Georgetown Law Professor Rosa Brooks: The Problem is the Constitution Which Enslaves Us

Georgetown University Law School Professor Rosa Brooks has drawn accolades and criticism for her appearance on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” after declaring that Americans are “slaves” to the U.S. Constitution and that the Constitution itself is now the problem for the country.

Brooks was criticizing gun rights generally and, by extension, the Second Amendment decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen: 

“I was thinking, boy, those sounds are like the sounds you hear in war zones. And there are people all over the world who have lived during armed conflicts, and when does the mortar fall on your house, when does the soldier or the tank come down the street and just kill you. We are now living in that world, too, and we have brought it on ourselves. We can’t say, oops, it’s the Russians’ fault. They shouldn’t have invaded us.

This is us. This is 100% us, and it’s because we are essentially slaves to a document that was written more than 230 years ago by a tiny group of white slave-owning men. And we cannot break out of the bondage that we have imposed on ourselves from feeling like we have to– everything by our Supreme Court is decided in reference to this ancient document which is just not serving us well. It is causing enormous problems and enormous tragedies at this point.”

Brooks is not alone in saying that the Constitution is the work of racists and is the source of many of our problems. CBS recently featured Boston University Professor Ibram X. Kendi, who proclaimed that the Second Amendment was little more than “the right to enslave.”

MSNBC commentator and the Nation’s Justice Correspondent Elie Mystal has called the U.S. Constitution “trash” and argued that we should ideally just dump it. Mystal, who also writes for Above the Law, previously stated that white, non-college-educated voters supported Republicans because they care about “using their guns on Black people and getting away with it.

It appears that the Constitution became the problem when a majority of justices dared to follow an opposing interpretation. That is not how a constitutional system works. You do not support it so long as it yields to your demands or views. It is a crisis of faith that I have previously discussed but it is most alarming when voiced by law professors.

Recently, I criticized fellow Georgetown Law Professor Josh Chafetz who supported more “aggressive” protests targeting justices “when the mob is right.” Such voices are common at Georgetown and other law schools. What is not common are conservative or libertarian voices including the voice of Professor Ilya Shapiro who was effectively forced off the faculty due to a controversial tweet.

As discussed earlier, the Madisonian democracy is based on the premise that, despite our factional divisions, the Constitution creates an interest in all groups in preserving the system. While the Constitution does not guarantee that your views will prevail in Congress or the courts, it has proven the most stable and successful democratic system in history.  We are all invested in that system which has achieved transformative changes over time in our laws and our society.

Professor Brooks is correct when she says that “This is us. This is 100% us.” It is about a common article of faith not with our government but with each other. These are the voices of the faithless. However, most Americans retain a faith in the Constitution. It is in our DNA precisely because it is about us and our common commitment to live by these constitutional principles that have long defined us.

302 thoughts on “Georgetown Law Professor Rosa Brooks: The Problem is the Constitution Which Enslaves Us”

  1. Jefferson was hardly perfect. He and Madison were against a standing army and left us virtually powerless when the war of 1812 rolled around. The only land protection was the Militia since the army was non existent, and I believe that was why Washington DC was burned down, no one to defend it. He did not like the Navy but had to have it due to the Barbary Pirates and their lock on American commerce in the Mediterranean and some parts of the Atlantic. Madison wrote the constitution, not Jefferson but sometimes Jefferson’s complaints verge on Envy. Also he managed to be no where close to the fighting in the Revolutionary War, and his personal life was not something to use as a guidepost for a virtuous life. He also was enamored with the French Revolution and was very muted in his protests about it’s excesses. .
    I feel that Jefferson should have limited his views on the Constitution to some of it’s mechanics and not the entire treatise.
    The major flaw is they did not plan for extremely long lives since the avg. lifespan at the time was less than 40. Term limits for senators and representatives and judges would likely have muted the ability for accumulation of power and riches (and more power). Sunset provisions probably should have been built in for legislation after anywhere from 20-40 years as a maximum. But congress could have the provision for even earlier sunset expiration.
    Progressives hate the Constitution because the have always failed to see the reason for it which is, of course, to limit the power of the government. They seem to think that they want an Athenian Democracy and the free will of the people (or as we note, the tyranny of the majority) but they would be sorely disappointed if the found themselves out of power. It can be hazardous to your health.
    Jefferson was important but I have always had reservations about him. He was certainly no godlike being.

    1. GEB,
      “his personal life was not something to use as a guidepost for a virtuous life”

      Same thing goes for several other Founders. Their thoughts on liberty, self-governance, and the balance between the individual and the community should be the focus.

      Jefferson is complicated and certainly had his blind spots. I have fewer reservations about him than about Hamilton, though. Hamilton leaned towards monarchy and the fears about his financial system appear to proving true.

      From Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power: “[Jefferson] worried, too, about the corruption of the legislature–that lawmakers were becoming financially enmeshed with the Hamiltonian system of securities and bank shares. Such economic ties were not bribes in the overt sense, Jefferson believed, but they did create a pernicious climate of cooperation between the Congress and the Treasury. This subtle form of “corruption” troubled Jefferson, who saw it as the means by which Hamilton and his allies could control the general direction of the government.” (257-8)

      “Jefferson believed that members of Congress had a vested interest in the Hamiltonian financial system. It “will be the instrument for producing in future a king, lords and commons, or whatever else those who direct it may choose.” (262) “Hamilton, Jefferson said, was “deluging the states with paper-money instead of gold and silver” to encourage speculation, rather than “other branches of useful industry.” Jefferson told Washington of his conviction that Hamiltonian lawmakers had “feathered their nests with paper.” (262)

  2. Americans should use the Christian minister Martin Luther King, Jr as a role model. King realized that although many (not all) of the Founding Fathers were slaveholders and highly flawed individuals, the “constitutional rule of law system” these flawed Framers created could also be used (in court cases) to advance rights of women, African-Americans and all Americans.

    For example, MLK used the U.S. Constitution to overturn unconstitutional laws passed by some local and state governments. While Congress and state legislatures generally try to appease the majority, King knew the Judicial Branch courts better protected unpopular Americans and unpopular causes.

    The dilemma today is we seem have judges and justices repeating the mistakes of Alcohol Prohibition – taking away rights instead of expanding rights. When the courts take away rights, it’s generally a national disaster like Prohibition was. Rights that conservatives favor aren’t safe either. Judges and justices have a duty to protect constitutional rights of unpopular people and unpopular causes, not to be subordinate to popular political opinion.

  3. The crazed left, as usual, hasn’t thought this through. They generally just shoot from the hip and never consider the consequences. So, they want to rewrite the Constitution? OK, but let’s see who we can get to replace the Founders. Who are the intelligent, fair-minded individuals who will write a document that will get us through the next 200 years? After all, American society today is overrun with geniuses, right? You know the left will insist that the new Constitution must be written by a BIPOC, so who are their bright lights? How about asking Joy Reid to draft a copy? Or maybe Elie Mystal will grace us with his profound wisdom? Or just let The Squad have at it. These half-baked nutcases are what passes for the elite minority intelligentsia today. One thing is for sure — however lacking the original Constitution is, any replacement by today’s left will be a nightmare, and not just for white people.

  4. It’s interesting that woke-progressives never have a viable replacement for the thing that they want to replace.

    1. Defund the police – no viable replacement
    2. Fossil fuels – no viable replacement
    3. The electoral college – no viable replacement
    4. Abortion laws – no viable replacement, but they could if they wanted too. Problem is that the W-P’s know that the lack of resolution is too valuable for them at the ballot box.
    5. Fertilizers for food production – no viable replacement and guarantee that billions will die of starvation
    5. The Constitution – no viable replacement

    and on and on……

    I’m OK with change, but not magical thinking. Show me something that will work better and I’ll be all in.

    1. Problem is that the W-P’s know that the lack of resolution is too valuable for them at the ballot box.

      THIS ^^^^^^

  5. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

    John Adams

    But the left banned, opening the school day with prayer. Replaced it with situational ethics.

    1. “ But the left banned, opening the school day with prayer. Replaced it with situational ethics.”

      No, it was the religious right. This is why you should actually research your history instead of just assuming. School prayer was MANDATORY. Problem was it was ONLY Christian prayers. Catholics didn’t like that THEIR prayers were not allowed either. That’s why they chose to have their own schools so they could use THEIR prayers instead of the other Christian prayers they deemed wrong.

      Because the 1st amendment prohibits government from establishing or supporting religion, public schools who were making Christian prayer MANDATORY were in violation of the constitution. It wasn’t the left. It was other religious groups and the constitution that got rid of MANDATORY Christian prayers. Students and teachers can still pray and take their Bible to school. Just as long as they are praying themselves and not forcing others to do it with them.

