Hammer, Josh Manly Originalism (PDF) 2022
- Many leading originalists, trying their best to channel the great founding myth of William F. Buckley righteously kicking the nefarious Birchers out of the Big Tent, have been trying to gatekeep Harvard Law School professor Adrian Vermeule and his proposal for a non-originalist jurisprudence grounded in the classical legal tradition.
- ... Vermeule, whatever our differences may be, has helped refocus juridical attention on substantive goods such as life, family, and order.
- Who are the real originalists, and who—or what—are the pretenders?
- The weak form of soyriginalism, in the Dobbs context, comes in the form of, “I’m just asking questions about originalism and Roe!”
- But weak-form soyriginalism, again roughly synonymous with “progressive” or “living” originalism, appears to be here to stay—for better or for worse. [emphasis added]
- The strong form of soyriginalism in the Dobbs context ... rgues that originalism compels legalized abortion—no ifs, ands, or buts. [emphasis added]
- ... if the “conservative legal movement” as currently constituted wishes to have any credibility moving forward, it must excise these views from the fold.
- If the movement fails to do so—if it permits “originalism” to be defined at such a cartoonishly high degree of abstraction, so far removed from any guiding telos and the proper view of the enterprise—then it will allow itself to be defined into theoretical irrelevance.
Table of Contents