Justice Ginsburg, the Originalist?

August 8th, 2012

At the ABA Annual Meeting, Justice Ginsburg continued a refrain she has used before–that she is an originalist.

“I consider myself certainly an originalist in this sense,” Ginsburg said. “The founders of our country were great men with a vision. They were held back from realizing their ideas by the times in which they lived. But I think their notion was that society would evolve and the meaning of some of the grand clauses in the Constitution, like due process of law, would grow with society so that the Constitution would always be attuned with the society that law is meant to serve.”

That is a very interesting strain of originalism. I hope one wouldn’t balk, in seriousness, if I called it living originalism.

For more on Justice Ginsburg’s originalism, see my piece in the Texas Law Review See Also, Originalism at the Right Time?