“The words in the Constitution are ‘cruel and unusual.’ Those are the words. It doesn’t talk about the death penalty. It’s embodying certain values.” So says Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, explaining why he thinks capital punishment might be unconstitutional.
That these remarks have not become a national scandal is a testament to the success that Breyer, his liberal colleagues and their predecessors have had in deconstructing the Constitution. Anymore, a direct contradiction of what that document actually says is simply taken to be an alternative school of constitutional theory.