Why law professors don’t tell us much about our Constitution


Mike Maharrey
August 23, 2013

Lysander Spooner was a 19th century anarchist and staunch abolitionist.

Every once in a while I run into those who’ve given up on the constitutional system in America. They argue that the whole thing suffers from fatal flaws, and they will often quote Spooner to make their case.

“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain — that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.”

I understand the frustration, but I think those who make this argument miss an important point. They almost act as if the Constitution should enforce itself, or self-execute. They seem to think that because waving the document in front of rogue federal officials fails to compel them to stop usurping power, we should simply abandon the constitutional system altogether. But a contract doesn’t enforce itself. Some power must stand behind the ink and parchment to ensure compliance with its terms.

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  • Rich Jackson

    Back in the ’80’s, my Con Law professor actually said the 10th Amendment was “just rhetoric.” Unbelievable! in his eyes, a vital check on unlimited Federal power is mere verbiage and of no import. It’s really how they all think.

  • Benjamin

    The Constitution was designed to keep ordinary people out of the political process and make it easy for the rich to control. It’s very hard to bribe and entire population but very easy to bribe a few hundred people who all convene in the same building. The “mob rule” that the founders feared is the true solution to the problems the founders created.