Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Thursday, July 21, 2005

LttE - Prof. Binder wrong on original intent

Submitted to the OC Register on 7/21/2005:

Being a law professor at Chapman, I’m sure Tuesday’s Orange Grove author Denis Binder has a much firmer grasp of constitutional law and theory than I do. However, I think Prof. Binder made a mistake in describing the beliefs of adherents to “original intent”.

It’s disingenuous at best (and inflammatory at worst) to assert that if original intent were followed line by line, “women would not have the vote and a slave would only count as 3/5ths of a person.” Is it Prof. Binder’s belief that originalists ignore the First and Fifth Amendments, as he clearly believes they ignore the Fourteenth and Nineteenth?

Originalists believe just as strongly as anyone else in Article V’s prescribed amendment process, and that Article states clearly that once an amendment is duly ratified by both houses of Congress and 3/4ths of the states, it is considered to be as much a part of the original text as any provision found in the first seven Articles.
UPDATE: Dang, I sent this before I saw a letter had been printed making the same argument - so this one likely won't see print.


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