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Keyword: originalism

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  • The Constitution and Original Intent are Still Relevant Today

    10/06/2014 12:17:14 PM PDT · by Academiadotorg · 11 replies
    Accuracy in Academia ^ | October 4, 2014 | Spencer Irvine
    Contrary to the assertions of critics of the original intent approach to the Constitution, super majority rules, such as requiring a two-thirds majority to amend the Constitution, “tend to produce desirable constitutional provisions” such as granting blacks voting rights and women as well, Michael Rappaport, a law professor at the University of San Diego, said recently in remarks at the Cato Institute. Rappaport coauthored the recently released book, Originalism and the Good Constitution, with John McGinnis of Northwestern University’s Law School, who also appeared in the seminar at Cato. McGinnis also noted that the problem with the original Constitution, regarding...
  • Ted Cruz, Originalism, and the “Natural Born Citizen” Requirement

    05/08/2013 8:03:24 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 384 replies
    National Review ^ | 05/08/2013 | Ed Whelan
    In one of my first essays for NRO back in 2005 (“Are You an Originalist?”), I selected the Constitution’s “natural born Citizen” criterion for eligibility to be president—a provision that then seemed at the time to be beyond the distorting effects of political bias—to illustrate that everyone intuitively recognizes the common-sense principle at the heart of the interpretive methodology of originalism: namely, that the meaning of a constitutional provision is to be determined in accordance with the meaning that it bore at the time that it was adopted. The public debate in 2008 over whether John McCain, having been born...
  • Justice Scalia on Restoring the Constitution: "I don't know that I'm optimistic."

    11/08/2012 6:36:21 PM PST · by SC_Pete · 77 replies
    (CNSNews.com) – Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said recently that--"especially after last term"--he does not know if he is confident the Constitution can be restored to its original meaning. He likened his own efforts to do so to the character "Frodo" in the Lord of the Rings, who fights the good fight not certain he will win. While discussing his new book Reading Law at Stanford University on Oct. 19, the Hoover Institution’s Peter Robinson quoted to Scalia a passage from Scalia's book, Reading Law: "Originalism does not always provide an easy answer, or even a clear one. Originalism is...
  • U.S. Supreme Court justice: 'Constitution is a static being'

    02/14/2012 9:08:50 AM PST · by marktwain · 7 replies
    chicagotribune.com ^ | 13 February, 2012 | Alexandra Chachkevitch
    <p>U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Monday touted his approach to interpreting the federal Constitution that focuses on the original intent of the Founding Fathers.</p> <p>Scalia, a former University of Chicago law professor, called the “originalism” method “the lesser evil.”</p>
  • The Anti-Federalists Were Right: Predicting The Most "Arbitrary Government" From The Supreme Court

    08/12/2011 12:57:19 AM PDT · by stevelackner · 15 replies
    STEVELACKNER.COM ^ | August 11, 2011 | Steve W. Lackner
    The Anti-Federalists were those that opposed the ratification of the United States Constitution by their respective State Ratifying Conventions. "Federal Farmer," whose identity is unknown, though scholars have put forward Richard Henry Lee and Melancton Smith as possibilities, wrote essays that were among the more important documents of the constitutional ratification debate. He warned in 1788 in Federal Farmer No. 15 that because "particular circumstances exist at this time to increase our inattention to limiting properly the judicial powers, we may fairly conclude, we are more in danger of sowing the seeds of arbitrary government in this department [of the...
  • The Case For Originalism: Why The Constitution Must Be Interpreted According To Its Original Meaning

    04/27/2011 1:23:13 PM PDT · by stevelackner · 8 replies
    STEVELACKNER.COM ^ | April 27, 2011 | Steve W. Lackner
    Elbridge Gerry said to his colleagues in the First Congress in 1789, "The people of America can never be safe, if...[the federal government has] a right to exercise the power of giving constructions to the constitution different from the original instrument." Interpreting the Constitution according to the original meaning of the provisions therein is today labeled as the philosophy of originalism. It is the only logical and legitimate method of Constitutional interpretation. Early American Constitutional scholar St. George Tucker wrote in 1803, "The advantages of a written constitution, considered as the original contract of society must immediately strike every reflecting...
  • Washington Post's Stuart Taylor’s Surprisingly Weak Case Against Originalism

