Originalism is Easy to Understand

The term “originalism” can be a bit confusing. What does this actually mean? Are the terms “originalism” and “textualism” the same thing?

If someone calls themselves an “originalist,” does that mean they think women shouldn’t vote and that black Americans should be counted as 3/5ths of a person toward representation?

Of course not, but this is how progressives like to play emotional games with stupid voters.

Yet, it would be wise to consider the definitions of these terms.

A listener sent me this article and asked me to comment, which in turn spurred this email and Episode 433 of The Brion McClanahan Show.

I contend “originalism” is very easy to understand, and it relies on one simple truth about the United States Constitution.

The ratifiers of the document promised the Constitution did not create a “national” government and in turn left all powers not expressly delegated to the federal governments to the States.

That means we don’t have to wonder what James Madison or Alexander Hamilton would think about federal regulation of the Internet. It is a type of communication. As a result, under originalism, the federal government has no power to regulate communication. Just like the general government has no power to pass “gun control” legislation, spend money on local police, provide welfare payments, spend money on “foreign aid” unless through a treaty, and a thousand other things it does on a regular basis.

The States can do most of this–and they already do–which also makes most federal laws redundant.

No need to make the issue complicated. The friends of the Constitution swore the general government had limited and defined powers, specifically those for defense and international commerce. All else was left to the States.

If we had real “originalists” America would look much different. The good folks at the Tenth Amendment Center do a good job trying to reorient people in this direction, and I support their efforts.

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