Wednesday, January 18, 2017


Stuff that works, stuff that holds up
The kind of stuff you don't hang on the wall
Stuff that's real, stuff you feel
The kind of stuff you reach for when you fall
--Guy Clark

In the constitutional law context, originalism refers to the principle that the meaning of the Constitution was fixed when it was written and ratified. That original meaning should be upheld and followed in subsequent legal interpretations.

Does that imply that our founding ancestors meant to bind future generations to that original meaning? Certainly not. They developed the amendment process for revising the original meaning.

The fact that the requirements for obtaining a constitutional amendment are substantial, however, suggests that the framers intended that any changes would be subject to broad debate and approved by far more than a mere democratic majority.

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