Originalists vs. "Living Document"ists
Watching Bravo tonight, I found a perfect illustration of the difference between activist judges and constitutionalist judges. From The West Wing episode entitled 'The Short List':
BARTLET:Peyton, do I have the right to put on an ugly plaid jacket and a loud polka-dot tie and walk down Main Street?The problem is, there is no right to put cream in one's coffee. You'd think liberals, of all people, who have no problem eliminating one's right to own a grenade launcher would recognize that.
BARTLET:Where in the Constitution is that right guaranteed?
HARRISON:First Amendment. Freedom of expression.
BARTLET:What about the use of cream in my coffee? Surely, there can be no free speech argument to be made there?
BARTLET:So you have no objection to the state of New Hampshire passing a law banning use of cream in coffee?
HARRISON:I would have strong objection, Mr. President, as I like cream as well, but I would have no Constitutional basis to strike down the law when you brought this case to the Supreme Court.
BARTLET:As I lose the votes of coffee drinkers everywhere.
During World War II, cream and all dairy products were strictly rationed. In short, people were unable to put cream in their coffee, by government order. Are liberals really arguing that government rationing is unconstitutional? They'd have to be, if there is a right to cream in one's coffee.
Just because one should be allowed to do something, and ideally they would, does not mean that action is a right protected by the constitution. If you want a right to put cream in your coffee, then you'd better amend the constitution to protect it. Oh, and find some way to prevent God from wiping out dairy cows the world over—for if He did, it would certainly be ruled unconstitutional by the Ninth Circuit.