Tuesday, February 14, 2023

"Originalism fails its own test": David Cole on the fallacies of "originalism" in legal interpretation in the United States

In "Originalism’s Charade", his review in the New York Review of Books of 24 November 2022 of two books on legal interpretation in the United States, David Cole of the ACLU presents a devastating critique of the doctrine of "originalism" as a method of such interpretation, which "contends that the Constitution should be interpreted and enforced on the basis of its 'original meaning,' namely what it meant when it was adopted." His final criticism exposing originalism's emptiness made me laugh out loud: "Perhaps most fatally, originalism fails its own test. There simply is no evidence that the Constitution’s original meaning was that it should be interpreted according to its original meaning." (Andrew Shields, #111words, 14 February 2023)


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