Phony Originalism and the Establishment Clause
25 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2008 Last revised: 11 May 2011
Date Written: April 25, 2008
The "originalist" interpretations of the Establishment Clause by Supreme Court Justices William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas are remarkably indifferent to the original purposes of that clause. Their arguments are a remarkable congeries of historical error and outright misrepresentation. This is not necessarily a criticism of originalism per se. However, the abuse of originalist scholarship that these judges have practiced raises questions about what originalist scholars are actually accomplishing.
Keywords: Religion, Establishment
JEL Classification: K10, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation