“… the Constitution is not a living, breathing document, it is to be interpreted as originally meant.” – Marco Rubio
I have an iPhone. While I’m certainly not a technical wizard, I understand why I get the annoying notifications letting me know the phone is in need of an update. At some point in the not-so-distant past, an Apple programmer wrote some piece of code that was a really good idea at the time and may have been perfectly suited for the environment at the time it was created.
However, the world changes and the chances are that whatever piece of code that was brilliantly constructed on a Monday has become somewhat obsolete by Tuesday. That’s the reality of the digital age. Updates are needed. Bugs are fixed. Angry Birds shuts down due to an unexpected error. That kind of chaos is totally unacceptable.
On June 21, 1788 the U.S. Constitution was ratified. This is the most important piece of coding in American history. The wording and structure were scrutinized, debated, modified, and eventually accepted. After multiple drafts had been created, the words had been put to paper and accepted as the keystone document for the government of the United States. The words, like the document’s creators, were flawed. They are still flawed. But the brilliance of the document is that those who created it realized this and worked in a way for the operating system to be updated, albeit not easily or often.
Thus, I’m a bit mystified when I hear politicians (or Supreme Court Justices) make statements asserting that the U.S. Constitution is not a living document that can be modified. Certainly, changes should not be taken lightly, but they can be considered. The founding fathers worked in some subtle hints as to this ability. Now, I’m not talking about some hidden Da Vinci Code symbolism or paragraphs penned with invisible ink. I’m talking about those little things titled AMENDMENTS. Yeah. Those. You see, I’m of the opinion that those modifications have done some good. The abolition of slavery: Good. Women’s suffrage: Good. Prohibition: Not so good. The end of Prohibition: I’ll drink to that!
Yet, there are some politicians on both sides of the aisle who pretend Amendments do not exist – until a proposed Amendment is aligned with his or her specific belief. Regardless, the Constitution IS a living, breathing document. In fact it’s a zombie.
It moves forward at a glacial pace and is extremely hard to kill (although many try). But, even zombies change course every once in a while. They turn down this street or that. They adjust their paths and modify their approach. And, like the topic of the Constitution, zombies tend to devour brains. I bet the founding fathers didn’t see THAT comparison coming.
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J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, Chalk’s Outline, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.
An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.
In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered. When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.
And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology