Accuracy in Media

MSNBC host Katy Tur showed her bias against a conservative, originalist interpretation of the U.S. Constitution by asking whether this interpretation was “appropriate” because Americans have become more liberal.

“Based on where Americans stand on the issues, and Americans have really moved in a much more progressive direction over the years, do you think it’s appropriate to continue to take such a strict, originalist view of the Constitution, given it’s 2018 and not 1776?” Tur asked conservative guest J.D. Vance, a Yale Law School graduate and author of and Hillbilly Elegy. Both Turn and Vance spoke about 1776, however, the U.S. Constitution was not written and signed until 1787, ratified in 1788.

“Well, I don’t know that Americans have become more progressive on everything,” Vance said. “Certainly, times have changed since 1776, but how you interpret the Constitution is ultimately different from what policy preferences you want, and this is a point that conservatives make pretty often about the Supreme Court, that whether you want the laws to move in a progressive or a conservative direction, the Supreme Court is a separate institution with a separate mandate under our constitutional structure.”

Tur said President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had a “much stricter opinion” on issues like abortion, political campaign spending and unions.

“Well, the arc of history has shown that opinions have become more progressive, and even just lately on the issues that are potentially going to become before the court, or issues that have been ruled on relatively recently by the Court, Americans are more progressive,” Tur said. “Look at the polling.”

Tur cited surveys showing most Americans support the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion (even though Gallup, for example, shows that most Americans support restrictions on abortion) and also claimed that a majority want the Supreme Court to set limits on political campaign spending by corporations and unions. Tur didn’t take into consideration that many polls are flawed–including 2016 presidential polling–and that the role of a judge isn’t to judge by polls, simply to interpret laws based on precedents via jurisprudence.

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