Originalism sin

Any Supreme Court nominee who’s more interested in what the Constitution actually says rather than what it might have said if the framers had been more enlightened is sure to draw a lot of fire from certain Senators…from both parties. This view of the Constitution, referred to as “originalism” or “constitutionalism” – and often in the same tone of voice as one might refer to the Flat Earth Theory – was the hallmark of Justice Robert Bork.

Judge Bork and the tempestous circus surrounding his failed confirmation in 1987 will be mentioned frequently in the coming weeks. As such, it is interesting to read his opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing to see just what Senators Kennedy, Specter and others “saved” our Republic from (resulting in Justice Anthony Kennedy and his more global view of legal interpretation).

Here’s an excerpt (HT: Amy Ridenour’s National Center Blog):

“If a judge abandons intention as his guide, there is no law available to him and he begins to legislate a social agenda for the American people. That goes well beyond his legitimate power.”

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