Statement of Lawrence B. Solum: Hearings on the Nomination of the Honorable Neil M. Gorsuch to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
12 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 22, 2017
This statement addresses the nature of originalism. Originalism consists of three core ideas: (1) the original meaning of the constitutional text is its public meaning; (2) the original meaning of the text is fixed at the time the text was framed and ratified; and, (3) judges should be bound by the original meaning of the text. Much of the public discussion of originalism has focused on myths: originalism does not attempt to answer the question, "What would Madison do?," and many other charges against originalism are mythical as well. Originalism is in the mainstream of American jurisprudence historically, and originalism should be acceptable to Americans from a broad range of political orientations. The two core arguments for originalism focus on the rule of law and legitimacy.
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