Huckabee and the Living Constitution

A friend brought to my attention an interview that Mike Huckabee did with CNN this morning, which is currently available on his website. In the interview, Huckabee calls the Constitution a “living, breathing document,” a phrase that should send shudders down the spine of any conservative concerned about the Supreme Court.

But if you watch the entire interview, it appears as if Huckabee is more clueless when it comes to the Constitution than he is dangerous. He used the phrase in explaining his comments this week that we need to amend the Constitution to please the Almighty (I’m paraphrasing a bit there, I realize). In that context, he explained that the Constitution is intended to be amended through the constitutional process, a correct observation. But in describing that amendment process, he said that the Constitution is a “living breathing document written in order that it could be changed.”

Now I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I prefer to think of the Constitution as a “dead document,” as Justice Scalia describes it. Huckabee’s comments raise questions about whether he understands the Constitution at all, and whether he could be trusted to appoint judges who understand their limited role in our government of separated powers.

Shannen W. Coffin — Shannen W. Coffin is a contributing editor to National Review. He previously served in senior legal positions in the Justice Department and Office of Vice President during the George ...

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