Definitions for originalism

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word originalism

Princeton's WordNet

  1. originalism(noun)

    the belief that the United States Constitution should be interpreted in the way the authors originally intended it

Wiktionary

  1. originalism(Noun)

    The view that the United States Constitution should be interpreted according to the intent of its original authors

Freebase

  1. Originalism

    In the context of United States constitutional interpretation, originalism is a principle of interpretation that tries to discover the original meaning or intent of the constitution. It is based on the principle that the judiciary is not supposed to create, amend or repeal laws but only to uphold them. The term originated in the 1980s but the concept is a formalist theory of law and a corollary of textualism. Today, originalism is popular among some political conservatives in the U.S., and is most prominently associated with Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork. However, some liberals, such as Justice Hugo Black and Akhil Amar, have also subscribed to the theory. Originalism is an umbrella term for two major theories, principally: ⁕The original intent theory, which holds that interpretation of a written constitution is consistent with what was meant by those who drafted and ratified it. ⁕The original meaning theory, which is closely related to textualism, is the view that interpretation of a written constitution or law should be based on what reasonable persons living at the time of its adoption would have declared the ordinary meaning of the text to be. It is with this view that most originalists, such as Justice Scalia, are associated.

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