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Different Constitutional Interpretations, Essay Example

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Essay

Within the legal community lies many different factions–or thought processes–that involve interpreting the Constitution in different ways. Now as most of the police powers are reserved to the States themselves, it is a false perception that Federal Constitutional law has little to do with even the smallest case in the smallest town in America.

The first Ten Amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, outlines civil liberties afforded to all Americans, with its own Amendment regarding the rights of the accused. The Fifth Amendment can be interpreted in vastly different ways by the Supreme Court, more recently allowing for more liberties for law enforcement.

It is true that warrantless wiretaps are unconstitutional, however when presented to the Supreme Court, this has not been the case–upholding law enforcement’s right to wiretap under certain circumstances that are not clearly outlined. An originalist would see this as inherently unconstitutional–the 5th Amendment clearly protects a citizen against “warrantless search and seizure”. However, things have evolved dramatically since the reign of George W. Bush and the attacks of September 11th, 2001.

Although the Supreme Court leans towards the right anyway, there are some originalists on the Court that should by their beliefs disagree with these wiretaps–however they vote along the party lines they seek to appease. This is another type of judge altogether–the politically affiliated judge. A good example would be the Election of 2000, when Al Gore’s presidency was stolen by the Supreme Court, and handed to Bush.

The progressive judge allows the Constitution to evolve with the times. This is perhaps the most logical–embracing the ambiguity in the Constitution rather than trying to interpret them. Now Supreme Court Justices are not supposed to have any political affiliations–this is clearly not the case when considering both the 2000 Election and the Patriot Act–where Justices voted on Party lines. This forces inconsistencies in important decisions that affect every day life.

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