Tag: constitution

On Originalism

Originalism can roll back a frightening amount of legislation — New Deal, civil rights, food safety, etc. There’s even a school of thought that says the 14th amendment doesn’t mean stuff like the bill of rights doesn’t limit state government. Just Congress. Which would mean a *state* is free to enact limits that abrogate our federally ensured rights. The illogic of the argument is, I assume, why originalists inconsistently apply their beliefs rulings. Think of the 11th Amendment interpretation that “by Citizens of another State” includes ‘citizens of *that* state’, for instance. Or the purported Second Amendment right to weaponry that hadn’t been imagined in the late 1700’s. Originalists make decisions contrary to the founders’ understanding of what they wrote.
And originalism seems to invalidate itself — was the understanding at the time the Constitution was adopted that most legislation requires a Constitutional amendment?