Read up on constitutional law before commenting

2013-06-30T00:00:00Z Read up on constitutional law before commenting nwitimes.com
June 30, 2013 12:00 am

Violet Ahrendt's letter concerning Jefferson's writing of the Constitution is another sad example of an American who does not know history nor our constitutional system.

Thomas Jefferson served as an ambassador to France during the Convention of 1787. Although he did correspond to its main architect, James Madison, concerning a new constitution, his influence was marginal.

Second, our Constitution is not just the document itself. It is given its meaning by Supreme Court interpretations, which is called judicial review. Judicial review is suggested by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist No. 78, but it was given its true intent in Marbury v. Madison in 1803. Judicial review establishes important legal precedent which gives the Constitution meaning as our history progresses and our cultural awareness changes. Some people don't understand this clearly, nor do they like it, but that's how it's done. Strict constructionism is an idealist fantasy.

I suggest two excellent books that will help people understand our system: "Decision in Philadelphia," and "The Majesty of the Law." If you're going to write about history, you should know it first.

— Lee Rademacher, Crown Point

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