Monday, March 22, 2021

Paxton-Turner on Continental Originalism

Ashlee Paxton-Turner has posted Continental Originalism: Keeping Our Republic:

Much ink has been spilled on originalism. This we all know. If we accept that originalism is not going anywhere anytime soon and we also accept its basic principles, we must then also take seriously the historical point—clearly revealed by the Federalist Papers—that baked into the original meaning of the Constitution is this idea of securing the nation’s survival and preserving our union. For all that has been written on originalism, the key theme of union preservation has been consistently overlooked. And when we do not talk about union preservation, we are not faithfully answering what the words of the Constitution meant when they were drafted. Making union preservation our lodestar can make originalism a little more faithful to the historical moment it holds sacred and thus add some legitimacy to judicial opinions at a time when we need it most. Plainly put, until we start taking the theme of union preservation seriously, we continue to risk our ability to keep our republic.

--Dan Ernst