Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson explained to conservative columnist George Will Sunday that the Constitution is not an “anti-evolutionary device.”
“There’s a retrospective cast naturally built into our politics, but what has happened today is a large number of Americans, this one included, believe that the somewhat promiscuous expansion of government power in recent years, raises questions about whether we still have a government of limited, delegated and enumerative powers,” Will told ABC’s Christiane Amanpour during a discussion about whether the Constitution was still valid.
“Wow, I think this retrospective cast that George Will refers to is absolutely right,” Dyson replied. “But there are some gaps, some holes, gulfs, abysses. You read the Constitution and the Congress but ‘Oops, I forgot the part about slavery.’ You talk about women and people of color who have been distorted, relegated to the margins and all together seen as marginalia. I think the Constitution is a powerful, living, vibrant document. I think it’s been hijacked by people with narrow, vicious and parochial visions.”
He continued: “I think the assertion that we, of all people, this generation is somehow vulnerable to rebuff the Constitution is like a regalian problem: You think that your generation is the greatest generation and the apotheosis of history finds its resting place point in you. Slow down. The point is the Constitution is it’s durable, it’s powerful. Because of its flexibility, black people and others are able to argue their way into an American identity in a vision for democracy that initially they were barred from, so I think that it’s powerful.”
“To say the Constitution is a living, evolving document as you did, is almost oxymoronic,” Will argued. “A constitution is supposed to freeze things. It is an anti-evolutionary device as Justice Scalia said. It is intended to put certain things beyond the reach of transient majorities.”
“That’s all great on paper, which is where it’s written,” Dyson shot back. “When it makes the transition from parchment to pavement, there again is the rub. The reality is when I talk about the document being living and vital, I’m talking about the interpretation of it. I’m talking about the meaning of it.”
Watch this video from ABC’s This Week, broadcast July 3, 2011.
WATCH: John Oliver exposes Trump’s lies about vote-by-mail — and the Fox News ‘cult’ claiming the election is already ‘rigged’
"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's main story Sunday refuted President Donald Trump's latest crusade against vote-by-mail. Trump announced on Twitter that the more people who vote in an election, the more Republicans tend to lose. So, he wants fewer people to have access to the ballot in November, even if people are too scared to go out during the coronavirus crisis.
Oliver called out Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO), who outright told people not to vote if they were too afraid to vote in the local elections next week.
"Well, hold on there," Oliver interjected. "Voting is a right. It has to be easy to understand and accessible to anyone."
John Oliver rips Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for urging ‘order’ from people of color — but never demanding it of police
John Oliver opened his Sunday show, shredding Fox News host Tucker Carlson for uring "order" among protesters, but refusing to urge "order" to police and "wannabe police" who can't stop killing people.
It's a lot, Oliver explained. "How these protests are a response to a legacy of police misconduct, both in Minneapolis and the nation at large and how that misconduct is, itself, built on a legacy of white supremacy that prioritizes the comfort of white Americans over the safety of people of color."
While some of it is complicated, Oliver conceded, most of it is "all too clear."
Cars set on fire blocks from White House as DC protests turn violent
The Washington, D.C. protests turned violent as the city approached the 11 p.m. curfew the mayor instituted Sunday afternoon.
The policy of D.C. police is that when they are attacked, they advance forward. So, when fireworks were fired, the line of officers began pushing the protesters back further from the White House. Behind the line of police officers also stand a line of National Guard troops that President Donald Trump has demanded stand watch in the city.
Lights that normally shine on the White House have also been turned off, reporters revealed.