Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Is the Scalia theory embraced by Judge Gorsuch a lofty constitutional doctrine or just an excuse to be conservative?

Is the Scalia theory embraced by Judge Gorsuch a lofty constitutional doctrine or just an excuse to be conservative?

When Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, goes before the Senate next week, it will be a triumphant moment for “originalism,” the once-obscure theory that the Constitution should be interpreted according to the meaning of words and phrases as they were understood in the times they were written.

The late Justice Antonin Scalia was the foremost champion of this approach. Often frustrated inside the court, he traveled the country, scoffing at liberals who believed in a “living” Constitution that changes with the times.

Not since the failed 1987 nomination of Robert Bork has a prospective high court justice so embraced originalism as has Gorsuch, an...

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