Over the years, we as a culture have expounded much on the impending Zombie Apocalypse.
But one consequence I fear we have not fully appreciated is the effect on the Federal government, specifically our duty to the Supreme Court and Constitutional law. As noted by Justice Scalia, justices and lawmakers should apply the words in the Constitution “as they were understood by the people who wrote and adopted them.” Based on this approach, coined as a “textualist,” if something were illegal or generally unaccepted at the time the Constitution was written, then it should be the same today.
Therefore, anyone who lived in the 1780s is the best judge of how we should be living now. So, when the dead start rising from the graves, we must find those fetid, shambling corpses from that rarefied time to populate our governmental institutions. And not just Zombie James Madison or Zombie Ben Franklin, but even the commoner Zombie John Goodfellow would be better qualified than anyone today, including Justice Scalia, to adjudicate on the Constitution. (But not Zombie Penny Goodwife, who being a woman as well as undead, is unqualified to hold office, vote, or brush her own hair, as that enlightened time informs us.)
It would be a challenge to seat this new Zombie Supreme Court since they would have trouble concentrating on the task at hand, given their unrelenting appetite for brains. They could feast on the brains of the current justices, if only to satisfy their cravings long enough to hear oral arguments. Given the size of Scalia’s head, you’d think there would be ample meat to last for a full session. But given the quality of thought produced by that head, I fear it might be full of helium, or another light gas, and his pumpkin-perfect head would deflate to the size of a plum after the first puncture.