Without going into too many details of S. Africa's constitution, since that country is not the point here, it's worth noting that it does guarantee its citizens freedom from discrimination -- including on the basis of sexual orientation, disability or religion -- and freedom of speech. South Africans also have the right to "make decisions concerning reproduction," "form a political party," or "form and join a trade union."
What a better country America would be if only we had the right to speak, worship and freely associate like they let the people in South Africa do. Oh, that's right, we do. It's called the First Amendment. Yes, of course. And then there's the Second Amendment, and so on. And we have a couple dozen anti-discrimination laws on the books, and the Federal Hates Crime bill signed into law by President Obama -- albeit it's a law that basically paves the very slippery road toward making it a crime to have a single thought or belief not in accordance with the super-sanitized, Grade A-approved, politically correct mindset - but hey, it's on the books. And let's not forget the Holy Grail of all rights established by the Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade.
Obviously most of these examples aren't actually in our Constitution, but that's what makes our Constitution so magnificent. It emphasizes the God-given rights of the individual - not the collective rights of certain protected or entitled classes - and it preserves these rights through the sound application and upholding of law (which is the only way freedom and true liberty can exist. Anything less is chaos, and as history shows, most constitutions enacted by nations throughout history have failed precisely and simply because they were not based in sound law, and because they weren't upheld.)
As to her reference to S. Africa's "independent judiciary", I shudder to think what that means. Then again, I shudder a lot lately when I look around in our own country and see our judicial system being overtaken by judicial activists who have no intention of upholding the Constitution or the other laws they swore to obey, but rather are flinging them aside in pursuit of their own political agenda.
If Justice Bader Ginsberg wants to be impressed with the refreshing "newness" of South Africa's constitution, that's her personal prerogative. But as a Supreme Court Justice charged with the solemn task of sustaining American law, her failure to grasp why it's so great that the U.S. Constitution is "old" becomes worrisome. If you tried to count all the constitutions ratified throughout history by countless nations, you wouldn't find one that has lasted as long as America's. There's a reason for that. It's because our Constitution works. Too bad this Supreme Court Justice is not impressed by that. Makes you wonder just how dedicated she is to upholding it.
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