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The Hughes Report
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Obama's View of the Constitution
Topic: Democrat Watch
In a 2001 interview with WBEZ-FM radio (PBS), Barack Obama, who has been a lecturer in constitutional law and a constitutional lawyer, inadvertently gave a glimpse of his real opinion of the Constitution:

"If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court-focused, I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.

"I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn’t structured that way."

In other words, Obama's study of the Constitution has focused on how it can be used, in conjunction with the Supreme Court and civil rights activism, to redistribute wealth and power in U.S. society to the lower classes (those least educated, least accomplished, least self-reliant, and most dependent on government).  The only problem with the Warren Court, infamous for its judicial activism and twisting of the Constitution to create new law, is (to paraphrase domestic terrorist William Ayres) "I wish they had done more."  Obama who, if elected, may appoint as many as three new Supreme Court justices, would like to see the Court "break free" of the "constraints" of the Founding Fathers, and the original intent of the laws, even more than did the Warren Court.  He characterizes the Constitution as a set of "negative liberties," outlining "what the states [and the State] can't do," when in truth the bulk of the Constitution outlines the nature of our government, and the Bill of Rights is an absolutely positive decree of our rights as citizens which cannot be alienated from us.  Obama looks instead for a socialist expansion of government powers to recreate society by redistributing wealth and the creation of special rights for select constituencies.

For a brief history of Supreme Court activism that has already changed the meaning of our Constitution, download:

Posted by hughes at 11:28 AM CDT

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