      1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

        This is the part you get wrong all the time.
        There can be no “Church of England the United States. After the ratification, several States in fact had State Churches.

        You are 100% right the Catholics wanted their faith in the schools so started their own. But of late, 20 to 30 years, there has been an explosion of Christian Schools. Because the public schools were the protestant Protestant schools, until the left fixed them. Generations latter we have young men killing children in classrooms.

        The United States only functions for a moral people. With out that is, well, without that we have college educated professors wholly ignorant of the Constitution.

        1. “ The United States only functions for a moral people. ”

          Nope. The constitution makes no such distinction. It applied to ALL people within its jurisdiction. Not just those who are arbitrarily deemed moral. Those who claim religious morality are often found to be just as immoral as the rest. That’s why the constitution applies to everyone. Let’s not forget tact the United States functions for corporate interests too. Obviously they are not all moral either.

          “ This is the part you get wrong all the time.
          There can be no “Church of England the United States. After the ratification, several States in fact had State Churches.”

          It was no specific to just the Church of England. The framers recognized that religion in government is bad based on their experience as English subjects.

          Protestants, Calvinists, even Lutherans we’re all prevalent in that period. The clause forbade the government from choosing one religion or sect over another. It was other religious sects that objected to being subjected to another’s mandatory prayers. Making prayers mandatory in a public school was and is contrary to the no establishment clause.

        2. The United States only functions for a moral people.

          Iowan, this has become a hot topic of late and I believe it’s at the root of our problems.

          I’ve done strategic planning for decades and every organization, regardless of their mission and vision, will identify the guiding principles they will operate under. The Declaration of Independence identified our vision and some important guiding principles. The constitution told the government how they would work towards that vision. They designed everything with the culture of the day. It was designed for a moral and religious culture.

          230 years later, what’s our vision? What’s our mission? What’s our guiding principles? While cultures understandably change, the organization that governs them is supposed be flexible, but not abandon the principles of its design. But that’s precisely what we’ve done. The constitution was not designed for the culture of today. We can’t keep pretending we’re a constitutional republic and something else altogether. We are a divided house and we are going to be one thing or the other. Either our government is fully transformed for our current culture, or our current culture is fully transformed for a constitutional government.

      2. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

        Here is the actual first amendment.

        As you are not clear, this requires GOVERNMENT to stear clear of religion – not the converse.

        Where there is a conflict between religious excercise and government – government must cede the field.

        Schools are free to have whatever prayer they wish.
        Government is NOT free to entangle itself with religion – and therefore must leave the field of education.

        Catholics have had their own educational system for centuries. One that demonstrates quite effectively that they can outperform government at a fraction of the cost – a separate reason government should not be part of education.

        1. “ Where there is a conflict between religious excercise and government – government must cede the field.”

          Wrong. If a religious ritual requires human sacrifice government does not cede the field. There are laws against murder. Religious Liberty does not mean complete freedom to do what they want. Just like with every right. None are absolute.

          Public schools are government entities and therefore are bound by the establishment clause.

          “ Schools are free to have whatever prayer they wish.”

          Private schools do. Not public schools. Students in public schools are allowed to pray all they want. Even teachers. The catch is only if they are doing it for their own personal means.

          “ Government is NOT free to entangle itself with religion – and therefore must leave the field of education.”

          No, government funded education was borne out of the inability of the poorest to get an education when all education was private and costly. Only the richest could afford to get educated. Furthermore the majority private education at the time was dominated by religious institutions which required adherence to THEIR beliefs in order to get an education. That was a problem. Government offering the option of an education free from religious influence and the restriction of affordability helped improve the chances of those without means or religious or non-religious preferences.

          1. Jump right to human sacrifice.

            Regardless, you missed the point entirely.

            Criminal Law is an EXCLUSIVE government function.
            It is A, possibly THE core commitment that Govenrment makes as part of the social contract.

            Education is NOT, Healthcare is NOT.

            “Public schools are government entities and therefore are bound by the establishment clause.”

            Correct – and unlike the criminal justice system they are not REQUIRED to be government entities, therefor in a conflict with religion they must CEDE.

            We saw this nonsense with Obama Care – but it is applicable all over.
            You can not use the establishment clause as a weapon against religion.
            If Government expanding beyond its core functions creates an establishment clause problem – The Government must yeild.

            Read the establishment clause and the free exercise clause – It is GOVERNMENT that is constrained, not religion.

            ObamaCare has almost entirely driven the catholic church out of hospitals and healthcare.
            That was unconstitutional.

            Charity is part of the excercise of religion – government may not use the establishment clause as a means to violate the free excercise clause.

            I am using religion because our founders provided us with strong protections of religious liberties, but the reality is larger.

            Government may not infringe on ANY rights outside of the narrow domain of functions that MUST be provided by government.

          2. “Private schools do. Not public schools. Students in public schools are allowed to pray all they want. Even teachers. The catch is only if they are doing it for their own personal means.”

            Obviously False, There is no “catch”, Government is NOT free to engage in mind reading to determine the merit of the reasons someone wishes to excercise a right.

            “government funded education was borne out of the inability of the poorest to get an education when all education was private and costly.”

            Both false and irrelevant. With few exceptions all education in the US was private for a very long time. Communities educated their children on their own – independent of government. The Amish still educate their children with their own schools. Catholic schools cost about $2500/year on average accross the country, they accept anyone catholic or not, tuition drops significantly for multiple students, and is subsidized by the church up to the point of being free for those who can not afford it. For a large scale system – unlike elite private schools it provides significantly better education than most “public” schools, and has been arround for significantly more than a century.

            Secular public education was pioneered by the Germans. With the explicit purpose of creating better and more obedient soldiers.
            It had nothing to do with helping the poor. Black communities in the south educated the kids on their own for almost a century – typically through their churches.

            You are clueless about education and you are clueless about history.

            “Only the richest could afford to get educated.”
            False.

            “Furthermore the majority private education at the time was dominated by religious institutions which required adherence to THEIR beliefs in order to get an education.”
            Somewhat True but not particularly a problem – the entire community shared the same faith. Religious diversity is relatively unique to the anglosphere.

            “That was a problem.”
            Nope

            “Government offering the option of an education free from religious influence and the restriction of affordability helped improve the chances of those without means or religious or non-religious preferences.”

            Government ultimately is never an option. It is impossible to compete with government – only government can force people to pay for services it gives to others.

            You seem to presume that religious influence is inherently bad. That was NOT the view of our founders.
            They felt that religious values were essential to self governance.

            The establishment clause was driven by TWO factors – first the experiences in Germany post reformation where there were constant wars over religion for centuries. The other was that though most of the colonies had their own established religion – The established religion of each colony was different. The purpose of the establishment clause was to forestall conflict between the states over their established religion.

            Regardless there is no constitutional requirement for government to “protect” citizens from religion.

          3. You have odd views of religion, education, the establishment clause and history.

            The establishment clause requires government to stay out of religion.
            It does not require ANY accommodation by religion.

            In a conflict – Government must yield outside the very narrow domain of government obligations under the social contract.

            There are absolutely no government duties beyond those specified in the constitution, and expected from the social contract.

            Government is inefficient at EVERYTHING. Ignoring religion it is stupid for it to involve itself in anything that can be accomplished without government. Schools included.

            Schools are expensive because government is involved.

            For a simple example look at SLS/Nasa and SpaceX.

            SLS will cost $2B/launch and is 100% expendable. A moon launch will cost $4B.
            SLS will not be ready for that for years and it is already years behind schedule and billions over budget.

            Starship will cost $100m/launch it will take Two Starship launches to get to the moon.
            Starship will have its first orbital flight this year. Starship complete sub-orbital tests last year.

            DC Schools cost $29000/child per year or atleast that is what they cost several years ago.
            Costs in NYC are similar.

            In my community Public School costs per year are greater than all but the most elite private schools.

            There is a local excellent private girls boarding school near me that costs significantly less than 29,000/year.

            Government is inefficient.

            According to data compiled by Robert Barro the IDEASRESPEC #4 ranked economicst in the world – for every $1 government spends it gets $0.25-0.35 in actual value. So on net Government HARMS the economy – it reduces standard of living.

            Again why government should stick to what only government can do.

      3. Madison is likely incorrect that our constitution requires a religious people.
        But he is entirely correct that it requires a moral people.

        No sane person would trust those on the left to provide a moral education.

        No sane person would trust government to provide a moral education.

        1. You forgot to add that no sane person would trust those on the right to provide a moral education.

          There are plenty of examples to choose from proving it. The right doesn’t have an exclusive claim of being morally superior. Neither does the left. Morality does not come religion.

