William Rehnquist could barely disguisernhis disgust:rnThe Court holds that New Yorkrnmay not use its police power to legislaternin the interests of its conceptrnof the public morality’ as it pertainsrnto minors . . . There comes a pointrnwhen endless and ill-consideredrnextension of principles originallyrnformulated in quite different casesrnproduces such an indefensible resultrnthat no logic chopping canrnpossibly make the fallacy of the resultrnmore obvious.rnNor was this all. Whatever remainedrnof judicial support for the commitmentrnto the marriage contract disappeared inrnMoore v. East Cleveland (1977). “A couplernand their dependent children” saidrnthe Moore majority, are merely an “arbitraryrnboundarv’—the boundary of the nuclearrnfamily.” By weakening the culture,rnthe Court fueled the expensive andrncounterproductive programs of thernGreat Societ)’.rnIn its primary sense, “promiscuity”rnmeans the disposition to give in to “allrnour impulses” whether good or bad. It isrna reversal of the civilizing process and,rnsince surrendering to impulse cannot bernconfined to sexuality, has consequencesrnon a number of levels. To many a kid,rnadults notorious for breaking the SixthrnCommandment, whether parents orrnpresidents, are just self-absorbed adultsrnnotorious for breaking Commandments.rnHow else could today’s problem of sornmany kids withovit role models have developed?rnThe murderous outbursts byrnchildren, unlike anything known in priorrntimes, and the remorselessness of youthfulrnpredators, are manifestations of arnpromiscnit}’ which has advanced to thernnext stage.rnTo understand the Court’s role in derailingrnour culture, consider the argumentsrnof those who contend that therninterpretation of text should be approachedrnfrom the point of view of thernreader, rather than that of the authors.rn”Some interpretative perspective,” saysrnDuke Uniersity Professor Stanley Fish,rninventor of the reader-response theory ofrninterpretation, “will always rule by virtuernof having won out over its competitors.”rnIn some applicahons, Professor Fish’srnobservation may not be wrong. In construingrnthe message of revelational or poeticalrntext —cases where the author isrndeemed a mere conduit for thoughts inspiredrnby a higher power—large aggregationsrnof various faithful have longrnclaimed the right to approach it fromrntheir own vantage point. But the way inrnwhich a whole society approaches the interpretationrnof a constitution, expressingrnas it does the conclusions of a conventionrnof delegates, must be different. YetrnJustice Harlan recognized no difference.rnWhat mattered in interpreting constitutionalrnprovisions, he said in Poe, was “notrntheir text. .. not the statement itself “rnSurely, Justice Harlan was wrong.rnA written constitution does not ceasernto be a memorandum of what the peoplernconsented to, merely because time hasrnpassed. Nor are justices released fromrntheir oaths to uphold this compact,rnmerely because the founding generationrnis dead. Ours is a living constitution becausernit applies to new situations that arernwithin the contemplation of its clear provisionsrnand because it can always be updatedrnwith amendments. But it is not arnliving document in the sense that somernprovisions “grow,” while others “whither,”rnaccording to the whim of the currentrnCourt.rnCan the judicial veto, a power whichrnthe delegates in Philadelphia in 1787rnpointedly refused to create, be safely ignored,rnsince recently the Court hasrnseemed a bit more respectful of democraticrndecision-making? I think not.rnOn issues of policy, experience hasrnshown that the breadth of the legislativernhall provides far greater wisdom — andrnfar less risk of locking us into a foolish positionrn—than the narrowness of the courtroom.rnAs long as the judicial veto is not repudiated,rnthere is a temptation to use it. AsrnJustice Black warned in Adamson v. California:rn[This] formula . . . has been usedrnin the past, and can be used in thernfuture, to license this c o u r t . . . tornroam at large in the broad expansesrnof policy and morals… a responsibilityrnwhich the constitution entrustsrnto the legislative representativesrnof the people.rnIf, as I believe, bad judgment, not badrnfaith, is the culprit, it should be possiblernto reclaim the Constitution’s limits onrnjudicial review simply by adding a couplernof definitions to the Constitution:rnLiberty, as used in this Constitution,rnmeans liberty in a social organizationrnwhich requires the protectionrnof law against the evils whichrnmenace the health, safet)’, morals,rnand welfare of the people.rnThe test for what is arbitrary orrnpurposeless in the review of such arnlaw is not whether the Judiciary’ approvesrnthe law, but whether a reasonablernlegislature could have believedrnthat it tended, from anyrnpoint of view or in any degree, tornpromote the people’s health, safety,rnmorals, or welfare.rnWith these additions, we would restorernthe legislature as the policy-makingrndepartment of government and helprnconvince the American people that thernvotes that they cast for their elected representativesrnare not futile.rnGeorge Ward is the chief assistantrnprosecuting attorney for Wayne County,rnMichigan. This article is drawn fromrnhis forthcoming book, Liberty and Law:rnThe Culture, the Court, and the Consentrnof the Coverned.rnLegislative Tyrannyrnin Massachusettsrnby Eugene NarrettrnAdog’s obeyed in office,” and thernpower of the welfare state to grabrnyour money, property, health, and —rnthrough “no-fault” divorce—your children,rntoo, is already bad enough. Now itrnis getting worse, via the usurpation ofrnpunitive court prerogatives by bureaucratsrnwhose sole purpose is “revenue enhancement”rnand the growth of the state.rnThe case in point here is Massachusetts,rnwhere social-service “providers” and “caregivers”rnincreasingly assume the task ofrnfleecing and/or jailing taxpaying citizens.rnArmed with legal immunity, bureaucratsrnare winning the right to fine, incarcerate,rnhospitalize, and drug people atrnwhim, subsidizing these depredationsrnwith tax and insurance monies. Take,rnfor example, section 12, as it is commonlyrnknown, a Massachusetts statute. Enactedrnin 1970, section 12 enables a psychiatristrnto have a citizen incarcerated forrnten days if the doctor believes that “seriousrnharm” might otherwise ensue. Thisrnstandard may be variously defined orrnmerely indicated by check marks on arnMAY 1999/47rnrnrn