Silly Attacks on Amy Coney Barrett and Constitutional Originalism

Judge Amy Coney Barrett reacts during her confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., October 14, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Contrary to cartoonish portrayals of originalism, the Reconstruction Amendments and the existence of common law do not disprove it.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I t’s Supreme Court silly season in addition to being election silly season, so we’ve been treated to more silliness than usual of late about how judges read the Constitution. A seemingly endless parade of Democratic politicians (ranging from Hillary Clinton to the mayor of Chicago) have been pretending that originalists think the Constitution should be read as it was written in 1787 without regard to its amendments, and thus to allow slavery, to allow states to deny women the vote, etc. — a position no originalist takes. Even on these straw-man terms, though, it should be noted that the original

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