Talk:Original meaning

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Social and political philosophy

Scalia quote

"In a pinch, I may turn out to be a faint-hearted originalist." I couldn't find a single instance of this quote on Google. Where does it come from? -- WikiAce 00:03, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

It's from Originalism: The Lesser Evil, 57 U. Cin. L. Rev. 849 (1989) at 864. However, this is a d'oh moment - I put that line in from memory, and got the wrong word: he said "crunch" not "pinch". I'll correct it momentarily and add the citation. Simon Dodd 02:01, 23 November 2005 (UTC)


It would be helpful to expand this page and provide a more fair and balanced view. The article seems a bit one-sided, noteably in the 'Practice' section, where the virtues of originalism and some advantages over other viewpoints are discussed. A discussion of these advantages is acceptible, but a more thorough examination of how original meaning compares to other constitutional practices can provide a more complete picture, and a discussion of possible disadvantages would correct the questionable neutrality of the article. Nddavis47 (talk) 18:26, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Antifederalist perspective

Why are the Anti-federalist papers dismissed out of hand as a source for understanding the Constitution? At least one prominent anti-federalist, Robert Yates (politician), was at the convention. This section should be rewritten to reflect a more balanced view of the role of the anti-federalists in understanding the Constitution.


I removed the line "in a particularly strongly-worded attack" and replaced it with "He also stated." The wording of the introduction to his quote seemed unnecessarily biased.--Julien Deveraux (talk) 19:00, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

However, "he also stated" makes the reader assume the quote is from Justice Scalia when the source attributes Justice Thomas.

Justice Thomas quote?

"Let me put it this way; there are really only two ways to interpret the Constitution -- try to discern as best we can what the framers intended or make it up. No matter how ingenious, imaginative or artfully put, unless interpretive methodologies are tied to the original intent of the framers, they have no more basis in the Constitution than the latest football scores. To be sure, even the most conscientious effort to adhere to the original intent of the framers of our Constitution is flawed, as all methodologies and human institutions are; but at least originalism has the advantage of being legitimate and, I might add, impartial."

This appears to be an argument for original intent not original meaning? I propose deletion. Opinions?Smitty1337 (talk) 08:51, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

I killed the whole "Selected Quotes" section just now. It didn't seem appropriate. --MZMcBride (talk) 20:34, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

A broader scope?

Original meaning is also a principle of statutory interpretation in other jurisdictions. (See e.g. Ruth Sullivan's Statutory Interpretation for an examination of this concept in Canadian law.) What do we think of restructuring the article so that it takes a more global approach? This would require rewriting the lede, putting all the American content in one section, and putting other jurisdictional content in different sections. /wiae /tlk 14:58, 12 February 2016 (UTC)