a/S369srnOur Constitution and Theirsrnby Stephen B. PresserrnWe here at Chronicles are Constitutional Fundamentalists.rnWe swear allegiance to the Constitution of Hamilton,rnMadison, and Jay, and not the Constitution of Warren,rnBrennan, and Souter. We do not believe that the Constitutionrnis a “living document” that must be altered by successivernSupreme Court justices to keep pace with the times. The Constitutionrnis an expression of timeless truths about men and theirrngovernment, and if it was not ordained by divine providence, itrnwas certainly the product of some of the country’s greatest politicalrnminds. Constitutional change is sometimes necessar)-, ofrncourse, but it should be accomplished through the amendmentrnprocess specified in Article V, not through the whims of transientrnmajorities of nine Law Lords.rnThe Framers of the Constitution, understanding that menrnare fallible, corruptible creatures, set up a structure to balancernpowers in government against each other, the better to counterrntendencies toward self-interest and demagoguery. Thus it isrncrucial that the president, the Congress, and the courts be limitedrnin their roles. It is the role of the president to conduct foreignrnpolicy and to execute the laws passed by Congress, and it isrnthe role of the courts to interpret the Constitution in a mannerrnthat objectively reflects the intention of the Framers and the ratifyingrnconventions of the states. It is emphatically not the role ofrnthe president to make law by executive order, nor is it the role ofrnthe courts to reject federal or state legislation because it does notrnaccord with judges’ personal notions of public policy.rnUnder the Constitution, branches of government are setrnagainst each other: The president and judges are impeachablernand removable by the Congress; the president can veto congressionalrnlegislation; and the courts determine the constitutionalityrnof acts of the legislature or executive. The Framers alsornset up an important second-level check on the inevitablernStephen B. Presser is the Raoul Berger Professor of Legal Historyrnat Northwestern University School of Law and the legal affairsrneditor for Chronicles.rnclirTriici^38 tendencies to abuse and corruption.rnThis was the system of dual sovereignt}’,rnwhereby dre federal governmentrnwas one of limited and enumeratedrnpowers, with the states orrnthe people themselves retaining thernrest. The Framers’ theor’ was thatrnthe primar}’ governments were to bernthe state and local ones, and that thernfederal government should be limitedrnto matters truly national or internationalrnin scope. Thus the federalrngovernment has no business dictating educational, moral, orrneven religious policy for the state and local governments, and itrnis wrong to read the Constitution in a way that permits suchrnusurpations. The Bill of Rights was intended to guard againstrnencroachment by the federal government, and was not to bernused as a tool to reject the efforts of local governments.rnWe believe in the principle of equal justice under the law,rnand we believe that no American should be deprived of life, libert}’,rnor propert)’ without due process or of the pri’ileges and immunitiesrnof United States citizenship because of race, sex, orrnethnic background, and we believe that this was the true intentionrnof the Reconstruction amendments. We believe, however,rnthat the 14th Amendment has been wrongly used by the federalrncourts to take away from the states those powers which rightfullyrnbelong to them.rnWe believe, with the Framers, that each individual has arnspark of divinit)’ within him, but rights cannot be exercisedrnwithout responsibilities, and the communib,’ has a right to selfrulernfree from arbitrar)’ interference by governmental officials.rnWe believe that to depart from Constitutional Fundamentalismrnas it has been here defined is to depart from the principle of thernRule of Law, and to substitute for tried and true maxims of governmentrnthe arbitrar)’ power of the sophister, economist, or calculator.rnBurke was right, and so are we. crncJlsSCoKsrnAfter the Floodrnby Chilton WiUiamson, Jr.rnIn the nearly 11 years since Chronicles took up the issue of virtuallyrnuncontrolled immigration to the United States, a greatrndeal of political and social ground —much of it unrecoverablern—has been lost. Immigrationists don’t claim to have wonrnthe debate on immigration reform, because they haven’t. Asidernfrom writing op-ed pieces, nasty and dishonest reviews of theirrnChilton Williamson, Jr., is the senior editor for books atrnChronicles.rnopponents’ books, and just two full-length works that I can recallrnin behalf of their own crusade, they haven’t even participatedrnin it. Instead, they have chosen to watch cozily from theirrndeck chairs on the beachheads as the foreign tides rolled inrnwhile congratulating one another privately on their easy victor).rnBy the time they come to the belated realization that it is a piranhicrnone, it will be too late for all of us (if it isn’t already), andrneven then they will never acknowledge, not even privately, theirrncatastrophic error.rnJANUARY 2000/1 7rnrnrn