We know that “progressives” favor what they call “living constitutions,” governing documents that change easily to accommodate the changing tastes of voters. Sometimes they rely on judges to “breathe life” into the Constitution, as the Supreme Court did in 1965’s famous Griswold v. Connecticut.

But some also seem to be rooting for dead constitutions. On Thursday, an NPR interviewer had an interesting idea: “I have to say that when I talk to friends across the country, they look at this system in California and they say: well, why don’t they just throw out this [state] constitution that requires voters to approve everything that they do?” Jeremy Hobson asked Governor Jerry Brown (D).

But Brown seemed to realize he’s stuck living under the document that’s been “perfected” by his progressive predecessors.

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