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originalism



  • Does Justice Jackson Offer a Path to Defend Rights Through Originalism?

    by Evan Turiano

    Abolitionists and the drafters of the Reconstruction Amendments understood that the legitimacy of broader claims to rights and citizenship depended on making a claim on the purposes set forth for the Constitution. Ketanji Brown Jackson's recent voting rights dissent suggests she hopes to revive that tradition. 


  • Lincoln Would have Had an Answer for the "Originalists"

    by Richard Striner

    The 16th President looked to the constitutional crises of his time and asked whether the document was created to serve the people or the other way around. Today he might ask the same of the Supreme Court. 



  • What Conservative Justices Get Wrong About the Founders

    by Timothy C. Leech

    It's preposterous to argue that the Founders, men of the Enlightenment generation, would have intended for the constitution they drafted to be immutable and unchanging. 



  • Originalism is Just Selective History

    by David H. Gans

    "This is a Court that insists it is following history and tradition where they lead, while cherry-picking the history it cares about to reach conservative results."



  • On the Historical Dilettantes Practicing Originalism

    by Joshua Zeitz

    "The functional problem with originalism is that it requires a very, very firm grasp of history — a grasp that none of the nine justices, and certainly few of their 20-something law clerks, freshly minted from J.D. programs, possess."



  • Originalism’s Original Sin

    by Adam Shapiro

    Liberal critics should understand the ways that Constitutional originalism's practices of reading and resolving conflicts in the text owes a great deal to biblical literalism. Historians of religion can help understand what's at stake. 



  • Amy Coney Barrett’s Judicial Philosophy Doesn’t Hold Up to Scrutiny

    by Angus King and Heather Cox Richardson

    "To put it bluntly, the whole premise of originalism is nonsense in that it pretends to make the work of the Supreme Court look straightforward and mechanical, like 'calling balls and strikes,' in Justice John Roberts’s famous phase."



  • Amy Coney Barrett’s Philosophy Has Far Worse Roots Than Most Americans Know

    by Simon Gilhooley

    At the core of originalism is a fundamentally conservative effort to limit the possibilities of our constitutional order to the imagination of historical figures from the 18th century, which included racial hierarchy and support for chattel slavery.