Even people who favor big government get upset when the government expands its own power in ways they don’t like.

One of the first articles I wrote for the Constitution 101 series was titled “Living and Breathing Is the Same as Dead.” It makes the fundamental point that if the government can interpret and apply the Constitution in such a way that it expands its own power, the Constitution itself becomes meaningless. You can’t have “rule of law” when the “rule of law” is subject to reinterpretation at the whim of government judges, bureaucrats and elected officials. A constitution must mean what it was intended to mean when ratified, or it’s really pointless to have one.

Big government proponents (on both the left and the right) have pushed this notion of a “living breathing” Constitution for decades in order to further their own policy agendas. Well, some folks in Florida recently got a nasty dose of their own medicine when a state judge essentially said city governments get to interpret statutes as they see fit.

While this wasn’t a constitutional issue, it illustrates the danger of “living breathing law.” In this episode of Thoughts from Maharrey Head, I talk about it.


Thoughts from Maharrey Head focuses on constitutional issues and political decentralization. When you’re finished listening, you’ll be 10 minutes closer to freedom!

You can subscribe to Thoughts from Maharrey Head for free on iTunes. Just click HERE.


Constitutional Interpretation – Living and Breathing is Dead

Free E-Book: The Power of No!: The Historical and Constitutional Basis for State Nullification

The Evolution of Sovereignty in American Political Thought – Part 1

The Evolution of Sovereignty in American Political Thought: States’ Rights

Mike Maharrey

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