Stevens states that the jurisprudence of original intent has changed from being focused on "the motivation of lawmakers" to being focused on "the understanding of readers of newly enacted legal text".
But a focus on either misses the point for "it is ultimately the provisions of our laws rather than the principal concerns of our legislators by which we are governed." The text, not the motivation detemines the law and "statutory prohibitions often go beyond the principal evil to cover reasonably comparable evils."
Issues arise before the court today that are outside of the scope of the original intent of either the lawmakers or the population at the time.
"That is why a jurisprudence of original intent cannot provide the correct answer to novel questions of constitutional law ...."

2023-09-25: Stevens Originalism and History 2014

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