          1. Morality does not come religion.

            I can somewhat agree with that statement. I spent most of my adult life outside of any religion. And I managed to live my life respectful of the laws of our society. When I began my deep dive into US civics back in 2007, I read the constitution for the first time. It didn’t tell me much until I studied what the Federalist Papers had to say about it. I then realized I had been trying to understand things out of order. That’s when I began my study of the Declaration of Independence, Locke, Hobbes, Natural Rights, Natures Law, etc. Keep in mind I did not believe in God at this time. It took me awhile to fully appreciate what unalienable rights were. I knew for certain they preexisted any form of government. I didn’t need to believe in God to know that. I realized this founding generation had some truly brilliant people that weren’t just winging it. They were classically educated with an understanding of human nature that had been recorded over many millennia. And they by and large believed in God. Eventually, all this did for me was make me question my understanding everything. It required humility. How could these people be so right about their theory of government and yet be wrong on the existence of God?

            While I now believe in God and the potential benefits that religion has for a culture, that’s not enough. This entire American experiment will only work if we live up to the self-evident truths written in the DoI. In theory, we can believe everyone is created equal, with the same unalienable rights, that the fundamental purpose for government is to secure those rights equally for all. We can do all of that with or without a belief in God. We can do all that without relying on a religion to teach us to be a moral people. But all evidence is proving we cannot. For at least 60 years we’ve tried to evolve our culture away from God and religion and we are worse off, not better. Why not take the lessons of history, both modern and ancient, and experiment with teaching the moral lessons that come from the great religions? Is that too much to ask?

            1. “Why not take the lessons of history, both modern and ancient, and experiment with teaching the moral lessons that come from the great religions?”

              You seem to think that religion has a monopoly on morality.

          2. Given a choice between a lefty and a righty, I will pick the one on the right for moral education.

            This is not difficult.

            There are too many moral hypocrites on the right, But those on the left think the ends justifies the means – even when the ends are objectively bad.

            Actually the right does have an excellent claim to moral superiority over the left.

            Over everyone ? No.

            I am sure you can find examples of those on the right behaving badly, but the problem on the left is they do not actually know what is and is not moral.

            I do not think that morality is the exclusive domain of religion – though Adams certainly did.

            The historical development of morality has been intertwined with religion for most of human existence.

            The concept of free will – which the entire western concept of self government rests on originates with religion.

            So yes, the religious have far better understanding of morality than most of those who are not – even when they are on occasion hypocrites.

    2. Thank you – I have been looking for that quote.

      Self Government is not possible without a strong moral foundation.

      Democrats face two huge problems right now.

      First they have FAILED.

      Second they are not moral and can not be trusted.

      The biggest reason that huge numbers of people trust Trump’s election fraud claims is because the left has told so many lies, it is perfectly plausible to beleive that they would engage in large scale election fraud and that the DOJ, state AG’s, Governor’s and the courts would protect them.

      1. “ First they have FAILED.

        Second they are not moral and can not be trusted.”

        That’s quite the tall take John. It’s simply not true no matter how you try to characterize it. Thankfully it’s just your personal opinion.

        “ The biggest reason that huge numbers of people trust Trump’s election fraud claims is because the left has told so many lies, it is perfectly plausible to beleive that they would engage in large scale election fraud and that the DOJ, state AG’s, Governor’s and the courts would protect them.”

        Unfortunately that’s not the case. The biggest reason why Trump’s election fraud claims are believed is precisely because it has been Trump lying all along. His own AG admitted it was BS. His own lawyer has admitted they had no evidence, but plenty of “theories”.

        Just as everyone else has been saying from the very beginning. There is no proof, no evidence, and no large scale fraud. Period. The only reason for believing in such a notion is the flawed need to justify that “feeling” that there must be fraud because somehow you “know” there was. The biggest piece of evidence supporting that claim. Is an absence of evidence. Because it just “feels” like there is.

        1. I have no idea what a “tall take” is.

          Regardless, it is self evident to all but the most dimwitted that democrats have failed.
          It is not an oppinion – you can measure it at the gas pump or the grocery store or in your 401K or by your childrens fear of nuclear annihilation, or the sustained reversal of a multi decade trend of reduced violence, or the increase in war and the increased likelyhood of war, or the looming recession.

          These are just the highlights of FAILURE.

          “Unfortunately that’s not the case.”
          And yet it is. Who lied about the collusion delusion ? There are enough lies for a lifetime wrapped up in that single ball.
          Who lied about Spying ? Who lied about Witchhunts ? Who lied about the Biden’s misconduct in Ukraine ? Who lied about the Hunter Biden laptop ?

          “His own AG admitted it was BS. ”
          I like Barr – but he was a failure. His job was to clean up DOJ and FBI, whatever he did, did not last 5 minutes past Garland.
          That is FAILURE. Regardless, Barr participated in thwarting federal investigations of Election Fraud. He directed US Attorney’s who wanted to persue allegations of fraud to forward them to the states.
          It is not credible to claim there is no election fraud at the same time as you directed USA’s to forward election fraud claims to the states.

          “His own lawyer has admitted they had no evidence, but plenty of “theories”.”
          Have no idea what you mean – an I do not think you do either.

          There is plenty of evidence of actual fraud.

          “Just as everyone else has been saying from the very beginning.”

          Everyone else would be you and a few others with their heads in the sand.

          “There is no proof, no evidence, and no large scale fraud.”
          Self evidently wrong.

          “Period.”
          Emphasis does not make a lie more credible.

          And why should you be beleived ?
          How many of the past lies have you been caught in ?

          Have you no shame.

          “The only reason for believing in such a notion is the flawed need to justify that “feeling” that there must be fraud because somehow you “know” there was. ”
          Nope, Please read past posts here on election fraud. I have provided enormous amounts of EVIDENCE.,
          Not a “feeling”.

          “The biggest piece of evidence supporting that claim. Is an absence of evidence. Because it just “feels” like there is.”

          We are well past that.

  6. Those who despise the Constitution and the rule of laws it frames, should leave the US. We don’t need your fascist, communist views or behaviors. The world’s a big place. Emigrate to the Middle East, Eastern European, South America, or Europe. Or just cross illegally to Canada or Mexico. Good luck.

  7. Great. Let’s split the country in two. I’ll go with the half that respects the Constitution. The other half is free to destroy themselves.

  8. Thomas Jefferson, one of our Founders, believed that the dead should not rule the living, and therefore constitutions should expire frequently. He proposed rewriting the Constitution every 19 years:
    “On similar ground it may be proved that no society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation. They may manage it then, and what proceeds from it, as they please, during their usufruct. They are masters too of their own persons, and consequently may govern them as they please. But persons and property make the sum of the objects of government. The constitution and the laws of their predecessors extinguished then in their natural course with those who gave them being. This could preserve that being till it ceased to be itself, and no longer. Every constitution then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of 19 years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force, and not of right.—It may be said that the succeeding generation exercising in fact the power of repeal, this leaves them as free as if the constitution or law had been expressly limited to 19 years only. In the first place, this objection admits the right, in proposing an equivalent. But the power of repeal is not an equivalent. It might be indeed if every form of government were so perfectly contrived that the will of the majority could always be obtained fairly and without impediment. But this is true of no form. The people cannot assemble themselves. Their representation is unequal and vicious. Various checks are opposed to every legislative proposition. Factions get possession of the public councils. Bribery corrupts them. Personal interests lead them astray from the general interests of their constituents: and other impediments arise so as to prove to every practical man that a law of limited duration is much more manageable than one which needs a repeal.”

    He also believed that it was important to engage people in rewriting the Constitution because “If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves.”

    Turley shouldn’t be so dismissive of Brooks’ argument. But Turley likes to feed “the age of rage” he complains about, so even though he’s supposed to be a constitutional law professor, he chooses not to engage in a scholarly discussion rewriting the Constitution.

    1. Brooks is a Clown. Her ideas worse — they’re racist and misandrist. Typical Leftist: say something provocative just to get noticed. Then recede back into the academic pit.

        1. No that would be saying Rosa is bad so don’t believe her. I said Rosa’s ideas are bad for the articlulated reasons and that she should schlp back into her hole. That latter part and the part about the clown was an insult not an ad hominem attack on her musings. Learn the difference.

          1. I understand the difference between routine insults (which you often post) and ad hom (which you post less often), and part of what you wrote was ad hom (“Typical Leftist: say something provocative just to get noticed”).

            You also provide no evidence for your claim that “Her ideas … [are] racist and misandrist.”

            You continue to cede Jefferson’s point.

            BTW, Turley is part of “the academic pit.”

