Thursday, March 03, 2005

Roper v. Simmons

This is what you get when you don't stick to the original understanding of the Constitution. What the Supreme Court affirmed only fifteen years ago is now forbidden, according to their interpretation of the Eight Amendment's "cruel and unusual punishment" clause. You see, according to the Court, the "national consensus" is now against executing seventeen-year-old murderers. Even if court is right about this fact (Orin Kerr argues they're wrong), I still must virulently disagree with this decision, which barely even pretends not to be legislation. And note this: the "national consensus" can't revert to its previous state, short of a constitutional amendment, so the "evolving standard of decency" is only allowed to evolve in one, Court-approved direction (unless future Court decisions assess the national consensus using Gallup polls). I'd go on an extended rant, but Scalia has already written a better one.


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