The majority can flower its language all it wants, but in the end, this reference to a national consensus to interpret the Constitution is just a disguised rationale for liberal judicial activism. It's the court's pseudo-intellectual, specious excuse for imposing its own policy judgments on the American people under the cover of interpreting law.
Liberals fashion themselves as protectors of fundamental rights, even as against the "tyranny of the majority." But they only selectively apply that principle, readily dispensing with it when it interferes with their policy preferences.
The Constitution establishes a framework to maximize liberties not by making them absolute, but by pitting competing branches and levels of government against each other and enshrining certain rights and prerogatives that can't be abolished outside of the prescribed constitutional procedures.
If we continue to surrender the more permanent structural framework of the Constitution to the shifting sands of ever-changing national opinions, we'll see our liberty evaporate drip by drip, until we end up like all other great nations preceding us.
But the national consensus analysis, as bad as it is, is symptomatic of the deeper-rooted standard the court insists on invoking with increasing frequency: "the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society."
The very enunciation of such "standards" betrays the majority's abandonment of the Framers' Judeo-Christian-inspired belief in moral absolutes. It mocks the biblical description of man as a fallen creature. It arrogantly presumes -- despite a wealth of objective evidence to the contrary, including the multiplicity of godless atrocities in the 20th century alone -- that we human beings are forever improving on God's moral standards. Of course, that's not difficult to accept if you reject the existence of God.
Are we evolving as a morally mature society when we permit the killing of babies in -- and halfway outside -- the womb? When we permit such obscenely sloppy formulations as "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter"? When we glorify so much else that is abominable in the sight of God?
If we are evolving to the point that, on supposed moral grounds, we won't let sovereign state legislatures sanction execution for a sadistic creature who raped his 8-year-old stepdaughter -- giving her "a laceration to the left wall of her vagina" and "causing her rectum to protrude into the vaginal structure," tearing "her entire perineum from the posterior fourchette to the anus" and requiring emergency surgery -- I weep for all of our children and our society.