Faux Originalism

Faux Originalism
AP Photo/Ron Edmonds

Is Antonin Scalia’s originalism—indeed, constitutional self-government itself—passé? The eternal temptation to read one’s own values into the Constitution beguiles even religious conservatives espousing natural law.

The U.S. Constitution is the “supreme law of the land,” whose ultimate interpretation is entrusted, by longstanding custom if not by explicit textual direction, to the U.S. Supreme Court. Accordingly, it is vitally important to divine the true meaning of our fundamental law. When a state or federal law is alleged to conflict with the Constitution, how are courts supposed to resolve the conflict? How can citizens satisfy themselves that the black-robed oracles who interpret the Constitution are doing so accurately?

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