More on Originalism and the Constitution

We’ve had some discussion of originalism on this blog.  My recollection of the discussion was that people on this blog (who represent various political stripes) found it attractive.  Most found Scalia’s talk here at USU pretty compelling.

Well, I thought it worth pointing out how conservatives – who usually hail originalism – too often abandon it when it suits them.  An article here discusses how the SC really manufactured a right for individuals to bear arms (with no reference to militias).  The trouble is that originalism devolves into judicial policy activism when the original intent of the framers is unclear.  It is my understanding, from Scalia, that SC judges should always, in such cases, defer to the legislature rather than enshrine in Con-law our current fancies.  But Scalia, in this decision (he wrote the majority opinion), seems to have taken this question away from the people.

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About Kleiner

Associate Vice Provost and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Utah State University. I teach across the curriculum, but am most interested in continental philosophy, ancient and medieval philosophy as well as Catholic thought, all of which might be summed up as an interest in the ressourcement tradition (returning in order to make progress). I also enjoy spending time thinking about liberal education and its ends.

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