Academic Questions, Summer 2011
May 25, 2011
by Robert H. Bork
The latest episode in the long-running struggle for control of the Constitution, and the political power that goes with it, is playing out in the federal courts in California. The contending philosophies are originalism, which holds that the Constitution should be read as it was originally understood by the framers and ratifiers, and the congeries of cultural and political theories proposed by academics and progressives, but not contemplated by the founders.
In the end, however, the ultimate fate of originalism will depend upon the character of judges and professors. They have a constant temptation to yield to the allure of power to do good as they see the good rather than as the political branches to which we have entrusted the care of democracy see it.
Robert H. Bork was a Distinguished Fellow of Hudson Institute. He passed away on December 19, 2012.
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