Oh, please, elucidate. Enlighten and inspire me all at once!
While I know that this was phrased in a sarcastic mien, I am still willing to take his challenge. Let's take these a bite at a time. First:
It was “activist” judges who installed Bush as president.Sorry Mark, but you are a victim of the corporate newsrooms who hide the real information from you in order to obey their masters who control all of our information. Your statement is partly true, in that it was the "activist" Florida Supreme Court that ruled that a statute governing when the election was to be declared didn't mean what it said. If they would have followed the clear law, there would not have been a need to go to the SCOTUS. Even there, the original ruling was 7-2 that the method of counting votes used by Florida was unconstitutional. The 5-4 ruling was whether or not to stop the unconstitutional counting. Your example demonstrated your point, but not in the way that you meant. It was the rejection of activism that disregarded the law that allowed Bush to retain his majority.
Next you said:
This notion that the constitution is a static document that spells out how cases should be determined is utter fantasy. The constitution is a broad outline with a great deal of room for nuance and legitimate disagreement.The Constitution is the framework under which we have agreed to organize limited government for assistance in our affairs. To call it a living document is the same as saying that the wood that makes up the frame of a house is "living." Law provides its benefit by giving us a sense of certainty. If you go to a lawyer for advice, he or she may tell you that the law is clear, and that you will prevail or not. But if the law is nothing but nuance, everything becomes subject to litigation. And even if you lose, applying nuance would get you into the Supreme Court where the adverse ruling could be overturned. Of course, if you win, the other side could also apply nuance which would get you into the Supreme Court where the adverse ruling could be overturned. In other words, everything has to go to the Supreme Court for final determination, which just bogs down the Supreme Court, and provides no guidance on what the state of the law is except moment to moment.
Applyng Obama's criteria of "empathy" to judging reduces all of the cases to passion plays. And with your background, I am surprised that you don't realize that the wealthy litigants would have the better supply of assets to sway the judge with emotional tugs at their heartstrings.
Next you said:
Furthermore the founders were far from infallible (slavery, women voting, electoral college, appointment of senators).You are right that the Founders were far from perfect. No human endeavor is ever perfect. But what the Founding Fathers were was incredible. They managed to take 18th Century concepts and used them to create the most incredible document for self governance ever devised. And the most amazing thing is that they created the ability to modify it (slavery, women voting, appointment of senators for example). If you demand perfection, you will achieve it in that you will be perfectly disappointed.
On top of that, societal values change - people are more accepting of gays now than ever before in history, and that should be reflected in court rulings.Yes, American societal values change, but that doesn't mean that the courts are the way to affect change. In fact, the activism of the California Supreme Court led to Proposition 8, which has set back acceptance of gay marriage by at least 15 years. Your lack of willingness to consider the legislative route to societal change reflects poorly on your belief in the essential ability of citizens to respond to societal changes.
I hope that you will consider these points, and if I am wrong, I am willing to listen. But don't rely on common leftist dogma, use facts and real argument.