from the New York Sun:
As President Trump and Speaker Pelosi retreat to their corners for Christmas, we find ourselves thinking of the gift of the Constitution. It was ten years ago that the Sun started writing about America’s “constitutional moment.” We had just brought out — as “The Citizen’s Constitution” — our annotated guide to the national parchment. It was animated by a sense that our politics had become so divided, so bitter, that our factions would end up fighting ever more battles on America’s legal bedrock.
What an understatement that turned out to be. Who could have imagined how ubiquitous the resort to the Constitution would become in our everyday politics. When we started writing about the “constitutional moment,” the soothing years of George W. Bush had just ended, and the mellifluous years of Barack Obama were just beginning. President Trump hadn’t even fetched up on the scope. Now almost everything, including junior high school bathrooms, becomes a constitutional test.
Today the courts — and if not the courts then our editorial pages and political debates — are crowded with constitutional cases. Immigration, the president’s hotel business, who decides whether to demote a Navy enlisted man, who gets to see the president’s tax returns, the rules of impeachment, whether a state can prosecute a president for a crime, whether religious druggists have to fill prescriptions for birth control . . . the list goes on at a dizzying pace.
When we started writing of the “constitutional moment,” it was the Republicans who seemed to be thinking in constitutional terms. The Supreme Court had just handed down its opinion on whether the Columbia District could prohibit a retired security guard, Dick Heller, from keeping a loaded gun at home. The Nine parsed the grammar of the 2nd Amendment to mark that the right to keep and bear arms belonged not merely to the militias but to the people.