    07/15/2010 7:26:34 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 2 replies · 1+ views
    National Review ^ | 07/15/2010 | Matthew Franck
    In today’s Washington Post, Stuart Taylor, Jr. argues that originalism is no safeguard against “subjective judicial policymaking.” It is not clear whether he thinks originalism is no better at avoiding subjectivity than alternative modes of jurisprudence–and come to think of it, I’m not even sure whether Taylor regards subjectivity as a problem exactly. But in any event, I think his case is remarkably weak when he elaborates his four reasons not to put much stock in originalism. “First,” he writes, “there has never been a consensus on the original meaning” of some of the clauses of the Constitution, and the...
  • The Loony Liberal (Al Franken speech to American Constitution Society)

    06/23/2010 4:01:27 PM PDT · by BuckeyeTexan · 11 replies
    Times Picayune ^ | 06/23/2010 | Michael Gerson
    (Snip) In the months since his election, the author of "Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot," who has referred to opponents as "human filth," who once accused Ronald Reagan of supporting the torture and rape of nuns, has tried to control his bile addiction, at least in public. Speaking last week to the American Constitution Society, he relapsed. (snip) Franken's speech is worth noting only because it is the purest, most simplistic expression of a liberal argument. "Originalism," he says, "isn't a pillar of our constitutional history. It's a talking point." The real purpose of judicial interpretation, he continues,...
  • Antonin Scalia vs. John Paul Stevens

    01/23/2010 3:00:57 AM PST · by free1977free · 54 replies · 1,478+ views
    Counting the majority opinion and the various partial concurrences and dissents, today’s landmark First Amendment decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission clocks in a hefty 183-pages. But one thing that jumped right out while reading the dissent (it’s also a concurrence, in parts) written by Justice John Paul Stevens and joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor, is Stevens' angry tone. He calls the idea that the First Amendment forbids distinctions between individuals and individuals organized as a corporation “a glittering generality” with no foundation in the law, and later declares, “Under the majority's...
  • Scalia brings original view of justice to Lubbock

    11/15/2008 8:28:40 AM PST · by WestTexasWend · 12 replies · 734+ views
    Lubbock Avalanche-Journal ^ | Saturday, November 15, 2008 | Logan G. Carver
    One of the most controversial justices on the U.S. Supreme Court is sometimes at controversy with himself. Justice Antonin Scalia explained to a large crowd Friday at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center Exhibit Hall how his ardent belief in the quest to interpret the Constitution as its writers intended sometimes puts him at odds with his own personal beliefs. Scalia illustrated his conundrum by pointing to his vote upholding flag burning as a protected means of free speech. "You have a right to express contempt for the country, for the flag, for the government, for the president, for the Supreme...
  • Supreme Court's new tilt could put Scalia on a roll (Poised to lead new conservative majority)

    02/20/2007 1:01:46 AM PST · by RWR8189 · 20 replies · 1,308+ views
    Los Angeles Times ^ | Februrary 20, 2007 | David G. Savage
    WASHINGTON — It has been two decades in the making, but this is the year Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court's most outspoken dissenter, could emerge as a leader of a new conservative majority. Between now and late June, the court is set to hand down decisions in four areas of law — race, religion, abortion regulation and campaign finance — where Scalia's views may now represent the majority. In each of those areas, the retirement of centrist Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and her replacement with Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. figure to tip the court to the right. That...
  • Justice Scalia: Constitution not there for the tinkering

