The subject line says it all.

Plenty for Americans to discuss.

Scalia's legacy? Can Obama get a replacement done before his term is over? What are we looking for as a replacement?

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Obviouslly, it says nothing about abortion, but it does embody abstract concepts like a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So, if the document doesn't offer a direct answer, then they look for words and concepts in the document to apply. What I don't think the justices can do is pretend that the document isn't there when they consider cases brought before it.

What I don't think the justices can do is pretend that the document isn't there when they consider cases brought before it.

Thanks for highlighting the obvious.

Meanwhile, the issue (to me) is about how to interpret the spirit of the constitution without resorting to personal or archaic-literate interpretations of scenarios that could not possibly have been predicted centuries ago. Sure, interpreting spirit can be as speculative as one's extrapolated, literal scripture, but what that means is that there has to be room allowed for judgement, or even common sense. Call it relativist if you will (right, @Davis?).

What does the right to bear arms mean, literally? Grenade and missile launchers?

The conservatives go back to what the Founders meant and intended And they do so by examining contemporaneous documents to discover what the arguments were about THEN and why the Founders wrote the Constitution this way rather than that. The liberals try to imagine what the Founders would mean were they alive TODAY. Which one is more speculative and prone to fanciful interpretation? I think I know.

As far as the right to bear arms, so far the Supreme Court has conservatively looked at what the Right to Bear Arms was for, which was both to fight outside invasion and in an extreme case, for the citizens to defend themselves from their government. This is clear from historical documents from that time.

ALL words are open to interpretation. I don't believe you could point to ANY word that has one single, clear, indisputable meaning. The Second Amendment is an example of a verbal screw-up. They were trying to preserve states' right to form militia - a good thing for its time. They can't POSSIBLY have meant to legalize the insane situation that exists today.

The job of SCOTUS is to work for the people of today - forget the 18th century.

Actually they did mean PRECISELY that an individual's right to keep and bear arms should be preserved.  There's plenty of documentation out there on what their intent was.   Furthermore in other places where 'The People" are mentioned, it's in reference to an individual right.  Here's a site full of quotes from the Federalist papers (as well as other sources) that should show that the founders assumed this right existed and that it wouldn't be questioned.  (The second amendment was not written until after the Federalist papers.)  https://www.thefederalistpapers.org/history/the-founding-fathers-on...

Again - Whatever you THINK they intended 230 years ago, they can't POSSIBLY have meant to legalize the insane situation that exists today.

Yeah, you're right.  There are entire states were law abiding people cannot carry a gun to defend themselves, and that's in spite of the constitutional guarantee.  That's pretty nucking futs.

If you think, instead, that there's some other aspect of today's situation that is insane, then please elucidate.

Yeah, you're right. The thousands upon thousands murdered by guns is a fair price to pay for the 7 who successfully defended themselves from attack.

How about this. Let's not pretend that a reasonable conversation is actually possible on this subject.

I guess with you making up stats like "7", it's not.

I'm certain god and jebus are welcoming his beautiful soul into heaven for hating homosexuals and arguing for executing innocents and  'retards'. Obama should find a conservative liberal and get to work fast.

So Repub candidates had already spoken to each other about this before the debate, and still couldn't get it right. Perhaps a Cruz logjam in the senate would make this a pretty big issue in all primaries.

From ThinkProgress.org:

All six candidates on the debate stage said that the Senate should wait for the next president to confirm a nomination. Donald Trump conceded that if he were president now, he would “certainly” try to name a replacement, but he hopes the Senate will be able to “delay, delay, delay.”

Hmmm, just tried to post a video here... I noticed that Ning subverts my embed code. OK, let's try just a picture, with URL:

https://youtu.be/yiBgvVXw91w

This makes it ever more urgent that the Dems nominate the most electable candidate, NOT necessarily the most progressive candidate. Whether the Supreme Court continues to be somewhat conservative or shifts to the left will likely depend upon whether the next President is a Democrat or Republican.

Also to be borne in mind: the next President might see two more Justices leave the Court, especially if it turns into a two-term presidency.

The import of who is elected President can't be overstated. . 

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