Worse Than Nothing

The Dangerous Fallacy of Originalism

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Publisher Description

Why originalism is a flawed, incoherent, and dangerously ideological method of constitutional interpretation

Originalism, the view that the meaning of a constitutional provision is fixed when it is adopted, was once the fringe theory of a few extremely conservative legal scholars but is now a well-accepted mode of constitutional interpretation. Three of the Supreme Court’s nine justices explicitly embrace the originalist approach, as do increasing numbers of judges in the lower courts.

Noted legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky gives a comprehensive analysis of the problems that make originalism unworkable as a method of constitutional interpretation. He argues that the framers themselves never intended constitutional interpretation to be an inflexible and shows how it is often impossible to know what the “original intent” of any particular provision was. Perhaps worst of all, though its supporters tout it as a politically neutral and objective method, originalist interpretation tends to disappear when its results fail to conform to modern conservative ideology.

GENRE
Professional & Technical
RELEASED
2022
June 9
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
264
Pages
PUBLISHER
Yale University Press
SELLER
Yale University
SIZE
780.8
KB

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