            1. Aninny:

              Thanks for proving you have no idea of the difference between the two. As for ridicule, well that’s a foreign concept for you, obviously. Finally, if you can’t see the racism/misandrism in “This is us. This is 100% us, and it’s because we are essentially slaves to a document that was written more than 230 years ago by a tiny group of white slave-owning men.” Any reason why race or gender matter in that statement? If you don’t recognize the hypocrisy, let me send you a dictionary to spell it out for you.

              1. Apparently you don’t understand the difference yourself and are projecting your own misunderstanding onto me.

                It’s a fact that the Constitution “was written more than 230 years ago by a tiny group of white [mostly] slave-owning men.” Stating that fact is neither racist nor misandrist.

                1. The magna Carte was written by white nobles 800+ years ago – does that make it anyless significant ?

                  I have a dream was written 50 years ago by a serial adulterer.

                  Rather than fixate on the personal flaws of the authors why not address the text itself.

                  We have changed the constitution over 2 dozen times. Most of that after the founders were dead.
                  Nothing prevents you from changing it today.

                  The required public support for changing it is exactly the same as was required to accept it in the first place.

                  Significantly changing government SHOULD be difficult, but not impossible.
                  It should not be done on a whim. Making it difficult assures that some group will not “leave a crisis unwasted”

                  The constitution is not perfect – I would like to see many changes, if I want those changes I need to garner the support necescary for them.

                  But what we are not free to do is change the meaning with actually changing the constitution.
                  That shortcut is the rule of man not law.

                  As an example Dobb’s makes exactly the same error that Rowe and Casey did. While there is no right to an abortion in the constitution.,
                  Both the bill of rights and the 9th and 14th amendment require the right to control of ones own body. That does not preclude the state from proscribing killing the fetus, but it does preclude the state from barring its removal – even if death results.

                  That actually conforms to the constitution – Roe does not, Casey does not, Dobb’s does not.

                  1. A fetus has no rights. The constitution does not recognize a fetus as a person either. Therefore the idea of abortion is being a constitutional right is plausible.

                    If justices want to use their Originalism and textualist interpretation they would be forced to concede that a fetus has no rights. We have already seen these justices twist themselves into ideological pretzels to justify their opinion. You shouldn’t have to if they really adhered to their judicial philosophy.

                    1. The constitution provides no defintion of a person.
                      What constitutes a person is defined by state law, and most states including blue states have a defintion that makes a third party killing the fetus of a pregnant women at some point in pregnancy murder.

                      If you do not like that – take it up with your state.

                    2. The legal status of the fetus has NOTHING to do with whether abortion is a constitutional right.

                      Roe, and Casey are incorrect about that. Dobbs gets that right.

                      There is no 5th, 90th, or 14th amendment right to an abortion.

                      You are asking the court to create a right from thin air that was never recognized previously and is not really recognized anywhere in the world today.

                      A right is something that government either many not violate at all, or something that government has very restricted power to violate.

                      Speech is a right. Many things are arguable as unenuerated rights under the 9th ammendment or priviledges and immunities of citizens under the 14th. Abortuion is not one of those.

                      HOWEVER the right to control of your own body – is not only recognizable under the 9th and 14th amendments, but under the 5th, and under hundreds of years of legal tradition prior and after the constitution.

                      But the right to control your own body is not exactly the same as the right to an abortion.
                      It is the right to remove the fetus from your body – At any time through birth – even if removal might kill the fetus.
                      It is NOT however the right to deliberately kill the fetus.

                      I would note that it is not relevant whether the fetus is a human life or not.
                      The state has the power to regulate the killing of people, it also has the power to regulate killing creatures that are not people.

                    3. Svelaz, your argument is poor.

                      It is not relevant whether the fetus is human or not.

                      If a constitutional right to abortion existed – it would exist if the fetus was human.
                      If it does not exist – it does not exist – even if the fetus is not human.

                      The determination of whether some living creature has legal protection has ALWAYS been a power of the state.

                      The question for SCOTUS – in 1973 and today has ALWAYS been does the woman have the constitutional right to abort – NOT what is the fetus.

                      Absolutely religious people beleive that the fetus is fully human, and pro-choice advocates believe it is not.

                      That issue is relevant to public support for abortion laws or limits. It is not relevant to whether there is a constitutional right.

                      Dobb’s is wrong – but only because it fails to consider another ACTUAL right, the right to control your own body.

                      Dobb’s is correct there is no right to an abortion.

                    4. You can reject originalism, But “the rule of law” requires a FORMAL means of interpreting the constitution and statutes that if followed produces the same result – for every judge, in every time.

                      It does not require that we all agree what the law or constitution should be – we have the power to change the law and constitution if we do not like it.

                      It does require that we are all capable of knowing what the law IS. That is why statutory interpretation must be close to ROTE.

                      Propose a different means for courts to intepret the law that meets the requirements of the rule of law and we can discuss it.

                    1. I do not.

                      I offered a constitutional right that allows a women to remove a fetus from her body at any time during pregnancy.

                      Whether that fetus dies or not is independent.
                      Except that there is no right of the woman to require its death.

      1. No, her ideas are honest. The constitution and this country were indeed founded on the values of their time. Slavery was an accepted norm. Women were deemed inferior and subservient. The fact that it is true that the majority of the constitution’s framers were slave owners doesn’t detract from the point that the freedoms they espoused and liberties they cherished only applied to white landowning men. The irony in the glorified declarations about freedom and Liberty is almost comical when you realize that these were slave owners who wanted to be free from the king’s tyrannical authority.

        Even the national anthem is based on a poem created by a slave owner who was against abolitionists and was against giving up his precious slaves.

        American history has been whitewashed for years. It’s the biggest reason why so many “know” the “truth” about our history. Too many people grew up learning the whitewashed version instead of the real history.

      1. a) No, I didn’t say that, and you shouldn’t attribute your own inferences to others.
        b) Given that the majority of people in the US believe that abortion should often be legal, presumably a newer Constitution would make that explicit. “Hmmm…”

      2. EV:

        Aninny traps her/him/itself often and then claims that we, the peasants, didn’t understand the wisdom of the words. It’s the con man’s first line of defense when challenged.

    2. I wonder if the 9th Amendment, also added by Thomas Jefferson was a compromise to rewriting the Constitution. Obviously the Founding Fathers could not envision every right or rule that might arise over the decades or centuries, but they could and did establish an amendment which is pretty clear that rights, once having been obtained should be considered sacrosanct.

    3. We are changing laws by the hundreds every year.

      You problem, what you want, you can’t get the votes for.
      Biden joining the leftist by eliminating cloture, is yet another of Biden’s blindness to the effects of his desires. Eliminating cloture with only ???? 40 legislative days left for the Dems to abuse power? Then, Republicans take over in landslide the nation has not seen since 2010. For two years.

      1. What I actually want is for Turley to act like a professor and deal in a scholarly way with the claim he’s simply griping about.

        But that’s apparently too hard for you to discuss.

    4. That’s a great point. Turley mentions that conservative and libertarian professors are few and uncommon. There’s a reason for that. Their views are those in the minority. Their views are nearly all rooted in staying or going back to the past. This is why there was so much opposition to ending slavery and why it was part of our constitution in the beginning.

      Change or progress changes the power structure that many conservatives enjoyed. From being in the social majority to the ruling majority. With a growing minority and its accompanying changes in power structures that require a dilution of past privileges and status the fear of no longer being in a dominant social position is what drives many to force everyone else into the past or force to maintain the status quo. It’s fear of being relegated to minority status.

      That is one reason southern states who had growing slave populations that were threatening to become a majority fought so hard to prevent slaves from being freed and given citizenship. It was the equivalent of today’s replacement theory. They would have been states with minority rule. Just like they want today.

      1. This is why there was so much opposition to ending slavery and why it was part of our constitution in the beginning.

        You historical understanding are abysmal.
        The buying and selling of slaves was sun set.

        Article I Section 9
        “The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.”

        The framers guaranteed legislative action would remedy slavery. This was a concession to the Southern States, as a way to form the union of the whole, and not two separate nations.

        You know lots of stuff, just turns out much of what you know is wrong

        1. Iowan2,

          “ You historical understanding are abysmal.
          The buying and selling of slaves was sun set.”

          But not the owning of slaves. That was circumvented by BREEDING slaves in their own plantations. You didn’t know that did you? When the slave trade stopped it didn’t stop the ownership of slaves itself. When slaves were no longer allowed to be brought from Africa slave owners resorted to breeding so they could keep their free labor in perpetuity.

          The problem was their slave populations were growing bigger and bigger to the point where slave revolts were a real threat. Especially in counties where slaves greatly outnumbered whites. That’s why southern states benefited from the guarantees of the 2nd amendment. They needed militias to control their growing slave populations.

