News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 16, 2020: Are you an Originalist or a Contextualist? Can you be both?
OR does it matter what you call yourself – if you are on Supreme Court?
Let me bring in this week’s media partner right away without delay. The Wall Street Journal had an article titled: “Legal Approach Would Shift Court.”
I am interested and so should you Dear Readers, in one particular paragraph, buried deep in this article. It’s all I need from WSJ right now …
“Judge Barrett is known as an originalist and a textualist – that is, she applies the Constitution according to her understanding of what its language meant when adopted, and when interpreting statutes, she zeroes in on the text of legislation rather than the purpose lawmakers were trying to achieve.”
While this is tied to Judge Barrett’s current nomination to the Supreme Court, she is just a Bit Player here in Trump’s America this episode as is Trump.
This is all about the far, far deeper issue of what is the Supreme Court, and equally what is the U.S. Constitution. These are issues going all the way back to the Constitutional Convention in 1788, and more specifically the beginning of our United States under this Constitution in 1789 until today.
SURPRISE… if we survive, it will be just the same hundreds of years from now. Except can you even try to imagine what a United States of America might be like in say 2200?
That is science fiction, so back to NOW …
I am going to tackle and answer these eternal questions, just maybe even in 2200, in this episode and will be referenced by Congress, the President and the Supreme Court to answer the Question.
Wouldn’t that be something? You and I will never know unless there is a Here After, and it’s here on Earth, so let’s hope, so then we’ll know for sure!
Here is the ANSWER.
The idea of being an Originalist or Textualist or Contextualist as a Supreme Court Justice is nonsense.
RIDICULOUS. These are meaningless terms and definitions to apply here.
How do I know? EASY. For them to have any REAL meaning either …
1) The Founders are still alive and communicating with Judges, or,
2) Judges have a secret Time Machine they are using to travel back to 1788 and 1789 to communicate with The Founders personally.
Practically, #1 and #2 are one and the same in effect. I don’t believe any of this, because there is absolutely no proof. In fact, Supreme Court Judges make no such claims, except they act as though they do.
HERE IS THE TRUTH and why I make the Big Bucks, or should!
ALL Supreme Court Judges – include all Judges if you like – everyone of them since the Beginning of Time, meaning 1789, is a CONTEXTUALIST.
What is a Contextualist?
I am here to tell you now or in 2200.
A Contextualist, in this context, is a Supreme Court Justice who interprets the Constitution from the perspective of their own time, no matter what any of them say, or how often any of them or the Presidents who appoint them or the U.S. Senators who confirm them, and it is true for Amy Coney Barret just as it was and is true for all the 114 Supreme Court Justices since 1789.
The Hog Wash almost everyone and all the media, except here believe, that many Supreme Court Justices have been and are Originalists or Textualists, is an INDICTMENT of national mindlessness. This is complete NONSENSE
Time to repeat that quote from WSJ at the beginning of this episode …
“Judge Barrett is known as an originalist and a textualist—that is, she applies the Constitution according to her understanding of what its language meant when adopted, and when interpreting statutes she zeroes in on the text of legislation rather than the purpose lawmakers were trying to achieve.”
There are SC Justices who apply what the language of the Constitution meant when it was adopted in 1788?, and/or their “understanding” of what The Founders purpose was?
All this is a Con Game unless you believe: 1) The Founders are still alive and communicating with Judges, or 2) Judges have a Time Machine they are using to travel back to 1788 and 1789 to communicate with The Founders.
Here is The Truth, and we all know this but too many convince themselves to ignore The Truth.
Democratic Party Presidents nominate SC Justices they believe will rule the way that President would if they were on the Supreme Court and it is exactly the same for Republican Presidents.
Put another way, the Supreme Court is largely a POLITICAL institution with hopefully SC Justices having – because of their position – more integrity than Presidents and U.S. Senators, who blatantly vote their politics.
Of course, that is at best partially true; but what is the alternative? NO final arbiter of disputes about the Constitution? That would be far worse.
I don’t have a Time Machine and The Founders are not still alive, but I do know what they knew – the Supreme Court is exactly what they expected!
(This series dedicated in honor of the late Liu Xiaobo & Jamal Khashoggi)