenged on constitutional grounds then interpreting the constitution can't be an isolated exercise. Of course, what somebody other than the SC says the constitution means is irrelevant.
Person with conservative policies seem to think the constitution should be interpreted in a way aligned with conservative policies. Liberals feel that way about their policies and how the constitution should be interpreted.

Why are those aligned? They seem like unrelated activities to me. I have a whole slate of policy preferences that seem to run counter to how I think the supreme court should rule in different cases.
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Old 27th September 2020, 09:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by sackett View Post
OfWhy are, not why is. You know, English grammar.
I thought policy was singular.
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Old 27th September 2020, 09:45 AM   #10
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Apart from the 3rd Amendment, the Constitution is open to interpretation - which means wiggle room for lawmakers and SC Judges.

And the SC tends, sooner or later, reflect the will of the population, even if it has to bend to map the current sentiments onto the original ones.

The goals is to slow this process down as to not rush too far ahead of what the public sentiment will support.
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Old 27th September 2020, 09:48 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Apart from the 3rd Amendment, the Constitution is open to interpretation - which means wiggle room for lawmakers and SC Judges.

And the SC tends, sooner or later, reflect the will of the population, even if it has to bend to map the current sentiments onto the original ones.

The goals is to slow this process down as to not rush too far ahead of what the public sentiment will support.
But why is policy preferences correlated with supreme court ruling preferences? Why do people who prefer liberal policies like RBG? Why do conservatives also like Kavanaugh?

They seem like different discipline. It would be like finding out cardiologists liked the Ravens and brain surgeons liked the chiefs.
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Old 27th September 2020, 10:13 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
But why is policy preferences correlated with supreme court ruling preferences? Why do people who prefer liberal policies like RBG? Why do conservatives also like Kavanaugh?

Are you really asking why liberals prefer liberal judges and conservatives prefer conservative judges?

Quote:
They seem like different discipline. It would be like finding out cardiologists liked the Ravens and brain surgeons liked the chiefs.

No it wouldn’t. It would be like finding that people from Baltimore like the Ravens and people from Kansas City like the Chiefs.
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Old 27th September 2020, 10:21 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
Are you really asking why liberals prefer liberal judges and conservatives prefer conservative judges?.
Yes. I don't get it.

One is a set of policy preferences.
One is a methodology of interpreting a legal document.

Where is the connection?


Separately, I also don't understand why people from Kansas City are chiefs fans. If you could clear that up, it would be nice, too.
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Old 27th September 2020, 10:37 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Apart from the 3rd Amendment, the Constitution is open to interpretation - which means wiggle room for lawmakers and SC Judges.
Clarification to avoid confusion.

There's nothing about the 3rd Amendment that inherently makes it less open to interpretation, it's just out of all the Bill of Rights Amendments which tend to get a lot of attention from Constitutional Scholars and Lawyers, the 3rd Amendment hasn't really been invoked at the high court level.

As best as I can figure it's never made it to the SCOTUS as a key argument in a case and only made it as high as the Court of Appeals once, and that was part of what it looks like everyone involved sort admitted up front was a "Throw everything against the wall and see if anything sticks" tactic.

*For reference if anyone cares the case was Engblom v. Carey. In 1978 the Governor of New York State called in National Guardsman to replace striking prison guards. The National Guardsman were housed in a private onsite barracks.

The long story short was the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that:

- National Guardsman count as "soldiers" under the 3rd Amendment
- The 3rd Amendment applies to state level soldiers as well as Federal level ones.
- Since both the normal prison guards and the temporary National Guardsmen were charged a nominal fee for living in the barracks, it counted as a "home" under the 3rd Amendment.
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Old 27th September 2020, 10:40 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Yes. I don't get it.

One is a set of policy preferences.
One is a methodology of interpreting a legal document.

Where is the connection?

People prefer interpretations that they agree with.

Quote:
Separately, I also don't understand why people from Kansas City are chiefs fans. If you could clear that up, it would be nice, too.

I was assuming you meant this team, but maybe not?
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Old 27th September 2020, 10:44 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
People prefer interpretations that they agree with.




I was assuming you meant this team, but maybe not?
A) is that just resolution of cognitive dissonance?

B) why would being from Kansas City make someone more likely to be a Kansas City chiefs fan?
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Old 27th September 2020, 10:46 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I never understood why the position, "healthcare should be universal and government funded" is correlated with, "this 250 year old legal document means abortion is protected."

To me, what the government should do and what some document means are two different things. Asking what the constitution means is like asking how to interpret a rule in tennis...an isolated exercise.

But there are some pretty bright people here who also correlate these two positions. Why does this happen?
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I don't see why someone's feelings about legal precedence would be correlated with any number of liberal or conservative policies. But they are.
I don't understand the question. Can you give an example of someone expressing this correlation in practice?
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Old 27th September 2020, 10:49 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I don't understand the question. Can you give an example of someone expressing this correlation in practice?
People who think abortions should be legal often think the constitution permits it.

People who think abortion should be illegal think it isn't covered by the constitution.

Where are the people who think it should be legal, but not constitutional, and the people that think it should be illegal and the constitution makes it the law of the land?


I feel like I'm the only pro choice person that wants Barrett on the supreme court so she can overturn roe v wade. (Hyperbole, there is a few. But I'm curious about the high level of correlation).

