One of the myths about the Constitution is that The Federalist Papers are a commentary, like Matthew Henry’s, on the Constitution. They are not. They are simply and only a passionate written argument in favor of ratification of the Constitution.
That doesn’t mean that they are not without merit and not without lessons for us today. They do give us insight into the understanding of the document which the Framers – at least those in favor of ratification – held of the government plan which they had created.
To that end, they are not only important, but they are required study for anyone who seeks a serious understanding of the Constitution of The United States.
Which is why my ears picked up when I heard questions directed to Judge Kavanaugh yesterday regarding not just his personal favorite Federalist Papers (which did not include my personal favorite), but also his explanation of how Federalist 51 has impacted his personal Judicial philosophy.
Federalist 51, most famous for one particular phrase, reminds us of some very important ideas about the structure of our Government, many of which have been diluted and dissipated through the years. But Judge Kavanaugh has been very active during his time on the Federal bench in opposing that dilution. A fact that has not gone unnoticed by those paying close attention to the things that really matter rather than those protesting the things that really don’t matter as much as they would want hem to matter.
The bigger question that should come out of Judge Kavanah’s answer is why is it that we have gotten so far away from the ideas and constructs that were established? and why then is it such a problem for some that a Justice Kavanaugh looks like he would seek a return to the separation of powers and unbalanced system the Framers intended?
Ay, there’s the rub…