          1. You want things instantly. But society moves slowly. From the inception of the constitution, ground was being laid to make all of the US free. Not overnight, overtime.
            You obsession with the past, confines you to the past. Come live in the present and lay the ground work for change you find important. Good ideas will find a following of support.

            1. “ From the inception of the constitution, ground was being laid to make all of the US free.”

              No it wasn’t. The constitution was written by slave owners who still believed slaves were mere property.

              Slavery was brought to this land beginning in 1619. The practice didn’t end until 1865 officially. That’s 246 years of believing other human beings could be the property of others.

              I’m not the one trying hard to avoid acknowledging the past so we can learn from it. You want to avoid acknowledging that the past is still affecting the present because there are still systems created in those days that are part of our current system and culture.

              “ Good ideas will find a following of support.” That is very true. But the problem of conservatives are the only ones demonizing these good ideas because it threatens their privileged position in society. This has happened before. The Tulsa massacre is one good example. The idea of a successful and prosperous black community moving up the social ladder in society was met with jealousy and spite because they were not supposed to be successful and prosperous in the view the white citizens of Tulsa. So they took an innocent incident as an excuse to decimate an entire section of town because they couldn’t handle the idea of a successful black community. That resentment and animosity continued long after the end of the civil war and the ratification of the 13 th amendment.

              Laws and regulations were often created to keep black communities from achieving the kind of prosperity and success that briefly occurred in Tulsa.

              That’s why history and the past is important. So we can learn from not just the lessons it gives us. You can’t learn from it if you don’t first learn to acknowledge the injustice and denying that it occurred.

              Conservatives don’t like fast change. That’s a given. But they don’t like slow change either. Most want to go back and force everyone else. That’s why thr slogan “make America great again” was so popular with conservatives. Because they want to go back when it was great for THEM. Like in the 50’ and 40’ when racism and “family values” were the norm.

        2. Iowan2,

          Article 1, section 9. Just stopped the importation of slaves. Not the ownership. It added a tax on each slave they owned. Something that southern states opposed. The value of all the slaves owned in the south was the equivalent of $3.2 billion in today’s money. The federal government was going to impose heavy taxes on their “property”.

        3. Hey “retard,” learn the difference between importing slaves from other countries (which was ended before the Civil War) and enslavement of native-born children — often the product of rape — of existing enslaved people (which was not ended until the Civil War).

          1. If you are going to make an actual argument you need to be far more specific than that.

            Who was enslaved in his country after the end of the Civil War ?

            I would note that words like Slave mean something.

            EB constantly tells us that Irish landed bonded tenant farming is not the same as actual slavery.

            Post Civil war Sharecropping is begnign compared to what occured in ireland.

            You do not get to have it both ways.

            White people sharecropped and picked cotton in the US in the 50’s.
            Such as J R Cash.

      2. “Their views are those in the minority.”

        The country’s views shift but on average is closely split between registered Republicans and Democrats. That would mean your statement is wrong.

        1. No, because Turley was referring to points of view in academia. Not the general population. The ideas conservatives propose are not in line with the majority of the population. It may seem to be evenly split but the reality is much closer to a conservative. They are just more vocal which makes it seem like their views are evenly split. That’s of course my opinion.

        2. You confine yourself to ONLY registered D’s and R’s? That freezes out a lot of people. Sounds like discrimination.

    5. We are a far more ignorant and unwise people than the Founders. The Constiturion is balanced and put together thoughtfully. Are we so balanced ourselves today we could do better? I think not.

      Let’s instead build a bridge to the best elements of the 18th century as Neil Postman proposed.

    6. “Thomas Jefferson, one of our Founders, believed that the dead should not rule the living, and therefore constitutions should expire frequently. “

      Jefferson would have been smarter if he proposed term limits.

    7. Thomas Jefferson, one of our Founders, believed that the dead should not rule the living, and therefore constitutions should expire frequently. He proposed rewriting the Constitution every 19 years:

      It’s good that you went to an original source document, but given the fact it was Jefferson who wrote the DoI, I had to look up the context from which you grabbed the quote. The entire letter makes the case against accumulating national debt in one generation that will have to be paid another. He arrived at 19 years as the point that debt should not be extended.

      Turn this subject in your mind, my dear Sir, & particularly as to the power of contracting debts; & develope it with that perspicuity & cogent logic so peculiarly yours.

      1. Olly,

        OT:

        Just look how devil these Anti-American Scum are. If this isn’t a war against us I don’t what one is:

        Last week, the California Department of Justice admitted that the personal information of hundreds of thousands of gun owners had been leaked online. Now, it appears the data breach was far wider than originally reported.

        For about 24 hours, a data breach exposed the names, gender, race, birthdates, addresses, license plates, and criminal histories of Californians who had applied for permits to carry concealed weapons between 2011 and 2021. The news surfaced last week when the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said it had been made aware of the data breach.

        More…….

        https://www.newswars.com/californias-leak-of-gun-owner-addresses-and-information-is-worse-than-previously-thought/

        1. Word Press LOL!

          I wrote Evil & Word Press must have thought it looked better their way!

        2. I know, I live here. It’s just another factoid in our long train of abuses. Now what low-level bureaucrat is going to be held accountable?

          1. I’m sure Biden/Dims/Rinos demand all the illegals from more the 138 nations flooding across our border, that they register all their guns & weapons, their names, B’dates, addresses, tag numbers etc….

            LOL Ya Right… & I bet they can fly without having their & their wives/kids having their junk fondled.

  9. How often is it that the person complaining about how bad and unjust the system is against them or others is a person that is at the pinnacle of society. It is always a person that is in a position of power, a position of prestige and at the top of the earnings level for the country. It will be a black Kamala Harris saying we have systemic racism, a gay Mayor Pete saying the system is rigged against minorities, a white Joe Biden, a guy that is worth 15 million after never working in the private sector. We will see Kendi, Mystal, and this professor whining about society from their sinecures or high paying, high prestige positions. It isn’t often you will hear the black barber or the white mechanic saying the system stinks, it is the suburban or elite urban fool complaining.

    This is why the Democrats have lost the working voters and are now losing the Hispanic voters, young voters and even black voters. When your party cares about the climate and not inflation, about racism everywhere and not crime, teaching 6 year old children about gender fluidity and not high energy prices. The Republicans aren’t great, but the Democrats are crazy. This is how you get a story about a LAW PROFESSOR saying we need to abolish the Constitution followed by JeffSilberman complaining about some asinine obsession regarding Trump.

      1. It’s actually a horrible “synopsis”. What iowan2 is demonstrating is a ignorance at best.

        “ How often is it that the person complaining about how bad and unjust the system is against them or others is a person that is at the pinnacle of society.” That’s Donald Trump.

        The only time those “at the pinnacle of society” whose privileges and positions of influence are being diluted or diminished is when there are more people are getting to the same position of privilege and influence.

        That’s why people like VP Kamala Harris are vilified and demonized because they are mentioning real issues like systemic racism. Or mentioning a government official and emphasizing that he’s gay which is irrelevant to the fact that what he said is true. That the system is rigged against minorities.

        Those law professors are exercising their freedom to express their opinions just as Turley is. It’s the fact that it’s a provocative idea that the constitution may need to be revised or replaced. What many don’t understand is that even those who wrote the constitution understood that the contents of the constitution were not meant to be permanent. That’s why they put in place a mechanism to change it or even replace it if we deem it necessary.

        What those professors suggested really shouldn’t be shocking or controversial. Conservatives fear more a change that is as fundamental as revising the entirety of the constitution because it would mean a serious dilution of their ideas. Just like it was for southern states who couldn’t fathom the idea that their most important economic source of wealth, slaves, was no longer going to be the accepted norm. That their cherished belief that they could own people as property supported by their religious right to do so would no longer be was unconstitutional in their view.

        Maybe those professors have a valid point. It’s just too uncomfortable or radical because, like the southern states of the past. It was radical that slaves should be free and be given citizenship.

    1. “How often is it that the person complaining about how bad and unjust the system is against them or others is a person that is at the pinnacle of society. It is always a person that is in a position of power, a position of prestige and at the top of the earnings level for the country.”

      What utter BS.

      Lots of powerless people complain about the system. But their complaints aren’t elevated in the media … because they’re powerless.

      If you read comments here and elsewhere, you can find lots of average people complaining about the system being unjust.

      1. ind lots of average people complaining about the system being unjust. Complaining, is just that. Until you take action, its just noise.

    2. hullbobby You took the words right out of my mouth. Then there’s the “Squad” with their high salaries and benefits, always complaining about “white racism.” Getting real tired of all the elite bit*ching and hyperbole. Getting rid of the Constitution means the crazed left can finally eliminate free speech, gun rights and every other right they’ve been fighting against for years. They can finally have their totalitarian society. The Republicans may be stupid, but, yes, the Democrats are crazy. We can work with stupid.