Last edited by BobTheCoward; 27th September 2020 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 27th September 2020, 11:01 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I don't understand the question. Can you give an example of someone expressing this correlation in practice?

I think Bob may mean “precedents” rather than “precedence”.
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Old 27th September 2020, 11:04 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
I think Bob may mean “precedents” rather than “precedence”.
I just used joemorge's word choice.
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Old 27th September 2020, 11:36 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
People who think abortions should be legal often think the constitution permits it.

People who think abortion should be illegal think it isn't covered by the constitution.

Where are the people who think it should be legal, but not constitutional, and the people that think it should be illegal and the constitution makes it the law of the land?


I feel like I'm the only pro choice person that wants Barrett on the supreme court so she can overturn roe v wade. (Hyperbole, there is a few. But I'm curious about the high level of correlation).
Sounds like a simple appeal to authority/begging the question thing. People who want to enact a policy want to resolve the authority question in their favor.

The correlation between public policy proposals and appeals to the constitution is explained by the fact that the constitution is the final arbiter of what is legal policy for the government to enact.

As for where the other kinds of people are, two of us are talking to each other right now. I bet there's a few more hanging out around here, too.

Last edited by theprestige; 27th September 2020 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 27th September 2020, 11:44 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Sounds like a simple appeal to authority/begging the question thing. People who want to enact a policy want to resolve the authority question in their favor.
Why?

Last edited by zooterkin; 28th September 2020 at 01:03 AM. Reason: Fixing broken quote tag
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Old 27th September 2020, 12:04 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Sounds like a simple appeal to authority/begging the question thing. People who want to enact a policy want to resolve the authority question in their favor.
Why?
Why do people appeal to authority and beg the question, in support of their deeply held beliefs?

I have no opinion about that.

But I did fix your broken quote tag. You're welcome.

Last edited by theprestige; 27th September 2020 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 27th September 2020, 11:49 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I feel like I'm the only pro choice person that wants Barrett on the supreme court so she can overturn roe v wade.
You have answered your own question. All legal documents (including the constitution) are subject to interpretation. The way that judicial activism works, the actual words in the constitution may be the least important part of the constitution.

The objective of each party is to stack the SC with judges who will interpret the constitution in the way they want it interpreted.
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Old 28th September 2020, 01:01 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You have answered your own question. All legal documents (including the constitution) are subject to interpretation. The way that judicial activism works, the actual words in the constitution may be the least important part of the constitution.

The objective of each party is to stack the SC with judges who will interpret the constitution in the way they want it interpreted.

Yes, but Bob wants to know why they want to do that.
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Old 28th September 2020, 04:22 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
Yes, but Bob wants to know why they want to do that.
Why does Bob want Roe vs Wade overturned?
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Old 28th September 2020, 05:03 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Why does Bob want Roe vs Wade overturned?
I don't want it overturned.
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Old 28th September 2020, 05:08 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I never understood why the position, "healthcare should be universal and government funded" is correlated with, "this 250 year old legal document means abortion is protected."

To me, what the government should do and what some document means are two different things. Asking what the constitution means is like asking how to interpret a rule in tennis...an isolated exercise.

But there are some pretty bright people here who also correlate these two positions. Why does this happen?
Considering your terribly incorrect views on what is Constitutional, then I am quite unable to answer your question.
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Old 28th September 2020, 05:14 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I don't want it overturned.
I have already provided the quote where you say you do.
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Old 28th September 2020, 05:18 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
I have already provided the quote where you say you do.
That post was trying to generalize the combination of views. It is more accurate to say I think it should happen, but I do not want it to happen m but I don't think government is there to enact people's wants.
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Old 28th September 2020, 05:30 AM   #31
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"If someone wants something, I can't imagine why they would do things designed to make that thing happen. Can anyone explain this to me?"
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Old 28th September 2020, 05:37 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"If someone wants something, I can't imagine why they would do things designed to make that thing happen. Can anyone explain this to me?"
That part I get [well, not really, but I'm skipping it] which is why I didn't ask that. Your post is a straw man of my question.
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Old 28th September 2020, 07:46 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
You have answered your own question. All legal documents (including the constitution) are subject to interpretation. The way that judicial activism works, the actual words in the constitution may be the least important part of the constitution.

The objective of each party is to stack the SC with judges who will interpret the constitution in the way they want it interpreted.
This isn't a matter of judicial activism in any pejorative sense.

That is just how things have to work. In the vast majority of situations, more like all situations, a constitutional provision (or any form of positive law) can not hope to address every possible situation that can come up. So the judiciary has to do that.

The world is too complex to be able to draft a rule that will cover all possible applications.

What this does mean is the "balls and strikes" adage is total nonsense, especially when it comes to courts handling matters of first impression. There is simply no way to decide those matters without making policy choices of some sort.
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Old 28th September 2020, 09:13 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
That part I get [well, not really, but I'm skipping it] which is why I didn't ask that. Your post is a straw man of my question.
I don't think it's a strawman at all. Begging the question and appealing to authority are things that people very often do to make something happen. And you say you don't get it. You say you don't get it in the specific scenario introduced in this thread. And you say you don't get it even as a general rule, in the post quoted above.

If you don't understand the general case of people doing stuff to get what they want, there's no point in trying to help you understand a specific instance of the general case.

And that's before we even get to you not understanding esprit de corps and the appeal of a "home team".
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