Mike Ramsey Thinks Originalists Should Find “Liberal Originalist Results”

June 14th, 2012

Paging Jack Balkin. In response to Keith Whittington’s piece, Is Originalism Too Conservative, Ramsey writes:

For what it’s worth, in my view there’s no greater obstacle to the broader acceptance of originalism than the perception that it’s legal cover for conservative political results.  As Professor Whittington says, there’s surely correlation between originalism and conservative political views, but the correlation is (or at least ought to be, if the originalism is done right) far from perfect.  The worst thing conservatives can do is to distort originalism to align it with conservative views when it really doesn’t.  The best thing they can do is to celebrate the divergence of conservatism and originalism when it happens (that is, if they really believe in originalism as an end in itself and not as a tool).  So I invite my conservative friends, in the spirit of this essay, to find as many liberal originalist results as you can.  If you believe in originalism, that’s what you should be doing.