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01/07/2013

Rob Natelson on Louis Michael Seidman
Michael Ramsey

At the Independence Institute's website, Rob Natelson: A Response to Professor Seidman.

Based solely on the assertions in his article, Professor Seidman appears to know little about the background of, and principles underlying, the document he is charged with teaching. The list of his historical inaccuracies and omissions is long.

...

It is odd that a constitutional law professor would erroneously define “originalism.” It certainly is not “divining the framers’ intent.” Originalism is adhering to the contemporaneous public meaning of the Constitution, and in some cases, the understanding of those who enacted it (the ratifiers, not the Framers). This is not an obscure concept; it is the same rule by which most legal documents are interpreted.

And from the conclusion: 

America performed brilliantly when constitutional limits were honored. As those limits have eroded, we have lost our edge: Economic growth has slowed, the civic fabric has frayed, and we have fallen into fiscal crisis. The fault, therefore, is not in the Constitution. It rests in politicians who disregard it and in scholars, jurists, and other citizens who encourage them to do so.

(Via David Kopel at Volokh Conspiracy)