    02/02/2007 5:19:39 PM PST · by Clintonfatigued · 37 replies · 1,108+ views
    The Ontario Daily Bulletin ^ | February 1, 2007 | Will Bigham
    Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Wednesday night explained at length his "originalist" view of the Constitution, disputing the concept that it is a "living document" subject to change in interpretation as time passes. An originalist view of the Constitution, Scalia said in an address at Claremont McKenna College, consists of "taking the text of the Constitution and giving it the meaning it bore when it was written." "Originalism used to be orthodoxy," he said. "Nobody said in the old days, `Oh, the Constitution changes.' The Constitution was a rock to which the society was anchored." Today's Supreme Court, Scalia said,...
  • The Originalist Error

    12/06/2006 1:07:10 PM PST · by janice_vv · 15 replies · 576+ views
    The New English Review ^ | December 2006 | Alykhan Velshi
    "There is no such thing as man in the world. During my life, I have seen Frenchmen, Italians, Russians, etc.; I know, too, thanks to Montesquieu, that one can be a Persian: but as for man, I declare that I have never met him in my life; if he exists, it is unbeknownst to me."— Count Joseph de Maistre (Œuvres complètes de Joseph de Maistre, 1, 74) It is one thing to believe that government must only govern through the processes and procedures prescribed by law; it is quite another to believe that government is a creature of law and...
  • Scalia begins third decade on court

    09/29/2006 12:19:13 PM PDT · by Alex1977 · 13 replies · 704+ views
    ap ^ | 29 September, 2006 | NANCY BENAC
    WASHINGTON - There is something liberating about a lifetime appointment and a certainty in the correctness of one's ideas. Justice Antonin Scalia has both. He travels the world as a sought-after speaker, snags White House dinner invitations and packs one of the most powerful pens on Earth as a leading conservative voice on the U.S. Supreme Court. More than once, he has looked over a crowd of Washington power-brokers and observed that there is no one in the group who can help him or hurt him. Yet while Scalia's influence and presence are undisputed, there have been significant frustrations as...
  • Sowell: Justice Thomas' Day Job

    05/03/2006 6:32:25 PM PDT · by RWR8189 · 37 replies · 1,332+ views
    Creator's Syndicate ^ | May 3, 2006 | Dr. Thomas Sowell
    Over the years, there have been a number of books written about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Some of these books have looked at Justice Thomas politically, some biographically or racially -- and with various degrees of bias or inaccuracy.Now, more than a dozen years since Clarence Thomas became a member of the High Court, there is at last a book about his day job -- interpreting and applying the law.More than 300 of Justice Thomas' Supreme Court opinions are quoted and analyzed in a recently published book, "The Keeper of the Flame" by Henry Mark Holzer.Unlike most of his...
  • Scalia Says Opponents Are 'Idiots'

    02/14/2006 7:12:53 AM PST · by Sub-Driver · 88 replies · 2,644+ views
    Scalia Says Opponents Are 'Idiots' By JONATHAN EWING, Associated Press Writer 10 minutes ago People who believe the Constitution would break if it didn't change with society are "idiots," U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia says. In a speech Monday sponsored by the conservative Federalist Society, Scalia defended his long-held belief in sticking to the plain text of the Constitution "as it was originally written and intended." "Scalia does have a philosophy, it's called originalism," he said. "That's what prevents him from doing the things he would like to do," he told more than 100 politicians and lawyers from this...
  • Boiling the Frog

    11/01/2005 10:46:58 AM PST · by neverdem · 16 replies · 1,214+ views
    NRO ^ | November 01, 2005 | Edward Whelan
    E-mail Author Author Archive Send to a Friend Version November 01, 2005, 8:23 a.m. Boiling the Frog A slapdash and highly partisan effort. EDITOR'S NOTE: This piece appears in the October 24, 2005, issue of National Review. From all appearances, Cass Sunstein's latest book, Radicals in Robes: Why Extreme Right-Wing Courts Are Wrong for America, must have been rushed into print to capitalize on potential book buyers' attention to the initial Supreme Court vacancy that developed this past summer. Sunstein, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, is by all accounts a brilliant legal scholar. But Radicals...
  • Advise, Consent or Dissent... But Don’t Obstruct! - (SCOTUS never meant for partisan pols!)

