American Tories: Attacking the Founders and the Constitution

Should we acknowledge that the U.S. Constitution is filled with “archaic, idiosyncratic and downright evil provisions,” and “extricat[e] ourselves from constitutional bondage” by cashiering the document?

“As the nation teeters at the edge of fiscal chaos, observers are reaching the conclusion that the American system of government is broken,” argues Louis Michael Seidman, tasked with teaching constitutional law at the Georgetown University Law Center . And the Constitution, he asserts, is largely to blame.

The Constitution, he writes, was adopted by a “group of white propertied men who have been dead for two centuries, knew nothing of our present situation . . . and thought it was fine to own slaves.” The Framers acted illegally in drafting the Constitution because they exceeded their power. Moreover, “[n]o sooner was the Constitution in place than our leaders began ignoring it.” And ignoring it is often a good thing: FDR did it for example, and so did the Supreme Court when it banned school segregation.

Besides, “much constitutional language is broad enough to encompass an almost infinitely wide range of positions.” And while we should keep some parts of the Constitution—like regular elections and freedom of speech—the rest gets in the way of leaders who make considered judgments on the merits. We need to rely on other sources of legitimacy, he concludes, moving to an “unwritten constitution,” like that of Britain.

That such a judgment was rendered is less shocking than who rendered it. The judgment is not unique because there always have been American Tories—people who chafe at restraints on central power and would prefer a British-style government. In recent years, as political “progressives” have gradually lost the scholarly battle over constitutional interpretation, some have stopped pretending the Constitution means whatever they want it to, and have begun to trash the document itself. A controversial example was the Time Magazine cover essay of June 23, 2011. (See my response to that article here.)

But the source of the claim is more shocking, because it comes from one who has taught constitutional law for 40 years. And who should know better.

Did the Constitution cause our present “fiscal chaos?” Quite the contrary. The crisis has arisen not because we followed the Constitution, but because we have allowed federal officials to ignore it.

Read more from this story HERE.

  • Barry_Suxx

    If I was one of these so-called ‘College Professors’, I’d fire myself and move to Cuba.

    If Anyone Does NOT wish to uphold and embrace OUR Constitution, don’t expect US to let You change it ‘to suit your whims’; but rather GTF OUT Of Here and LEAVE US instead. Go live in some country that embraces Your Commie notions! (DickBerts)

  • DrAnalog

    These ‘Professors’ are basically traitors. Our Universities today are stacked with so called educators that are nothing but Communists.

  • claims1

    Professor Seidman has succeeded in capturing the media spotlight, with a subject which should be moot. Of course the founders were “white propertied men”, who had only recently existed under the hard, tyrannical hand of King George. If Professor Seidman, and his socialist compatriots, refuse to acknowledge the reason for the framing of our Declaration of Independence, and our United States Constitution, then certainly it must appear to be a somewhat useless document. Sadly, most of our recent graduates, college and high schools, have had little, if any, exposure to these documents. Be very wary of the Professor Seidmans!!

  • Popo2

    Better we ban ultra-liberal professors from (mis)”teaching” Constitutional law.


    Yet when these people are sworn into office they give their oath to uphold the constitution yet no one holds them to their oath.

  • m123s

    Mayer Amschel Rothschild in 1790 stated: “Let me issue and control a nations currency and I care not who writes the law.” Article 1, Section 8 in the U.S.Constitution has been transferred to Treasury – which is now a part of the Dictatorship. All professional debates are a cover, to keep people believing in Three Branches.