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View Diary: On Constitutional Interpretation: Originalism v. A Living Constitution? (286 comments)

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  •  Original intent (none)
    Was to protect white male landowners. Women and blacks were property and landless white males had no representation.
    •  Doesn't it require (none)
      a certain extraordinary skill to know what someone's "intent" was, above and beyond the written words, I mean, when looking back on it from 230 years in the future?  

      Once again, that reminds of people who say "God wants this" and "God wants that" as if they got a personal phone call on the hotline to tell them that.

      •  Not extraordinary in all cases (none)
        as historical context -- i.e., the times in which they lived, etc. -- suggest a lot.  History is always reconstruction from the evidence left behind . . . because even if they had left apparently clear evidence behind, it still has to be weighed in context of their times, of their other writings, and especially of their actions. . . .

        Translation: Sometimes historical sources lied! to leave a legacy that looks better than it was.  Or they lied to themselves, at least, or never resolved the dissonance between their actions and their ideals.  Think Jefferson and slavery. . . .

        "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

        by Cream City on Sat Jul 23, 2005 at 08:42:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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