    07/25/2005 6:52:26 PM PDT · by CHARLITE · 6 replies · 413+ views
    MENS NEWS DAILY.COM ^ | JULY 25, 2005 | JB WILLIAMS
    Even Democrats are beginning to sense that the American people have had about enough of their mindless obstructionist tactics. Most of us know what the Constitution says. The President has the sole right to appoint Supreme Court nominees and the Senate has the obligation to offer advice, then their consent or dissent as the case may be. We understand that the Democrats power is limited to underhanded character assassination leading up to another abuse of the filibuster. Who do you think removed them from all other forms of power in Washington? But despite the recent “damn the torpedoes elitists” mindset...
  • In Judicial Appointments, Politics Is No Match for the Constitution

    07/19/2005 5:41:41 PM PDT · by wagglebee · 2 replies · 344+ views
    Townhall.com ^ | 7/19/05 | Peter Sprigg
    Sometimes, following the debate over judges seems to be like watching a tennis match. Take the debate this spring over threatened Democratic filibusters to block President Bush’s appellate court nominees. Democrats said the filibuster was a time-honored tradition. Republicans said it stymied the democratic process. Democrats ominously described one parliamentary maneuver as “the nuclear option.” Republicans referred to it as “the constitutional option.” When the Senate’s bipartisan “Gang of 14” reached an agreement to break the deadlock, the volleying didn’t stop. The seven Democrats said they’d let three nominees go through. The seven Republicans said they’d let two be blocked....
  • Something nice for a good buddy - (Bush "going too far" for his friend, Alberto Gonzales?)

    07/13/2005 12:48:23 PM PDT · by CHARLITE · 15 replies · 646+ views
    INSIGHTMAG.COM ^ | JULY 8, 2005 | WESLEY PRUDEN
    George W. Bush is loyal to his buddies. The gooder the good ol' boy, the better. It's one of the president's most endearing traits. He stood up for Alberto Gonzales on his way to the G-8 summit in Scotland, scolding the "extremists" on the right who are suspicious of the attorney general's credentials as a conservative nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court. "I don't like it when a friend gets criticized," the president told reporters at a stop in Denmark. "I'm loyal to my friends. And all of a sudden this fellow, who is a good public servant and a...
  • Ten Commandments for Judges - (entertaining......and accurate!)

    07/11/2005 6:51:37 PM PDT · by CHARLITE · 6 replies · 571+ views
    CHRONWATCH.COM ^ | JULY 10, 2005 | JAMES ATTICUS BOWDEN
    President George W. Bush makes one of the most important decisions defining his legacy by uttering a name. If that name for Supreme Court justice is a constant conservative to the end of the life-time term, then the Bush presidency defines the start of an era. The momentum for change, like a glacier, will creak forward. Anything less, including a scheme of one conservative for two open seats means enough conservative Christians stay home, even if Hillary runs, and liberals win the 2008 election. The U.S. Culture War widens, deepens, and threatens because the judges will get worse. A conservative...
  • Why the Battle for the Court Will Be Nasty

    07/01/2005 6:54:34 PM PDT · by quidnunc · 27 replies · 899+ views
    City Journal ^ | Summer 2002 | Brian C. Anderson
    Nothing rattles the American Left so completely as the specter of a conservative, Bush-appointed Supreme Court. And no wonder. Over the last half-century, sympathetic judges have given the Left “progressive” policy outcomes that the voting booth wouldn’t deliver. It is this liberal judicial legacy — everything from affirmative action to partial-birth abortion — that the Left fears a Bush-influenced bench will sweep away. Haunted by the doomsday scenario of a Supreme Court dominated by Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, the Democrats and their allies will fight with every means they can muster to block the appointment of conservative justices. If...
  • On Judging Judges

