Constitution "Optional"

By Gabriel "Scooter" Schaefer

In a few weeks Obama's judicial nominee Elena Kagan will face the Senate Judiciary Committee and the American people in her nomination process to serve on the Supreme Court. As members of both parties draw their battle lines and rehearse their talking points in preparation for the hearings, conservatives are missing a clear opportunity to activate the American people in opposition to a global activist who will bring a Constitution "optional" judicial philosophy to the High Court.

If fiscal irresponsibility on the part of the federal government launched the current Tea Party movement, then disregard for the Constitution has fueled its flames. After all, it was an act of civil disobedience in Boston Harbor that would ignite a fire in the colonies and decades later culminate into a newly formed nation with a Constitution that would protect against the very same tyranny which spawned the original Tea Party.

As an academic, Elena Kagan and many of her elitist colleagues have shown disregard for the principles by which our nation was founded, and the importance of a document intended to restrain government and protect the individual.

In 2006 as Dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan overhauled the curriculum to no longer mandate Constitutional Law as a requirement to graduate; instead, Constitutional Law would be relegated to optional elective status. According to a Harvard press release concerning changes made to the curriculum, "each student will take one of three specially crafted courses introducing global legal systems and concerns - Public International Law, International Economic Law, and Comparative Law."

In the same press release Kagan goes on to explain that changes made will allow students to address "fact-intensive problems as they arise in the world," and to reflect on the "assumptions and methods of contemporary U.S. law and the perspectives provided by other disciplines." Translation: Kagan effectively altered the curriculum at Harvard Law School to focus on international comparative law and issues rather than the traditional Constitutional Law framework which is the basis of our legal system.

Inevitably, Kagan's defenders in academia will point out that the Constitution is applied throughout the curriculum at Harvard and any other school of law and is therefore not needed as a required course of study. However, if you apply the same line of logic to other fields of study, such as American Foreign Policy, or U.S. History, it is easy to understand the significance behind omitting 'American' and 'U.S.' from a course simply because it may be implied.

In the changes she implemented as dean, Kagan advocated the philosophical convergence of the policies and laws of our nation and that of others. And, if the narrative coming out of one of our nations most "prestigious" law schools sounds familiar, look no further than comments made by the President at the recent West Point graduation ceremony. "All hands are required to solve the world's newest threats: terrorism, the spread of nuclear weapons, climate change and feeding and caring for a growing population."

In the past year and a half we have seen a movement spread like wildfire, advocating the simple message of a return to common sense in government. Comparisons to other nations and "perspectives provided by other disciplines" are not needed to restore our government to the way our Founding Fathers intended. Instead we should adhere to the principles that have made our nation great; fiscal responsibility, free markets, individual liberty, and protection from government infringement into our lives, defined by the Constitution.

What the American people must understand is that the fight for restraint in government will not just be won in the halls of Congress, but also in our courts. As a practioner of the current administration and its policies, Kagan will bring to the bench a global perspective on our laws and policies, while applying the Constitution as "optional."

This article was published on Townhall.com on June 8, 2010.
 
 
 
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