  10. @enigma

    Maya Angelou wanted to share this with you:

    Human Family

    I note the obvious differences
    in the human family.
    Some of us are serious,
    some thrive on comedy.

    Some declare their lives are lived
    as true profundity,
    and others claim they really live
    the real reality.

    The variety of our skin tones
    can confuse, bemuse, delight,
    brown and pink and beige and purple,
    tan and blue and white.

    I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
    and stopped in every land,
    I’ve seen the wonders of the world
    not yet one common man.

    I know ten thousand women
    called Jane and Mary Jane,
    but I’ve not seen any two
    who really were the same.

    Mirror twins are different
    although their features jibe,
    and lovers think quite different thoughts
    while lying side by side.

    We love and lose in China,
    we weep on England’s moors,
    and laugh and moan in Guinea,
    and thrive on Spanish shores.

    We seek success in Finland,
    are born and die in Maine.
    In minor ways we differ,
    in major we’re the same.

    I note the obvious differences
    between each sort and type,
    but we are more alike, my friends,
    than we are unalike.

    We are more alike, my friends,
    than we are unalike.

    We are more alike, my friends,
    than we are unalike.

  11. This professor is so full of BS that it’s coming out of his or her ears.
    The Second Amendment was about the NEED to form an armed militia and kill the Redcoats.
    Jeso.

  12. If there are those that choose not to live in a Constitutional Republic, why do they stay? No one is forcing them to stay in a country that no longer aligns with their beliefs.

  13. At the time The Bible was written 2,000 years ago. Women were chattel and the Roman’s kept and sold whole Germanic tribes as slaves. Should we then trash the Bible because of the mindset of the men who wrote it? God did not come down to earth. Sit in a dusty room and write out scripture by candle light. Or do we instead take the lessons of Christ’s teachings at face value. The US Constitution is still the most perfect piece of political guidelines to have been written at the time or since. Regardless of who wrote it, or the foibles of their culture at the time. What they wrote is perfection.

    1. How many other Constitutions have you read? I’m wondering what your basis is for concluding that “The US Constitution is still the most perfect piece of political guidelines to have been written at the time or since.”

      Personally, I haven’t read the Constitution of any other country, and I don’t assume that I’d conclude that the US Constitution is better than all others. The Founders certainly didn’t consider it perfect, and I share their opinion rather than yours.

        1. S. Meyer says,

          “ Perfection is the enemy of good.”

          God is perfection according to Christians. So according to your rationale God is the enemy of good.

        2. J.C.H. said that the Constitution “is perfection,” so take it up with him/her if you think that would make the Constitution the enemy of the good.

          1. “The left are preaching god.”

            I can see that,if you see Stalin, Mao, and Hitler as Gods. You can make up whatever you wish.

            You are the one doing the preaching and shouting while you do so. It is OK for you to shout. That is why God created noise reduction ear muffs… and you thought they were for ear protection when shooting or using heavy equipment. He recognized your type and saved people from your screams.

            ” You seek the State to punish unbelievers”

            You are really screwed up. I want the state to do as little as possible. You want a lot of little Stalins running around.

            “I myself left The Church”

            Are you asking us to present you with a medal?

            ” ultimately, they all wanted me to obey them.”

            Did they want you to obey or leave them alone?

  14. I agree. The deck was stacked from the very beginning. No wonder Conservatives want to go back to them good ol’ days. When men were men, white women were prudes, and black women were nervous.

    1. How sad and small minded when will you narrow minded small brain humans learn you lose the debate when the first words out of your mouths is accusing the other side of being racist or it’s about equality. Be more like a real American grab your boot straps and go get you some. Stop whining you’ll be more respected by those who you want to change there way of thinking.

      1. Do you deny that the deck was stacked from the very beginning of the country?

        Only landed white men generally had the right to vote.
        Many people were enslaved.
        Husbands could legally rape their wives.
        Etc.

        1. Do you deny the formation of the United States has created the most free people in the world, and created wealth at a rate the world has never experienced

          But you insist on wanting to litigate what happened 3 centuries ago, while playing key board warrior, instead of getting busy in your state to advance the agenda you desire.

          1. “ Do you deny the formation of the United States has created the most free people in the world, and created wealth at a rate the world has never experienced”

            The formation of this country was greatly dependent on slave labor during its infancy. There are other countries where they have more rights and freedoms than we do.

            Even today we are not the country with the most freedoms and rights.

            In fact according to the heritage foundation we rank 25th in economic freedom.

            Canada, Germany, U.K., New Zealand have more rights and freedoms than we do. They all have universal healthcare, low cost or free college education, even better infrastructure.

            We are not the best, but certainly not the worst either.

            1. “The formation of this country was greatly dependent on slave labor during its infancy.”
              Nope, Slavery was economically inefficient. That is self evident. By the time of the Civil War the economy of slaves states was 1/10th that of free states.

              You seem to think that slavery had no cost to it. That you could own someone and they would naturally do as you wish.

              Slavery required the consumption of public resources – law enforcement, to capture and return run away slaves. It required overseers to force slaves to perform – at far from an optimal level.

              Those on the left do not grasp that FORCE is not free. It takes more cost to FORCE people to do what you want than to induce them to.

              “There are other countries where they have more rights and freedoms than we do.”
              Not many, not by much and very large countries.
              Further theUS decline in rights and freedoms is a direct consequence of the left.

              There probably is no country where people have as many actual rights as the US, but there are countries with more freedom.

              There are several much smaller nations with much smaller govenrments that have less rights but more freedom.

              Smaller government always means more freedom – you should recognize that as tautological.

                1. Thomas Jefferson went bankrupt.

                  Jefferson also briefly experiemented with allowing his slaves to make money on their own.
                  It was a very successful experiment.
                  But it pissed off his neighbors and he was forced to stop.

                  As I have said repeatedly Slavery is economically inefficient.

                  YOUR claim that Jefferson told Washington otherwise does not change that FACT.

                  1. Thomas Jefferson went bankrupt building palaces to himself at Monticello and the University of Virginia. Look up Jefferson’s letter to George Washington. If you want to deny it;s existence and content it will be because you were either lazy or didn’t want to know?

                    1. There is plenty of scholarship on Jefferson – independent of what he said himself.

                      Jefferson went bankrupt as a consequence of abysmal financial management.

                      He generally did better when he was actually present at his plantations – but for much of his public life he was not.

                      Regardless even YOUR argument makes my point.

                      Jeffereson’s several slave plantations as well as many slaves did not make him wealthy enough to afford the things you say bankrupted him.

                      George Washington – without following Jefferson’s advice became increadibly Wealthy – through the purchase an sale of vast amounts of land, not from his plantation.

                      John Adam’s in inflation adjusted terms was probably the wealthiest american president ever – without owning a single slave.

                    2. Enigma, you demonstrate you know almost nothing about George Washington.

                      You can learn something about the man, but more importantly you can learn things about life that you missed along the way, Read the book George Washington on Leadership by Richard Brookhiser.

                    3. EB is more interested in his teeth.

                      Anything that does not contribute to his narative that slavery is everything gets discarded no matter how significant.

                    4. Washington married a rich woman.

                      He STILL made most of his money throughout his lifetime in real estate.

                      According to Wikipedia George was the 2nd wealthiest american president – at a net worth of $707B 2022USD

                      “Most of this wealth can be traced to Washington’s success as a land speculator, an enterprise that grew out of his early career as land surveyor.”

                      And just to dispell your myth of wealth solely by marraige:

                      “Washington inherited his father’s 2,000-acre Mount Vernon estate”

                    5. Yup, and that still was a small fraction of his ultimate net worth.

                      You are wrong on slaves.
                      You are wrong on Martha.

                      Both contributed to his wealth.
                      Neither ultimately made up the bulk of his wealth.

                      Washington was a colonial Trump. He started wealthy and died fabulously wealthy.

                    6. You brag to me that Washington inherited 2,000 acres but Martha brought 17,500 to the marriage. Martha’s husband before he died, Daniel Parke Custis was one of the wealthiest men in Virginia and almost everything went to Martha. She also had a lot of cash. The majority of Washington’s wealth came from his wife.

                      https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/custis-daniel-parke-1711-1757/

                      https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/custis-daniel-parke-1711-1757/

                    7. Citing facts is not bragging.

                      Do you have to try to spin everything you write ?

                      Aren’t FACTS adequate by themselves.

                      Yes, Marriage to Martha made a rich man richer. I have already said that.
                      But not even close to how rich he was when he died.
                      And most of that wealth was land many times what he received from Martha.

