The Founders of the Bill of Rights: Triangulating To Meaning
JMHACLJ at aol.com
JMHACLJ at aol.com
Tue Oct 18 08:55:26 PDT 2005
I am left to wonder a bit by this discussion. Specifically, I am left to
wonder whether why there should be an outright rejection of any search for
meaning for the text of Bill of Right in the arguments of the Antifederalists.
In law school, and in CLEs thereafter, I have peeked at the "Getting to Yes"
book, and taken a course or two on negotiations. And I have spoken with my
share of clients and with some negotiators too.
Ultimately, I have concluded that the negotiators whose efforts produced the
most stable and satisfying outcomes over the long run are those who, while
taking care that their own bottom lines were protected, also looked to the
interests of the opposing or opposite side. Maybe that meant that a wallet was
not as fully padded as it otherwise might have been, or maybe it meant that a
client agency agreed to a term of settlement that would not have been imposed
by a court order.
I wonder whether, no matter how strongly it is felt that the AFs excised
themselves from the process and are not entitled to be consulted on the meaning
of the documents and terms, my crude lessons in negotiation and agreement
suggest, as they certainly do to me, that rejecting that role for the AFs is
about as considered a judgment as rejecting the influential role of gravity on a
space vehicle launch just because the earth does not deliberately participate
in holding things closely against its "sweet flowing breast." Not, of
course, because the AFs were spectacular negotiators, but because Madison and
others might be viewed as having played that role.
In other words, why is it inaccurate to conclude that the meaning of the
text of the first ten amendments, and of the most recent one, be derived by a
kind of triangulation that involves casting about in the minds of principal
architects, such as Madison, for lines of meaning that would placate those AF
concerns about the new Constitution?
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Conlawprof