[Ed. – Sure, OK. I’d take this all the way to the end zone, however, and acknowledge that Stevens doesn’t just want to change the meaning of the Constitution. He wants to make America herself impossible, and write the basis of liberty out of our hearts and out of existence entirely.]
But there’s another reason why I applaud Stevens’s position. He seeks to change the meaning of the Constitution the way the founders intended: through the amendment process.
For more than a century, progressives have argued that the Constitution should be seen as a “living and breathing document,” in the words of Al Gore and countless others. What they usually mean is that judges and justices should be free to find new rights that progressives like in its text, from the right to privacy to the unfettered right to abortion. One needn’t be absolutist about this. I do think we have a right to privacy, because I think you can find that right implicit in the First, Second and Fourth Amendments, among other places.
What is ridiculous and despotic is when courts radically reinterpret the text to conform to contemporary norms or fads.