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I Don’t Think the 8th Amendment Means What You Think It Means

Posts on Supreme Court cases will likely be few and far between here as 1) I’m not a lawyer; and 2) I can only bullshit so much. But the ruling this morning had me pretty frazzled.

In the case of Kennedy vs. Louisiana, the Supreme Court ruled that the rape of a child should never require the death penalty. Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion limits the death penalty to crimes involving acts that intend to cause death and in fact do so. He uses the 8th amendment as a means to support his argument, stating that in this case, the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment.

But constitutionally speaking, did Kennedy and the majority get it right?

Simple answer. No.

The fact of the matter is that the 8th amendment speaks only to the punishment, not the crime. As in, is the punishment itself cruel and unusual? Now if the question was to whether Louisiana had started using stoning, quartering or death by laxative overdose as a means of punishment, Kennedy may have a point. But it wasn’t.

Unfortunately, we’re once again stuck with a Supreme Court who feels the need to encourage messing with the intent of the Founders. Justice Kennedy, let the United States be what it was intended to be, a nation based on federalism. Let the states decide how to respond to the crimes committed within their borders.

And please, stop working outside your job description.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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