    06/30/2005 4:20:03 PM PDT · by Harkonnendog · 103+ views
    http://harkonnendog.blogspot.com/ ^ | 6/30/05 | Harkonnendog
    When Bush’s judicial nominees are tried in the media liberals often cherry-pick rulings to portray them as conservative extremists. But judging judges this way is neither fair nor really useful. Congress is full of lawyers and they know how judges come to their decisions. The vast differences between the way laypeople think about a SCOTUS candidate and the way a lawmaker/lawyer does is unhealthy. I hope words and phrases such as stare decisis, originalist, and jurisprudence constante become part of the national vocabulary by the time President Bush nominates the next Supreme Court Justice candidate.
  • Court Watchers Assess Term's Impact on Rehnquist Legacy

    06/29/2005 2:02:14 AM PDT · by alessandrofiaschi · 4 replies · 610+ views
    Legal Times ^ | 06-29-2005 | Tony Mauro
    As the Supreme Court embraced moderation, the conservative agenda stalled. Solicitor General Paul Clement says he's noticed a new trend in the wardrobe of Supreme Court advocates. More and more men who argue before the Court are wearing bow ties, a tribute to the trademark neckwear of Justice John Paul Stevens -- and to his power. Midway through the ninth decade of his life, Stevens reached the peak of his career in the Supreme Court term that ended Monday. With a strong assist from Justice Anthony Kennedy, Stevens, 85, was able to assemble majorities and write opinions that read like...
  • The Case for 'Originalism'

    06/07/2005 12:59:52 PM PDT · by Conservative Coulter Fan · 3 replies · 300+ views
    Heritage Foundation ^ | June 6, 2005 | Edwin Meese III
    Today's battles over judges have too often broken down along party lines. Democrats sought to filibuster judicial nominees. Republicans worked to guarantee nominees an up-or-down vote. Even the uneasy "truce" achieved last month was the result of politics, not principle. The partisan division is unfortunate, because the judiciary is no place to be playing politics. "Judges shouldn't be liberal or conservative, since the Constitution isn't liberal or conservative," as President Ronald Reagan once observed. Taking the politics out of the judiciary is a key tenet behind the concept of constitutional originalism. That's the idea that judges should issue rulings based...
  • The case for 'originalism' - (return to original intent of Founders & Ratifiers is essential)

    06/06/2005 3:05:36 PM PDT · by CHARLITE · 24 replies · 754+ views
    PITTSBURGH LIVE.COM ^ | JUNE 5, 2005 | EDWIN MEESE III
    Today's battles over judges have too often broken down along party lines. Democrats sought to filibuster judicial nominees. Republicans worked to guarantee nominees an up-or-down vote. Even the uneasy "truce" achieved last month was the result of politics, not principle. The partisan division is unfortunate, because the judiciary is no place to be playing politics. "Judges shouldn't be liberal or conservative, since the Constitution isn't liberal or conservative," as President Ronald Reagan once observed. Taking the politics out of the judiciary is a key tenet behind the concept of constitutional originalism. That's the idea that judges should issue rulings based...
  • Scalia Attacks ‘Living Document’ Interpretations of Constitution.

    04/11/2003 5:07:27 PM PDT · by bourbon · 111 replies · 2,970+ views
    Ole Miss Website ^ | 4/11/03 | Angela Moore
    04/10/2003 UNIVERSITY, Miss. - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told a standing-room-only crowd at the University of Mississippi Thursday afternoon to beware of the concept of the Constitution as a "living document." Scalia, 67, a conservative justice known for legal decisions based on strict interpretations of the U.S. Constitution, said people who want change in society should use the democratic process, not the courts, to bring it about. "What makes you think that a living Constitution is going to evolve in the direction of greater freedoms?" Scalia asked. "It could evolve in the direction of less freedom, and it...