It's a radio interview Obama did in 2001 on Chicago public radio station WBEZ FM, but it's not being covered by the main stream media - and we no longer need to speculate why.
From the article:
"Speaking of the Warren Court its interpretation of the Constitution during the Civil Rights movement, Obama said, "It wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution. At least as it's been interpreted and more important interpreted in the same way that, generally, the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties; says what the states can't do to you, what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the state government or federal government must do on your behalf."
Actually, it does. The federal government must provide for the common defense, a military to provide and ensure National Security. The "essential constraints" placed into the Constitution by the Founding Fathers was to ensure a limited government, not a pervasive and massive federal government providing all things to all people.
Obama laments in the interview that the Warren Supreme Court failed to reinterpret the Constitution to read into it what was not there: Redistribution of wealth for "political and economic justice in this society.""
For all the criticisms from the left about the right 'jumping to conclusions' and with their contortions in trying to defend Obama and his comments, I just don't see any defense to this recording, as there is no misinterpretation of his own, extended, explanation about redistribution.
The man actually believes it's a civil right to take from people who have things and give to people who don't - and to use the force of government to do so. And he seems to believe that this is inherent in the U.S. Constitution. What's also scary, to me, is not just that he believes it and is running on such a platform for the highest office in the country, but that he teaches/taught this as a law professor and the people of this country are embracing it.
Tom at BizzyBlog provides the following transcript:
OBAMA: You know, if you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the courts, I think where it succeeded was to get formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples -- so that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at a lunch counter and order, and as long as I was able to pay for it I'd be OK. But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.
And to that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can't do to you, says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn't shifted. And one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, because the civil rights movement became so court-focused, I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which to bring about redistributive change. And in some ways we still suffer from that.
..... Karen (Caller): The gentleman made the point that the Warren Court wasn't terribly radical with economic changes. My question is it too late for that kind of reparative work economically, and is that the appropriate place for reparative economic work to take place?
Host: You mean the courts?
Karen: The courts, or would it be legislation at this point?
Obama: Maybe I'm showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but I'm not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. Y'know, the institution just isn't structured that way.
You look at very rare examples where during the desegregation era where the court, for example, was willing to, for example, order changes that cost money to local school districts, and the court was very uncomfortable with it. It was hard to manage, it was hard to figure out. You start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues, y'know, in terms of the court monitoring or engaging in a process that essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time.
The court's just not very good at it, and politically it's very hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard. So, I mean, I think that although you can craft theoretical justifications for it legally, y'know I think any three of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts. .....