                      You keep trying to fight this.
                      But it is just simple facts

                    8. You are constantly making broad generalizations based on single facts that are not nearly as consequential as you claim.

                      Martha Custis was well off. Washington was not poor. He died far wealthier than when he married, The value of slaves and plantations not even comining in 2nd in the list of his wealth.

                    9. Why can’t I admit that I am wrong ?

                      Easy, because I am not.

                      You claim that George went from wealthy to much wealthier by marrying Martha is true.

                      At his death he was the wealthiest colonial american and one of 100 wealthiest in US history.
                      His slaves, Martha’s, Mt. Vernon and her land are not a significant fraction of that total wealth.

                      He owned approximately 80sq miles of land in what was then the “west”.

                    10. What are you arguing, that Washington got much wealthier after marrying a rich woman? Washington was wealthy, Martha much more so. She managed their estate when he was gone, much of that they accrued was due to her.

                    11. She did not buy the massive additional land holdings in the west.
                      He did.

                      Are you really this clueless ?

                    12. He had control of her money as he did throughout their marriage. Why would you believe his ability to buy land wasn’t related to how much cash they had as opposed to just him? She managed their affairs while he was gone. Why must you deny her both credit and value?

                    13. Why would you beleve Martha was critical – when It is Washington that was the Surveyor.

                      Every single bit of paper money in US circulation today is tainted with traces of cocaine and other drugs.

                      Does that means the entirety of US GDP is due to drug trade ?

                      You keep making this argument that in an interconnected economy that this one thing or that one thing drives everything.

                      My father ran an architectural practice for 55 years. About 25 years in my mother retired used some of the money he made and invested in realestate at the shore. Within 2 decades the value of her realestate significantly exceeded everything he had ever made in architecture.

                      Does that mean that the money she made – can not be considered independently of the money he made ?

                      You noted befoe that it is likely that nearly every bank in the US touches Slavery at some point. Either they gave a few loans as part of a much larger set of investments to plantation owners or they bought southern banks at some point in their history.

                      That does not mean that the entirety of their profits or the investment they have done was tied up in slavery – as you try to argue.

                      Like Drugs slavery touched directly or often very very indirectly on everything in this country.
                      Like Drugs it is a tiny part of the whole regardless,

                      Total illegal Drug Trade in the US is about $100B/year – that is about 1/4 of Musks net worth. That is about 1/60th of federal spending last year,
                      That is about the cost of 8 Super Carriers. That is about 1/300th of the entire economy. That is about 1/5th the revenue of Wallmart.

                      I provide these because it is clear you have no sense of scale or they way that things are intertwined without being interdependent.

                    14. “If you want to deny it;s existence and content it will be because you were either lazy or didn’t want to know?”

                      Multiple fallacious arguments all in one sentence.

                      It is always unwise to presume to know what another person thinks or knows.
                      Just stick to the facts.

                      Insulting me is not an argument.

                      Letters from Jefferson to Washington are evidence of what Jefferson said to Washington – little more.

                      Annecdotes – like the letter you are trying to convert from a bit of evidence to absolute proof.

                      Absolutely read what those at the time wrote – but not ALONE.

                      As noted before – By the Civil War the North was 10 times as wealthy as the south.
                      Slavery clearly was not economically efficient.

                      What was the average standard of living in the South – vs the north ?

                      EB this is not even a close argument.

                      The south lost the Civil war, it did so because the economy of the slaves states was not capable of competing against that of the north.

                      Slavery makes for a weak economy

                2. A substantial portion of your arguments are “Someone says”.

                  That is not a valid argument

              1. John B. Say. Slavery was economically beneficial and far far cheaper than paying for the labor. The south had a lucrative market in trading cotton and other goods valued at billions in today’s dollars.

                When making ridiculous profits economic efficiency is of little interest.

                “ There probably is no country where people have as many actual rights as the US, but there are countries with more freedom.”

                There are countries with more rights and freedoms than we do. Germany’s constitution contains 26 civil rights.

                “ Further theUS decline in rights and freedoms is a direct consequence of the left.”

                Nope. The right just removed a right that has been in place for decades.

                They want to limit your rights by legislating morality.

                1. There is no right to abortion.

                  There is a right to control of your own body
                  But the left spent the past 2 years pissing on that so you should not be surprised that SCOTUS did not find you had any more right to an abortion than to choose whether to be vaccinated.

                  There is a right to free speech.
                  There is the right to free association
                  There is the right to petition government
                  There is a right to self defence,
                  There is a right to your own property.

                  There is a right to be free from government interference in our lives,
                  to be free from government investigations, subpeona;s etc, absent credible evidence of a crime.

                  These and myriads of other rights are trampled daily by those on the left.

                  You constantly personally participate in this destruction of actual rights.

                  The threat to our rights is from the left.

                  You do not even accept the existance of actually fundimental rights while demanding protections for things that clearly are not rights.

              2. You’ve got to be exceptionally stupid and/or blind to believe that “Slavery was economically inefficient. That is self evident.”

                If it cost more money to support an enslaved person than he or she produced through his or her unpaid labor, no one would have ever bought an enslaved person, and all slaveholders would have set any slaves they inherited immediately free.

                Slaveholders enslaved people because they were economically beneficial.

                1. Though under certain short-term circumstances, slavery might be beneficial, the short-term vision is inaccurate when used to predict long-term results.

                  You demonstrate you have little to no financial or business acumen.

                  1. The long-term results were hundreds of years of enslaved people because they were a financial boon to the slave owners. Slave owners in the US chose to fight a Civil War rather than end slavery peacefully.

                    You’re an idiot.

                    1. Economics is not your strong suit YNOT. That a system survives doesn’t mean it is as successful as another system would be.

                      You can throw an ad hom, but when it comes to business and financial things your ideas stink. If you had brains I might be able to explain to you where you went wrong, but brains is what you were denied at birth.

                    2. I did explain where you and John went wrong: If it cost more money to support an enslaved person than he or she produced through his or her unpaid labor, no one would have ever bought an enslaved person, and all slaveholders would have set any slaves they inherited immediately free. Slaveholders kept enslaved people because slave labor was economically beneficial to the slaveholders — that, and the slaveholders lacked morals.

                    3. A lot of people don’t know what they are talking about. You are one of them. Many businesses make less than they could because they do not know the best way of running a business.

                      When one inherits slaves, it is the same as inheriting an expensive machine. One doesn’t throw it out. Smart people follow the market, but many are too settled in their ways. They buy when everyone is buying and sell when everyone is selling. Unfortunately, they do those things very late.

                      When the market was high for selling slaves, they should have sold for business reasons and obtained equipment on the market to help do the work. Unfortunately, ownership of another provides an ego trip and doesn’t permit one to act to one’s best advantage.

                      I mentioned numerous other reasons to prove slavery is inefficient. All you stated was what egotistical persons, poorly managing their business affairs did. That demonstrates your knowledge of this subject is very thin.

                    4. There is no need to prove slavery is inefficient – history has done that for us.

                      The economy of the north was 10 times that of the South an the South lost the civil war.

                      The rest of the debate is details.

                      Important if you are trying to make an important investment decision.

                      But not if you are looking at the net efficiency of slavery.

                    5. No you have pretended that economics is binary it is not.

                      Neither S.M. nor I have claimed that being a slave owner will automatically bankrupt you.

                      Only that slave economies have historically ALWAYS performed worse than free economies.

                      There are many costs associated with slavery, as well as profits.

                      But the Return on investment is low. It is not certain you will go bankrupt as a slave owner – but it is easier – as per Jefferson.

                      Conversely Washington’s wealth was NOT created primarily through slavery, but through realestate dealing.

                      The indispuiteable FACT is that southern slavery dramatically underperformed northern free markets.

                      You keep avoiding that.

                      If slavery was as profitable as you claim, the north would have lost the civil war and slavery would be widespread and legal throughout the world today

                    6. You seem to completely misunderstand even basic economics.

                      If you have $1000 all other things being equal do you invest it in a savings account at 1.25% interest, or a mutual fund at 8% interest ?

                      All other things are not equal. SOME low interest investments are lower risk.

                      In the case of slavery the return was low and the risk was not especially good either.

                    7. It demonstrates that you’re moving the goalposts from John’s claim that “Slavery was economically inefficient. … Poor economic efficiency means low or no profits” and want to excuse hundreds of years of slavery in the Americas. Slaveholders profited significantly from enslaving people. Those profits — and their lack of morals — are WHY they enslaved people.

                    8. No goalposts were moved, “Slavery was economically inefficient”

                      That is exactly what I am saying. I even gave examples. I can’t help it if you do not understand fundamental economics.

