What does originalism mean?

Definitions for originalism

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word originalism.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. originalismnoun

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


  1. originalismnoun

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


  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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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of originalism in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of originalism in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of originalism in a Sentence

  1. Associated Press:

    Other things equal, I think it would be good if Biden nominated an originalist, though there certainly can be originalists whose positions on particular important legal issues are sufficiently bad that I might rather have a living constitutionalist nominee, instead (depending on the particular type of living constitutionalist), originalism is not a bullet-proof guarantee against grave error. Regardless, I think it’s very unlikely Biden will nominate an originalist.

  2. Carrie Severino:

    Anyone who says originalism is rooted in White supremacy has it backwards, the three Reconstruction Amendments to the Constitution were meant to eliminate White supremacy in the law.It was by departing from that meaning that the late 19th century/early 20th century Court became an enabler of Jim Crow.

  3. Ilya Somin:

    There are multiple definitions of originalism, and multiple theories of it, speaking just for myself, I would say it’s the idea that provisions of the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with the original meaning of the text at the time it was ratified (e.g. – 1868 for the 14th Amendment).

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    the official who holds an office
    • A. foreordained
    • B. incumbent
    • C. arbitrary
    • D. indiscernible

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