Two Ways to Understand Originalism

We’ve all wondered about it at some point. If the founding fathers could see what the United States has become, what would they say? This is the exact question that any person working in the realm of constitutional law is asking daily. In fact, the idea that the constitution should be interpreted with the ideals of the timeframe that it was written in is referred to as originalism. In this short video, professor Gary Lawson shares how originalism can be thought of in terms of two very different questions.

What is the purpose of Originalism? Professor Gary Lawson argues that there are two distinct answers to that question. Originalism can be simply a tool for interpreting a document, or it can be used for a further purpose of prescribing or prohibiting certain activities. Professor Lawson posits that the latter purpose is not properly in the realm of legal expertise. Professor Gary Lawson is the Philip S. Beck Professor at Boston University School of Law.

Chris Spangle is the publisher and editor of We Are Libertarians, a news site and podcast that covers national and Indiana politics from the libertarian perspective. Spangle previously worked in marketing for the Englehart Group on behalf of the Advocates for Self-Government. He also served as the Executive Director of the Libertarian Party of Indiana and producer of the Abdul in the Morning Show. He now works as the web director of a nationally syndicated morning show.

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