                    9. If the motivation was profits, Slavery was OBVIOUSLY a poor choice.

                      Of the 13 wealthiest americans of all time 10 were born 30 years or more prior to the civil war. 5 in the 18th century.
                      NONE was a slave owner. None was a southerner.

                      As I have noted REPEATEDLY – the economy of the north was 10 times that of the south at the start of the civil war.

                      Slavery was a bad investment, it was a poor way to get rich.

                2. You continue to make poorly thought arguments.

                  The USSR was horribly economically inefficient. It survived for 80 years.
                  Standard of living even rose for much of that 80 years.

                  But not nearly so much as it did where there was even an approximation of free markets.

                  The CCP survived for about 50 years under Mao, not advancing at all. But with his death and the adoption of SOME free market principles China’s standard of living has increased dramatically.

                  Quasi Socialist nations of Europe have not Failed, But they have fallen behind less socialist countries to such an extent that pretty much all have moved away from socialism to the extent possible such that many are now more free and more .

                  In the US during Slavery the South fell to 1/10th the GDP of the North by the time of the Civil war.

                  Sure someone somewhere “profited” from Slavery, Absolutely no one would own slaves if they knew they were losing money.

                  But it was Inefficient – real profits were low, given the capital costs involved.

                  Socialist economic systems, Slave based economies – which are just a permutation of Socialism, and free markets are NOT the same.

                  Just like Socialist systems – a tiny number of people did moderately well under Slavery. But even the Wealthy did not do as well as they should have.

                  Post Mao Deng Xio Ping traveled to western nations, when he came back he noted that he the premier of China the top of the economic pyramid in China did not live as well overall as the “middle Class” in free market countries.

                  Economics is not binary. Slavery is not a total failure, nor is socialism. But both are less efficient than free markets for the same reason, and therefore improvements in standard of living are much slower. They are “less efficient”

                  Myriads of people are bitching about the “biden economy” – it is not a total disaster, we have inflation, that is bad, but not fatal, We are entering a recession, there are many bad things happening. But even if nothing changes it STILL will not be as bad as socialism or as the economy 1000 years ago. But it is much worse than the Trump economy or even the Bush or Obama economy. It likely will be the worst economy we have seen since the great depression.

                  You are making Binary claims against arguments that are not binary.

                3. Slaveholders enslaved people because they THOUGHT it was beneficial.

                  Socialist enslave people because they THINK it is beneficial.

                  1. You think you know better than they did what the income from and costs of their slaves were?

                    Slaveholders fought a war to maintain their ability to enslave people.

                    1. Again you make everything about what is in someone else’s head.

                      I have no idea what slave owners did or did not know.
                      I do not pretend to know what motivated them.
                      I do not waste time trying to get inside other peoples heads.,.

                      I do know that based on FACTS slavery is economically inefficient.
                      I have provided some of those facts.

                      We are focused on the pre-civil war US – but slavery has not been very economically efficient anywhere.

                    2. Nazi’s fought to be able to continue to murder Jews,
                      yet it is indisputable that the economy of the West completely crushed that of Germany.

                      Just because someone fights for something does not make it good or profitable enough to justify the fight.

                      I would further note that the South suffered from sunk costs.
                      A common economic fallacy.

        2. Your point? Should the nation not have been created? Would you prefer a leftist country in its place? Which one is your first choice? The nation of Lenin, Hitler, or Mao?

          You live in a dream world. You should ask Disney for a home in one of his theme parks.

        3. So?

          Things are never perfect. We can only strive to make them better while you strive for the perfect which destroys the good.

          You lack historical context. That makes your comments worthless.

    2. What a fool.

      Name another power where the average citizen has as many rights and has a full belly as well.

      Can’t deal with your type of foolishness.

    3. Jeff, posted twice on July 5. Once in response to your post of July 5 8:42. No reply from you. You mad at me?
      On an unrelated theme (not really) Kamala was in my neighborhood yesterday (actually 3 blocks from my home) commenting on the July 4th shooting. I was there at the parade. It was awful. That same weekend 60 shot, 10 dead in Chicago. The majority of the victims were minorities. To my knowledge, all of the Highland Park victims were white. Sounds racist to me for the V.P only make a special trip to the Chicago area when white people lose their lives to gun violence. She should have a flight scheduled for every Monday to address the violence in Chicago. What happened in Highland Park was atypical. What happened in Chicago was business as usual.

      1. Paul,

        No, I’m no mad at you. I thought I replied to all your posts. I know you were at the parade. I asked you what were the odds that a mass shooting would occur in Highland Park?

        Kamala maybe many things, but a racist she is not. As for the gun violence, some people just like the thug life as do many Italians like “our thing.” Lots of quick money, but lots of killings. Go figure.

        1. Jeff, you of all people should recognize the sarcasm in the Kamala reference. However, Corey Brooks, ” the rooftop pastor” who is Black made a similar suggestion to Kamala as mine. Not to come every week. But maybe just once.
          I must have missed your reply.
          As far as odds, a million to one. I must admit, that given the fact that it was the 4th of July and fireworks are common, many of those who I have talked to who were at the parade initially assumed ” the ” pops” were fireworks. I knew they were not. Hundreds of people don’t flee screaming from fireworks.
          Thanks for linking my heritage once again to the to a brutal criminal organization. I truly appreciate it.
          As stated before I am against repealing the 2nd amendment. But something certainly should be done. I don’t have the answer. The recently passed bi- partisan law was a good first step. Not sure if it goes far enough. But enforcing laws currently on the books would be a nice first step.
          For instance, in the aftermath of the recent Chicago Pride parade, 3 people were shot and 3 people were stabbed. The perpetrators were all in custody. Soros sponsored P.O.S
          Cook County D.A Foxx declined to press felony charges against any of them. Not comparing this to a mass shooting, but where is the justice for those to whom this senseless violence was committed?
          Won the bet on the Avalanche. I can pay for a really good bottle of wine if you come.
          You will be safe. The odds on another mass shooting in Highland Park are 10 million to one.

          1. Paul,

            I like those odds!

            I hope the Feds dump alot of money into background checks and mental health and Red Flag laws. When those measures do not stem the tide of mass killings, we can try something else. Bill Maher had this to say:

            https://youtu.be/Ebg2YnBj9II

            I agree. I don’t watch nor enjoy such gratuitous violence. I watch classic movies, e.g., “A Face in the Crowd,” which presaged Trumpism back in the 1950’s. You should watch it.

            The solution to gun violence is strictly rationing bullets. Does the Constitution prohibit regulating bullets? Did the framers traditionally buy hundreds of musket balls on an individual basis?

            Tax bullets heavily to pay for crime prevention, funding armed guards at every school, and to compensate victims of gun violence.

            1. Jeff, I agree. And I do watch classic movies all of the time. Although for the first time in about a decade my wife and I actually went to a movie theatre. Saw Top Gun/ Maverick. On Sunday. Wanted to enjoy the summer weather and walk around downtown Highland Park. Right past the building of the shooter’s perch. Our walks will never feel the same.
              Stay safe.

              1. Paul,

                You should feel safe in Highland Park. What are the chances that lightning strikes twice in the same spot. It’s the rest of us that have to duck and cover whenever we hear what sounds like gun blasts.

  15. “The problem is the Constitution it enslaved us.” Who was that speaking Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Castro? I forget which one of those salt of the earth guys would say that? Only a stone cold communist would feel that way.

  16. “This is us. This is 100% us, and it’s because we are essentially slaves to a document that was written more than 230 years ago by a tiny group of white slave-owning men.”

    Nothing I need to add here, of course, all of them weren’t slave-owning, just the majority, those that weren’t made the concessions needed to make the slave-owners happy. “Originalism” ensures we never stray too far from those ideals.

    1. Not so Enigma:

      Slavery WAS legal, not well-subscribed, practiced on every continent and black, brown and red men were engaged in its trade at every step. Especially the red man. They absolutely loved it.

      If you wanna whine about the past EVERY DAY at least get the players and topic right. You hate the country, humanity, history .., okay, duly noted. You’re miserable, racist and wordy … very wordy … so be it. We got your one trick schtick. Nothing really more to see.

      1. Besides your diatribe about me personally, what part was not so? Certainly the Constitution was written by a bunch of mostly slave-owning white men. That part is undeniably so. Those that didn’t own slaves made concessions so the document would be acceptable to those that did. Undeniably so, Originalism keeps those ideals intact. What part is “not so!” It may not be convenient or be something you want to be reminded of, but it is definitely so.

    2. Enigma… slavery was abolished here but still exists across the world. If you think you are enslaved, go check out those countries … and get educated.

        1. Yes it does. YOU are a slave to the Government. Pretty soon they will take your WHOLE paycheck to pay others who don’t work. YOU voted for that.

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