Originalist Court

never-miss-viewpoints-7-23-18     Excellent article by Kirby Anderson with Point of View.

There has been lots of fear mongering from the Left about how the newly constituted Supreme Court would rule on various social issues. Justices that attempt to apply the original intent of the Constitution to legal issues are called originalists. Here are a few suggestions about how an originalist court might rule on cases before it.

  • Abortion – Despite the fears being spread that the next court would overturn Roe v. Wade, there isn’t any likelihood it will happen soon. First, there has to be a significant case that would come before the court. Then, there would have to be at least five justices willing to use that case to overturn the 1973 abortion decision that has been a precedent for over four decades.
  • Religious liberty – The narrow decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case suggests that future religious liberty cases will be decided in favor of the First Amendment, even when it appears to conflict with LGBT issues. In fact, the Kennedy opinion in the case suggests that further confirmation of religious liberty will come when future cases come before the court.
  • Gun laws – An originalist court will probably provide a clearer definition of the Second Amendment rights of citizens. The court has already ruled in two cases (Heller and McDonald) about the right to own weapons that are “in common use for lawful purposes.”
  • Affirmative action – An originalist court would probably be a color-blind court. The original meaning of equal protection in the Constitution would suggest that attempts to favor one race over another would be unconstitutional.

These few examples conform to what most Americans would desire from the Supreme Court. In fact, they match up closely to various opinion polls taken over the last few decades. An originalist court will not be as controversial as many liberals say that it would be.

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