Friday, July 15

Are you an Originalist? How to Interpret the Constitution

Edward Whelan writes does a great job defining what an originalist is, in regards to constitutional interpretation. It's sad that there is even a need to define what this means, and how it relates to the constitution.
It is significant that the term "originalism" appears to be of relatively recent vintage. The reason for this is not that there is anything novel about originalism. Precisely the opposite. Until recent years, originalism had been so unchallenged as constitutional orthodoxy that there was no reason to develop a term that would distinguish it from any rival. As Justice Scalia has put it, "in the past, nonoriginalist opinions have almost always had the decency to lie, or at least to dissemble, about what they were doing." But the rise of the "living Constitution" — the Orwellian euphemism that liberal activists have used to pretend that the Constitution has somehow "grown" to entrench forever their own policy preferences — made necessary a label for what everyone had previously recognized as elementary.
Take the test yourself and figure it out.
Are you an originalist?